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NHL: Friction With the Media

03/21/11
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We’ve all seen it, whether it’s John Tortorella’s harsh words for Larry Brooks, Ryan Miller badgering Jerry Sullivan (and vice versa), Andy Sutton’s priceless comments, or Dominik Hasek going after Jim Kelley, sometimes the players and the media do not get along.

What does that mean, what is it indicative of?  Sure the media can be a bunch of jackals in both the way they ask questions, and the content of the questions themselves, but some of the blame has to fall on the players too, right?  Aside from the fact that these guys are highly paid, the majority of them have been around, and been around at a high level long enough to know the kind of scrutiny that comes with it.  I don’t think any of the questions that are asked should come as a surprise, even the loaded ones.  That should tend to keep emotions from running wild, but as you can see above, it so often doesn’t.

I’m not sure whether flipping out on the media is a good thing or a bad thing whether it’s a player or a coach.  On one hand you can chalk it up to intensity and aggressiveness, two highly desirable traits.  On the other you can attribute it to immaturity and a lack of composure, clear cut negative ones.  I don’t think it leans strongly either way.  I think if anything it’s indicative of playing style.  Some thrive on that intensity, and some play better with a level head and it shows in their approach to post-game interviews and media relations.

One thing I will say is that I don’t think that players who have the leadership tag thrust upon them should ever lose their cool with the media.  That’s why it’s comforting to see certain players on the Sabres, namely Pominville and Vanek, appear so level headed in interviews whether it comes at the heels of a big win, or a crushing loss.

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