Tuesday night, on the sports show "Sticks and Stones" on Boston's Comcast Sports Network, host Michael Felger invited Vancouver newspaper writer for The Province, Tony Gallagher, on air to discuss the happenings in the Bruins-Canucks game last weekend.
Instead of having a casual conversation about the incidents in that game, the Marchand suspension, and all the other turmoil following the game, Felger initiates conflict by bringing Boston Bruins player Shawn Thornton on air prior to the time he is slated to go on the show.
Following the introduction of Thornton to the show, both Gallagher and Thornton go back and forth on their opinions and everything seems to be fairly respectable. This seems reasonable given the respect they have for their counterparts, coupled with the fact that if Thornton makes a dumb mistake and says something stupid, he could face sanctions from the big boys at the NHL Head Office.
What really makes this a stupid interview is the way Felger acts towards Tony Gallagher, who may not be the greatest guy in live interviews, but his writing speaks for itself. All he wants are some answers instead of dodgy answers to avoid the question. Gallagher is obviously biased towards the Canucks, but Felger throwing Gallagher into the gauntlet like that was not fair. In fairness to Thornton, he took the snarky remarks by Gallagher and tried his best to be respectful; Felger not so much.
At the end of the interview, when Gallagher asks how a Canucks team with no toughness, but came a game within a Stanley Cup victory, could be unanimously hated in the NHL, Felger steps in to say—while he hangs up on Gallagher before he has a chance to respond:
Ha-ha, well that's an interesting point...congratulations on the President's Trophy, we used to celebrate those things around here too, but they don't matter Tony.
The rivalry between the two teams should clearly be left between the Bruins and Canucks. This petty rival city reporter "dust up" is shameful for both sides and is a poor display of what are two solid media men. Clearly the two love their hometown teams, but leave it to the men on the ice to deal with issues and fans off the ice to bicker about it. This feud between the two franchises has turned into a media war, something any media man should know is not worth the fight.
John Bain is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report
Follow him on Twitter: @JohnBainSports