Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
In yet another incident that originated from the actions of Tomas Hertl, his linemate Joe Thornton drew a ton of media attention of his own this week.
On Thursday in Vancouver, the captain interrupted an interview about Hertl by his teammate Patrick Marleau with an off-color joke about what he'd do if he ever scored four goals.
Jason Botchford of The Province quoted the comments verbatim in his White Towel game-day report. There wasn't much backlash against Thornton for his vulgarity. Instead, the focus turned to Botchford. What were the circumstances surrounding Thornton's statement, and should it have been reported?
Virtually every hockey writer and broadcaster around the league weighed in with their two cents, and opinions varied widely.
Some thought that, as a longtime friend to the media, Thornton should not have been betrayed in this way. Others posited that it could lead to a backlash whereby players will be less forthcoming in future.
David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News wrote that the Sharks themselves condemned the reporting as a "pathetic attempt to generate some page hits."
For his part, Botchford seems comfortable with how the situation played out and is rather enjoying all the attention. His editor also seems pleased.
If we had such a thing as Employee of the Week, it would go to @botchford
— Wayne Moriarty (@Editorinblog) October 11, 2013
Much like "the code," due to new technology, the role of sports media has been constantly shifting in recent years. Some try to stay the course while others adapt.
As we saw this week, in these ever-evolving times, writers and broadcasters are more than happy to tear down that fourth wall and dissect the inner workings of their own business.
The jury is still out about the best way to operate in the new-media landscape.