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Dead Letter: Special Hockey Edition

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Dead LettersWelcome to Dead Letters, the feature in which we reprint our favorite reader mail. We should take this moment to remind you that all emails to Deadspin and its editors and writers are on the record unless otherwise specified. Now for your letters.

Subj: Your Hockey Coverage at Deadspin

To: Barry Petchesky


I just wanted to inform you that your coverage of Hockey is literally written like someone who has only watched following the ‘04 lockout and has never left the Northeast. Your coverage is legitimately is hurting Deadspin’s brand in Canada (seriously, several colleagues who work in Canadian media buying for US markets have passed on your site during playoff season), and betrays an obsession with the NY Rangers (who historically and generally are the LEAST interesting Tri-State Area team). I’m an Anglo Habs fan so I don’t expect any of my narratives of NHL hockey and history to be reflected in coverage.

That said you ‘Nashville is a good Hockey city’ post was nothing short of offensive to Canadian fans who’ve watched the game since two-line passes were blown dead. Gary Bettman has been shitting on Canadian fans for a decade; please don’t become and extension of his sphincter. Simply put, there are almost NO cities south of the Mason-Dixon line that should have a team until there is at least one more in Ontario and a team in Quebec. The league’s talent is diluted enough as it is, and tooting Nashville’s horn only helps facilitate more ‘Golden Knights’ and Disney inspired franchise nonsense in places where it can’t even snow.

I get you are probably a prideful Stuy Kid and would rather be flippant with this email writing me off as a ‘troll’ or ‘bitter Canadian’. This said, the arrogance of some Northeastern American fans (I have not observed this in Minnesota or Michigan) is astounding. ‘Hehehe, why do Canadian teams always lose, lol’ is REALLY obnoxious. Imagine if all of your favorite local baseball players played in Mexico, in markets where soccer and basketball were always more viewed, but Mexican fans STILL chanted ‘Mexico, Mexico!’ when they beat one of the only American teams in the world series using American players. The fact is; there are no ‘American Teams’, you cannot show me many teams in the NHLs history that have had a greater proportion of Americans than Canadians who have won the cup. See Boston’s last cup win over Vancouver with the ‘USA! USA!’ chants when Tim Thomas (Mr. I won’t meet Obama) was the ONLY American on the roster which was STRONGLY majority Canadian.

I’d hate for you to think to think I’m banging on the ‘it’s our game drum’, however understand that between the franchise re-locations of the 90s, the ignominy Alan Eagleson foist on Canadian involvement in the NHL, and Bettman’s decision to disallow player Olympic participation in 2018 there is only so much we can take. If you want to understand more about the game you cover leave New York City and its surroundings. Try going to a barn in East Amherst NY, at Shattuck St. Mary’s, Flin Flon, or Modo and Silesia in Europe, instead of comfortably sitting removed from where actual NHL players come from. Because if you think Nashville is a ‘hockey city’ you need to go to a real City or town where the game matters. Thank you for your consideration.

Best Regards,

[REDACTED], a fed up Canadian fan

P.S. Deadspin’s ‘50 best NHL players’ was embarrassing so much so that it is one of the few times that me and my Russian office mates have categorically agreed on hockey coverage. Even my Flyers fan colleague (born and raised in South Jersey) called it ‘crap written by a Rangers fan who thinks the game was invented in 1982 and seems to think Americans are more deserving of a place on the list than others.’


Readers, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on Deadspin’s hockey coverage, the NHL’s expansion to nontraditional markets, and/or Canada’s right to exist. 

Deputy editor | Deadspin

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