Things even Brett Hull wouldn't say...
Maybe it's because I'm not Canadian. Maybe I'm just too sensitive to oddly phrased questions. Maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing. Any of those reasons could easily explain my distress.
TSN's James Duthie took journalists everywhere down a peg or two tonight. During TSN's draft coverage, he had the cojones to ask Coyotes GM and living legend Wayne Gretzky if he drafted Kyle Turris for the sheer reason that Turris is Canadian.
Yeah. He went there.
(Check it out by forwarding to the 4:25 mark of this video.)
It just makes me cringe; the mere suggestion that any NHL GM would select a player in the draft based on the player's national origin. Even the Great One laughed at the question; Would he 'Canadianize' his team due to the Ducks successes with a large number of Canadians on their squad? Forget about Anaheim's unique style of play and their checking line that doubles as a scoring line. No, it's obvious the reason for their success is all those Canadians on the ice. After all, no other NHL team has Canadians on it, much less a whole bunch of them!
I guess Duthie may have thought he was asking a pretty good question. A 'unique' attempt at 'serious' journalism. That is, if 'talking heads' can be considered serious journalism, and as high on the totem pole as polished MSM print writers (my apologies to those who dabble in both practices).
Maybe the reason for such an offbeat question could be that Duthie was a little bit perturbed that Americans had gone #1 and #2 in the draft for the first time ever, following up Yankee-blooded Erik Johnson's #1 selection in 2006. Maybe he thought to himself, 'Good ol' Wayne, he's making sure we get a Canadian high up on that draft board!'
Whatever the case, it's over the line in my mind.
Think about it. What if Chris Berman had asked an NFL GM if his selection of an African American player was based on race? What if Peter Gammons asked an MLB GM if he selected a player because he was Dominican? The San Antonio Spurs just won the NBA title with a boat load of international players on their roster. Obviously, the smart thing for other teams to do is suddenly load their rosters with internationals. Personally, I don't think there is that much of a difference between these examples and what Duthie said.
To clear one thing up; Yes, Alexei Cherepanov dropped in the draft partially because he's Russian. The difference is that the reasoning behind that had a lot more to do with the lack of a transfer agreement with Russia and questions about his personal characteristics. It wasn't because he is Russian. It's because he is in Russia.