Hockeyless Philly Has Caused A Form of Cabin Fever Among Beat Writers
Earlier today a writer for the Philadelphia Daily News named Dan Gross posted an article covering a recent rumor that Flyers ex-Captain Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were dealt this off-season due to too much "partying", according to two unnamed players who skated with Richie and Carts last season.
Gross also listed that,
"Shortly after his arrival in December 2009, coach Peter Laviolette instituted what players came to call the "Dry Island." Laviolette asked team members to commit to not drinking for a month, and each player was asked to write his number on a locker room board as a pledge. No. 17 (Carter) and No. 18 (Richards) were absent from the board on the first Dry Island, as well as the estimated five more times the policy was instituted.
In a phone interview Thursday, Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren confirmed that Richards and Carter hadn't put their numbers on the board, but said there had been others who declined. "We carry 23 players and there wasn't 23 numbers up there."
Holmgren was "really upset that this is out there. That's our locker room. Our inner sanctum. Our board. Someone's crossing a line here," in discussing the Dry Island."
We could rack our brains trying to figure out who the two anonymous sources are, or we could simply not buy into this pile of lapdog journalism.
This is nothing more than one writer having nothing better to do than dig up crap, report it, then sitback and watch as if he's aggresively disturbed a hive of hornets.
There's no hockey going on. No trade talk. No more prospect camp. The calm before the storm is enough to send itchy writers into a vagueness frenzy, so to speak. Dan Gross is to hockey what Perez Hilton is to celebrity news. In hindsight, he could not have any sources to these accusations at all. Think about it...
What's the difference between what he's reported and me telling you I've heard from two anonymous sources that your great uncle was a spaceman with four butt cheeks? Tell me I'm wrong and I'll tell you it's just what I have heard from sources.
And if Holmgren is upset about the so-called "Dry Island" being spotlighted, then why post anything about it at all? If anything, reporting this speculation could potentially be a death sentence for any more consulting time between Gross and Holmgren, or other organizational figures. So I'll take what Dan feeds us with a heavy dose of doubt.
Now, I realize I'm continuing to pass the news along the wire as well. What am I doing differently than what Gross has done?
Well, for one thing, this isn't exactly BREAKING news. Photos and reports of Richards and Carter drinking and being drunk during their personal night life has existed and kept them under the questionable eye for virtually their entire professional careers.
Also, I'm trying to burn down Gross' credibility. He's a gossip columnist. A muckraker. Richards nor Carter cared to comment. I didn't see anything from Laviolette confirming any of this. Only Holmgren elaborated that,
"it was "preposterous" that partying was factored into the decision to trade Richards and Carter. "As far as Mike and Jeff are concerned, we made two good hockey trades that will better suit us now and for the future. Columbus is happy, L.A. is happy and the Flyers are happy with the deal."
So after everything's said and done, Gross claims to have two NHL'ers that told him all about the Dry Island and how our front office was "concerned with the pair's drinking" habits, yet cannot prove any of it? Even Carter's agent, Rick Curran saw through the bullshit;
"You're telling me a number of accusations [that] they are out partying and not focused on hockey. For someone to suggest that behind doors without having the balls to come out publicly, consider it for what it is,"
We as fans do not know (and may never know) if the partying ways of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter had any influence whatsoever in the decision to trade their services. To form a strong opinion of the matter basing it entirely on stories like Dan Gross' is ignorant.
Not to mention this whole issue is tired. We've heard it over and over and over again.
"Oh look! A couple of single, 20-something year old male millionaires booze it up! What a surprise!"
Please. I'd be more stunned had they not partied.
But all of this doesn't matter. Why? Because Mike Richards and Jeff Carter no longer wear Orange & Black, and therefore they are no longer any of my concern. What they did or did not do off the ice while playing for the Flyers is moot. It does no one any good to constantly recriminate these two for their personal lives.
We have a very, very interesting (to say the least) season ahead of us filled with lots of potential, eagerness, and long awaited questions to be answered. Too much to look forward to.
Oh, and Dan Gross, according to a source I personally know....your writing wasted my time.