Vancouver Canucks riot 2011, Repeat of 1994

Vancouver people rioted after the city’s NHL Canucks team lost to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals and there’s a reason we placed a year in the headline of this article. We wanted to assure that our readers didn’t confuse this year’s Vancouver fans riots with the riots in 1994 after the team lost a different bid for a Stanley Cup, that time losing to another American-based team, the New York Rangers.

While the riot in ’94 resulted in an estimated $1.1 million in damage to the downtown area and involved tens of thousands of people, riot police and tear gas, no estimate has been determined yet regarding this latest “party” by Canadian fans.

We hear how NHL fans are passionate, yes, but these Canucks’ fans once again showed they are violent and have total disregard for even some of their own after a loss.

The Vancouver Police Twitter account posted a few Tweets during the incident including:

“So sad watching our VPD cars on fire and how quickly people can turn from law abiding to law breaking”

And:

“VPD warning people to get out of downtown Vancouver as crowd control is about to escalate”

This scene in 2011 was reminiscent of the European soccer cities after wins or losses in the past. Those riots have prompted the sale of alcohol being altered during many matches there. Fires burned throughout the area, cars were overturned and stomped upon, fans clashed with riot police.

When Vancouver and NHL officials come out and make their cliche comment regarding “a few unruly fans” can ruin it for everyone. Watch the videos and decide for yourself if the definition of a few should mean the hundreds or even thousands of fans congregating in that riot area.

Like the Europeans, Canadians are known to drink heavy, including the players as shown here in a sports mugshot gallery that happens to contain a bunch of rowdy and (or) boozing players from around the league. Guys who beat up taxi drivers or can walk a straight line after blowing two or three times over the limit.

Yeah there have been riots in the United States as well but with our country having several sports each year with dozens of cities suffering losses, those incidents seem to have taken a back seat over the years…but not in Vancouver.

One thing these fans did get right was booing NHL Commish Gary Bettman the entire time he presented the Stanley Cup to the Bruins. Even in Winnipeg where the city was granted another NHL team, fans flocked to hear Bettman give a statement and booed him. Bettman, the man who runs the league that allowed the hijacking of the Atlanta Thrashers from fans in the South actually booed in that scenario!

Any other commissioner would have been considered a hero but Bettman’s track record is so poor over the years, fans continue to loathe the man in every opportunity.

The Vancouver people’s reaction to the loss is a classless move. But it comes from fans who watch what some have been calling a classless league. A league that allows the players to fight violently on the ice while calling it a “part of the game”.

A game that suspends one player for saying the words “sloppy seconds” but allows another to get away with violently slashing another player with his stick or attacking a man’s genitals from behind.

With this mentality, no wonder even Sponge Bob beat them out in TV ratings in the past.

Used with permission of the author.

Jay Donetelli is a Tampa-based freelance sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax. With an opinion sharper than an Ovechkin skate blade with the sting of an Ali jab, Donetelli has a loyal cult of readers who have found a way to love him.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

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