Who tells hockey writers to die in Aurora-like shooting massacres? Pediatric doctors, apparently

Hockey debates get heated. Especially on the Internet, where everyone muscles up behind their keyboards and say things that would get us punched in the face at a bar. But if there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed, it appears someone located it and leaped over it in a conversation with Adrian Dater of the Denver Post on Tuesday.

Read from the bottom up:

Dave Tippett, the target of Dater’s snark, is the head coach the Phoenix Coyotes. The “@BabyDocScott” is the account of Scott Schnee, a doctor who works at Banner Health Clinic in Mesa, Arizona.

“Go catch a movie in Aurora” is a reference to the July 20, 2012, mass shooting at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado. “Jessica” is a reference to Jessica Ghawi a.k.a. Redfield, an aspiring hockey writer based near Denver that Dater eulogized on his Denver Post blog.

So yeah … this is pretty deplorable. South Stands Denver has more.

Schnee’s account was soon set to private and then was deleted. KTAR.com and host Peter Burns saved a series of subsequent tweets from the account that indicated it was his way “of telling Dater to drop dead” and that “Colorado as a very soft underbelly.”

KTAR received a statement from Banner Health on the matter:

We are currently gathering details on this situation. Please know that Banner Health takes this matter very seriously, and will provide information, as appropriate.

Look … Dater has the unique ability to get under one’s skin in a debate – Lord knows it’s happened to me before. Coyotes fans are a touchy lot too – Lord knows I’ve seen that vitriol coming back my way, too.

But this isn’t just crossing the line – this is eclipsing it like Matt Duchene on that blown offside goal.

I’d rather not see someone lose their job over an deplorable chirp on the Internet. But I would like to see an apology and a donation to a victims’ fund. Provided, of course, that we don’t end up with another “I was hacked!” mea culpa.