Ryan Lambert

Trending Topics: Islanders are petty bullies; Damien Cox out

Ryan Lambert
Puck Daddy

Trending Topics is a column that looks at the week in hockey according to Twitter. If you're only going to comment to say how stupid Twitter is, why not just go have a good cry for the slow, sad death of your dear Internet instead?

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Tough week to be a New York Islanders fan for sure.

Scott Gordon got canned for losing 10 straight games, and many firmly believe he wasn't the real problem. Then because he said much the same thing as the rest of the world did about the coaching change, Chris Botta got his credential revoked by the organization, which said he was more interested in making the news than reporting it.

To top it all off, that 10-game losing streak stretched to 11 (Nigel Tufnel style) on Wednesday with another feckless performance against the Lightning before a dangerously indifferent crowd that was listed quite generously at 8,025.

All three had everyone on Long Island up in arms all week.

And people wonder: When is enough finally going to be enough? When is someone -- anyone -- going to force this organization, which for so long had been the butt of any number of jokes until the Coyotes' situation got really bad, to make some changes to the way it does business to spare everyone the embarrassment?

That kind of thinking is clearly misguided, because it presupposes that Charles Wang or the rest of the organization gives a rat's ass what you, the media, or even Islanders fans think should happen. Wang is a guy who's stated on the record that he regrets buying the team he currently owns.

Wang and Snow probably only care about one thing: being right.

(Coming Up: Damien Cox's Twitter break, #NYIexcuses and your pearls of BizNasty.)

This organization has been a disaster the last few years because Wang doesn't like to be criticized or own up to mistakes. That's why it took the team forever to axe Alexei Yashin(notes). And why Neil Smith resigned as GM after just over a month on the job (and indeed why he was replaced with a long-time Islander/completely unproven backup goalie/possible yes-man; that it worked out with Snow being surprisingly adept at his job is merely happenstance). And why Billy Jaffe, one of the best play-by-play guys in the sport, is doing rather ordinary studio analysis on Versus rather than narrating yet another interminable Islanders season.

No one can make Wang or Snow or anyone else feel like they made a bad move with the Gordon firing (which still doesn't make sense), and no one can make them see revoking Botta's press pass as being anything other than a good move for the organization, which frankly doesn't want to suffer the slings and arrows of another guy saying how poorly it's run.

But, in the latter case, let's say they do. Let's say the league steps in and says, "Whoa hey there Islanders, this guy worked for you for decades, and he's not exactly one of those mom's-basement bloggers. You can't revoke his press credentials just because he was critical of you." Then what?

Then Botta gets to start going to games at the Coliseum again. He can talk to players all he likes. He will probably even keep writing whatever he likes.

And really, they wouldn't care. The organization has shown in the past it's not above being childish and petty, and that comes from the top. Being forced to give Botta his credentials back won't make them any less of a bully going forward.

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Not everything about this Colin Campbell nonsense was negative

It sure was great to see the Colin Campbell debate devolve into yet another tedious blogs versus mainstream media slugfest.

In the red corner, was now world-famous blogger Tyler Dellow, who dug up the dirt on Marc Savard(notes) and Greg Campbell and the whole sordid affair. In the blue corner, the Toronto Star's columnist and resident blog-baiter Damien Cox, who's made a career the last few years out of telling bloggers they're garbage.

Cox assailed Dellow's reporting and his taking credit for breaking the email story (he didn't) when another Toronto Star reporter discussed them in October 2009. But this time, Cox took his blogger baiting too far, and was attacked from pretty much all sides.

A few days later, Cox posted a brief apology to Dellow and said he would be taking a bit of a Twitter break.

So even if the league ends up doing nothing -- and that's exactly what it's going to do -- at least a little good came out of this whole Colie-mail mess.


We may never know the real reason the Islanders revoked Botta's credential. But we can sure as hell assume, though, and some of the Twitterverse was more than happy to offer a couple theories about the rationale.

Here were some of the best:

@frsrmtthws: We're moving to Queens anyways

@kevshockey: We really felt that bloggers, writers, fans in attendance and at home who care are hurting our player's development.

@DownGoesBrown: Needed extra pressbox space for ECHL scouts who want a closer look at our roster.

@PuckCentral: Need to give bloggers something to talk about besides that DiPietro 15 yr contract

@DeanoTPS: Garth Snow keeps changing his name tag. Last week, Scott Gordon, this week Chris Botta

@SkinnyPPPhish: Loud typing from press box clearly audible on TV feed

@Sandwiches1123: Charles Wang has recently bought a sizeable amount of stocks in print media.

And your winner:

@Sean_Leahy: There's no such thing as bad PR

Pearls of Biz-dom

We all know that there isn't a better Twitter account out there than that of Paul Bissonnette(notes). So why not find his best bit of advice on love, life and lappers from the last week?

BizNasty on making the best of things: "K I'm blowing this pop stand. Talk to u tomorow folks. With warmup I played 21 minutes tonight. Who's the plug now? Boom."

If you've got something for Trending Topics, holla at Lambert on Twitter or via email. He'll even credit you so you get a thousand followers in one day and you'll become the most popular person on the Internet! You can also visit his blog if you're so inclined.

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