Ben Scrivens is a native Albertan, but despite having roots in Edmonton, when the netminder was traded to the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday, many assumed he probably wasn't all that jazzed about the homecoming.
For one thing, going from a contender to, uh, not a contender is never fun, and swapping the LA Kings' defense for the Oilers' defense is a little like swapping Mulder and Scully for Doggett and Reyes.
For another, who wants to leave Los Angeles for Edmonton, and in January, at that? I wouldn't. And after a quick glance at the Twitter timeline of Jenny Scrivens, Ben's wife, you'd be hard-pressed to say she wouldn't either.
— Jenny Scrivens (@JenScrivs) December 24, 2013
Jenny's on the right.
This was one of several tweets rounded up by Sean Gentille of the Sporting News that made Jenny's fondness for LA quite clear.
Pivoting off that, Antony Vasquez-Peddie of Slam! Sports did the same. “Jenny couldn’t have been happier after her husband was traded to the Kings last off-season after spending three years in Toronto with the Maple Leafs," Vasquez-Peddie wrote. "Now that she’s headed back to the Great White North, however, she has to deal with awful things like fall, snow and ice.”
But on Thursday, Scrivens lashed out at the way his wife was being characterized, with Vasquez-Peddie and Edmonton fans receiving the brunt of his anger. From a series of tweets:
"Hey @AVPreports, classy move writing a slam story by cherry-picking tweets my wife sent to make it seem like she doesn't like Edmonton. You're gutless. And to those of you who commented on the article or tweeted at her about how she's lazy (even though she's not in Edmonton now because she has a fulltime job in LA she can't just up and leave), or that she married rich (even though we got married while I was playing in the AHL), or that she's dumb (she's an Ivy League and graduate school grad), just know I'm embarrassed [...] to say that you are an Edmontonian. Way to make my family feel welcome.
Vasquez-Peddie immediately responded, explaining that it was a tongue-in-cheek blog, not an attack -- little more than "gossipy clickbait" meant to provide levity. But by then, the whole Internet was mad at him.
Scrivens, meanwhile, got immediate support, including from former teammate Tyler Bozak:
All in all, I'd have to say that it's a strange situation.
On the one hand, it really is pretty low to drag a player's wife into things, but on the other hand, you can understand why Oilers fans, of all the fanbases, might be a little more inclined to pay attention to the sentiments of player wives. After all, the lone bright spot for this team over the last decade was the season Chris Pronger spent in Oil Country -- a year that saw the team make the Stanley Cup Final.
And then he asked out, in large part because his wife, Lauren, pressed him to do so.
The Oilers have been in need of a true starter for awhile, and if Scrivens turns out to be that guy, one assumes they're going to want him to stay. But the small collection of tweets was enough to see the threat of another Pronger situation looming over them. As Vasquez-Peddie said, it was "sort of an 'Uh oh, here we go again' moment."
For what it's worth, Jenny actually expressed her excitement for the move:
Hopefully that settles that.
And really, once again I'd point out the real threat to Scrivens' happiness is the team in front of him. In his Oilers' debut, Scrivens faced 33 shots and surrendered 4 goals in a 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild. After the game, he answered questions about adjusting to his new, less talented team. From the Edmonton Sun:
“Every team is different,” [Scrivens] said. “I think the biggest thing to take out of this game is that we did so many things well in our own zone. It was just a couple of mistakes. They seemed somewhat innocuous at times, but those are the ones that end up in your net.
[...] “I don’t really want to compare one team to another team because you’re trying to compare 20 different entities to 20 other entities.”
Yes, but the 20 entities in Los Angeles are better than the 20 here.
That about sums it up.