Since the Wild drafted Mikko Koivu, every time the schedule happens to brings Saku Koivu to Minnesota or Mikko wherever Saku is playing, that becomes the story. No one really cares, but that's the story.
Look, I get it. Coming up with story lines isn't always easy. Before the Guillaume Latendresse for Benoit Pouliot, find a story line between the Montreal Canadiens and the Wild, I dare you. The media needs to fill column inches, air waves, TV screens, and yes, websites with something. Hell, we'll latch on to just about anything if it will get people to read.
Still, in the long run, it matters so very little that it doesn't even matter to the people who write about sports, which ultimately don't matter, or even to hockey fans who love a sport that ultimately doesn't matter even in the sports world. Still, we find the stories, and we make them into bigger stories than they need to be.
When Brent Burns was traded to the San Jose Sharks, we all knew it would be a story the first time the two teams face each other. After the Martin Havlat for Dany Heatley trade, it became even more of a "mark your calendar" event. Still, even with all of the story lines, the interweb has jumped on the most non-story story of the entire situation.
What happened? After the jump.Brent Burns was asked about the game against the Wild. Shocker, right? Of course, there are two choices here for a player who has been traded.
One, give the cliche, "Well, obviously there is some emotion, but I'm a Shark now, and I wish them the best, except for tonight" crap we hear from every other player who has ever been asked that question. Then a non story becomes not only a non-story, but a boring, sports cliche non-story. We see none of the personality of the person. Something, I think I have read a time or two, that hockey fans have asked for more of.
Two, he can be himself. He can poke some fun at his former teammates, many of them his very good friends, and do something he used to do every single day when they shared a locker room. Give them grief. He can be human, and show his human side.
He chose the latter. People here in Minnesota and across the NHL leaped on it and ran with it. What did he say?
From San Jose Mercury News:
"I've been watching how they've been doing, hoping that they would lose every game," he continued. "You have to be competitive to reach this level and I'm a pretty intense guy. And when a team doesn't want you, you sure don't want them to go 82-0."
And one more: "I have a lot of friends there and you want them to score six goals and lose."
"But it doesn't always work out," he added. "Now it's like an ex-girlfriend. You really don't want her to get the white-picket fence and the great job. It's like a good country song."
OH MY GOD! BURNZIE HATES THE WILD!!!!!111 Rain down hell upon his head. Call him a traitor, a turn coat, a bitter former employee that clearly hates every one in the organization. Don't read the rest of the article, it doesn't matter. Brent Burns is a jerk. Burn your #8 sweater in effigy, and weep silently into your pillow about how much you always hoped he would retire in Iron Range Red.
Nope, don't read the rest of the article. Especially the part where it reads:
Burns, who had a smile on his face, didn't speak with any bitterness. In fact Burns talked at length Wednesday about how much he liked living in Minnesota.
Burns was kidding. He was joking, people. He was being... well, he was being Brent Burns.
Where did this animosity come from that a reporter sends out a couple of tweets, posts a blog, and our fan base jumps up and down, screaming and yelling about Burns being such a terrible person? Did he do something in his past that would tell you this was anything except him having fun? For the love of everything holy, he posted a picture of himself with some sort of robotic sex pants on.
The guy was having fun. You want more proof? How about this, when I mentioned my take on Twitter, from Wild PR guy Ryan Stanzel:
@ReynoldsSBN and the fact he's outside our hotel right now probably concurs your thought
Burns was visiting his friends, mere minutes after "bashing" them to the media. I'm sure they all got together and discussed how much they hate each other and wish each other nothing but misery. Or... perhaps they got together and gave each other crap like hockey players do. Like friends do.
Maybe it's bulletin board material. I don't buy it, but maybe it is. There are about five guys who might see Burns' comments as motivation. I'm thinking Heatley and Devin Setoguchi have their own motivation for this game. Mike Lundin won't be playing. But hey, if Darroll Powe and Nick Johnson need that extra bump, so be it. Post the comments.
The rest of the guys in the locker room either played with Burns last year, or certainly learned from him at some point in their careers. They know him. They worked with him. They shot barbs back and forth at each other. They have don't cut your hair bets with each other.
So, we can jump up and down and yell and scream about how much Burnzie hates Minnesota, and criticize him for saying the team didn't want him. Or... we can listen to immortal words of Fog Horn Leghorn.
I say, I say, it's just a joke son.
I enjoyed the comments. They made me laugh. Just Burnzie being Burnzie.
Big game tonight. Stay focused. We can talk about how crazy it is that the Koivu's play each other on Sunday. How nuts is THAT?!?