History has repeatedly shown that politicians "spin" the truth. They do this to paint more favorable pictures of bad situations, and prevent losing grasp on that most important goal of maintaining voter confidence. In politics affairs become "relations," wars become "police actions" and one may even declare combat "victory" while his soldiers are still in the hot zone dodging enemy fire. That's why I never heed the word of politicians, and choose to always listen to the soldier in the hot zone.
So what does this have to do with hockey? As far as I'm concerned Bob Murray, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Anaheim Ducks, is nothing more than a politician. He may not be in the game of winning voter confidence, but he is in the game of winning the confidence of ticket buyers. Murray will say whatever is necessary to maintain his team's status as a desirable product. He may even state that a Ducks' loss was not his team's fault at all, but the result of dishonorable play by the opponent. He may spin tales of bad officiating and overlooked "dives." He may even have the nerve to say his team must fight fire with fire, and publicly encourage them to engage in dishonorable play as valid retaliation. On April 18th following the Ducks second loss to the Predators Bob Murray did say these things.
On the other hand, there is the soldier in the trenches, and one can not argue that in the combat zone of the NHL, Teemu Selanne is a respected soldier. While Bob Murray was spinning tales of unfair sportsmanship, Mr. Selanne gave a candid view from the field immediately after the Ducks' loss.
"We had no business being in that … game," Selanne said. "No business. They won boards. They won the battles. We were lucky to be in the game. It's very disappointing."
Mr. Selanne never mentioned overlooked calls or diving. The veteran owned up to the team's inabilities, and, though he did not mention it, was the one Duck who went full force in an effort to resuscitate his team during the game. He almost succeeded.
I for one pay a lot of creedence to Mr. Selanne's reactions and absolutely none to the ramblings of Bob Murray - hockey politician. Surprisingly, though, the words of Murray seemed to ring louder than those of Mr. Selanne, and Murray's opinions have become a hot topic of hockey news.
And while I pay no credence to Murray's words, as a Predators fan, I'm glad they drowned Selanne's conclusions. I also hope the Ducks themselves subscribe to the Murray spin, so they continue the style of play that cost them Sunday's game and perhaps add some of that Murray encouraged "cheating" before a group of officials whom I'm sure are infuriated by Murray's accusations.
Finally, as a Predators fan, I'd like to thank Bob Murray himself for allowing his team to rationalize a poorly played game, and for sequestering the spark Mr. Selanne was trying to ignite. Spin on, Bob! Encourage some more cheating and whatever other shenanigans you can think of that are not pure hockey. You may maintain the confidence of your fan base in Anaheim, but in the end true sportsmen will win. And the true sportsmen in that case will be the Nashville Predators.