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Wild GM Still Firing Shots

The season may have ended on Thursday for the Minnesota Wild but the shots are still flying Saturday particularly between Wild General Manager Doug Risebrough and Ducks’ General Manager Brian Burke.

The story that ran in the Star Tribune was written by Michael Russo. The story reported that the animosity between the teams and especially the general managers began with a questionable punch from Anaheim’s Brad May that left Wild defenseman Kim Johnsson with a concussion. The story reported that May tried to smooth the situation over but was rebuffed by Johnsson.

The story reported the history of violence that has followed Burke around throughout his career and that Risebrough was not happy with the situation.

Risebrough, who said, "May's probably made a lot of those calls," insinuated that actions like May's follow Burke around, a subtle reminder that Todd Bertuzzi broke Steve Moore's neck when Burke managed the Canucks.

The story reported that Johnsson said that the attack was unprovoked and that he would have been much more willing to accept the circumstances of the fight if it had been provoked.

"I'm disappointed ... that stuff like that can happen," said Johnsson, who thought his cheekbone was broken. "I feel that's not the right way to do it. If he wants to fight, at least tell me that he's going to do something so I can protect myself."

I felt like the biggest issue with this story was being able to relate it back to hockey in general. This story shouldn’t have been about a fight between teams that escalated in the playoffs. I felt that it should have related to the more general history of hockey violence and physicality in the last couple of years. After all Todd Bertuzzi nearly killed another player when he violently attacked the player from behind, breaking his neck in the process of the unwarranted attack. That is what I thought could have been played up a little bit more.

A second version of a similar story ran in the Pioneer Press and was written by Brian Murphy. This story reported much of the same information that led to the verbal altercations between the two teams. However, this version did a much better job of relating the recent events to the past series that Burke and Risebrough have been involved in back in 2003. This version also reported the reaction of Johnsson after the event.

Recalling the scrum that developed at the end of Game 4, Johnsson did not realize it was May confronting him nor was he prepared for what happened.

Both of these versions were very well written and did a very good job keeping the reader’s interest. For the most part these stories were very similar but I felt that the Murphy version was more detailed and therefore more interesting to a sports fan like myself. Overall though, both stories were very acceptable and I felt like the length of both stories illustrated the importance of the issue and event for the readers.