Are Flyers fans going to harass the Blackhawks with a 'flash mob'?


Philadelphia is a city with quite the … rowdy sports reputation. It’s unfair to allow a few bad apples soil the bunch/other cliche, but history keeps repeating itself in Cream Cheese Land. Fair or not, few American fan bases see this level of regular hooliganism.

Take, for instance, this story floated by Frank Seravali from word is that there’s a possibility a “flash mob” will gather to harass the Chicago Blackhawks on their way to the Wachovia Center.

FOX 29 reported a notice brewing on Facebook and Twitter today about Flyers fans preparing for a flash mob this afternoon in Center City to attack the Blackhawks’ bus as it leaves for the Wachovia Center.

The group allegedly plans to arrive at the Four Seasons, at Logan Square on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, to cause havoc. A group of bikers – though it was not clear whether bicyclists or motorcyclers would take part – are to follow Chicago’s bus on its route to South Philadelphia.

The Flyers will not comment on the issue, other than to say that the Blackhawks’ bus will have a full police escort to the arena.

Similarly, the Philadelphia Police have acknowledged the threat but will not comment on specific deterrents, as per department policy. They are prepared to take action.

Personally, I would be a wee bit more concerned if a group of bikers harassed me rather than people on bicycles. (Unless I was a bus driver. Then I’d be worried about accidentally rolling one of them over. Bikers make way more noise.)

This hasn’t exactly been a banner summer for Flyers fans trying to prove their civility. Vandalizing a Montreal reporter’s car was bad enough, but if this flash mob actually forms and does some damage, it would be another black eye on the face of Philly sports fans. Seravali provides more on flash mobs.

As the New York Times said in a recent story, flash mobs are part bullying and part running of the bulls. They have caused thousands of dollars worth of damage on multiple attacks on South Street.

Then again, if the turnout is anything like the “Fire Sather” rally, the city of Philadelphia and the Blackhawks don’t have much to worry about. My guess is this movement won’t go very far, but you never know when it comes to the City of Brotherly Love.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner)

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
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The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?

Goalie nods: Jones makes Sharks debut against ex-Kings mates

Martin Jones
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News and notes from around the crease…

Jones goes for San Jose

Martin Jones, acquired by the Sharks this summer, will make his first regular-season start for the club tonight against his old team — the Los Angeles Kings.

Jones, 25, spent the last two years in L.A. as Jonathan Quick‘s understudy. He was flipped to Boston at the NHL Entry Draft, then shipped to San Jose. Sharks GM Doug Wilson wasted little time locking Jones in — signing him to a three-year, $9 million extension — and Jones wasted little time locking up the No. 1 gig, putting together a stellar preseason.

For the Kings, Quick will get the start in goal.

Markstrom out for Vancouver

Jacob Markstrom wasn’t scheduled to start for the Canucks tonight — No. 1 Ryan Miller is getting the call — but the Swedish ‘tender won’t even dress when his club takes on the Flames in Calgary.

Markstrom suffered a lower-body injury at practice this week and is being held out of tonight’s action. In his place, the Canucks called up AHL netminder Richard Bachman, who’ll serve as Miller’s backup.

For the Flames, Karri Ramo is the opening-night starter.


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