Just two days prior to the 2011 Stanley Cup rematch between Boston and Vancouver, former Bruin Mark Recchi expressed regret for saying the Canucks were the most arrogant and hated team he’d ever played against.
“I probably shouldn’t have said anything and I wish I wouldn’t have, but that’s what happened and that’s how the series was,” Recchi told The Province. “People know I love B.C. and Vancouver and it was an unbelievable series but there was a lot of dislike on both sides. And it wouldn’t have been a Stanley Cup final if there wasn’t that much dislike — we really didn’t like each other.”
Recchi made his comments on Boston’s 98.5 the Sports Hub back in November. Since then, the trend of dissing the Canucks on local radio — then catching heat for it, then backing off — has really caught on.
In December, Chicago forward Dave Bolland went on WGN Radio and called Daniel and Henrik Sedin “the sisters” before adding Vancouver “[has] a lot of weirdos there.” When his comments came under scrutiny, Bolland explained they were tongue-in-cheek and that he had the utmost respect for the Sedins and the organization.
After his comments, Recchi also had some ‘splaining to do — mostly trying to justify how he could rank the Canucks as the most hated opponent of his 22-year career.
“There was a lot of passion and fire. We had a tough time in the Tampa series because we couldn’t find people to dislike,” Recchi said. “[The Canucks] were a confident group and they handled themselves that way on the ice. We thrived on it because we didn’t like them because of that. It gave us that little extra motivation.”
Publicly, the Canucks haven’t been as responsive to Recchi as they were to Bolland, though defenseman Kevin Bieksa couldn’t resist throwing in his two cents.
“I just don’t get it,” Bieksa said (back in November). “Isn’t [Recchi] retired? Tell him to go play a round of golf or take a nap.”