Wednesday, December 06, 2006

John Short On The Sather Blackball

For those that don't know, John Short has been an excellent sports journalist in Edmonton since Christ wore short pants. Apparently he's hanging up the mic, I caught a bit of Gregor's show on The Team last night and John Short was his guest for the whole thing, a tribute show I guess.

Short always had a complete hate on for Glen Sather, and I had never known why, until I heard this story. Apparently many years ago an agent informed Short of Sather's salary, and it was ringing in at a bit over $2 million. This was at a time when most GMs were making a fraction of that. A handful of highly paid guys like Bobby Clarke and Neil Smith were apparently earning around a million, and then a sharp drop to the pack. This was also a time when the Oilers were constantly pleading poverty, playing hardball with players at contract time (albeit unsuccessfully), and Sather was forever championing himself as the savior of small market NHL hockey.

So Short checked with the Oilers for confirmation, he received neither confirmation nor a denial, he DID receive a threat from Sather that if he printed the story that he would never have an interview with him again. Or any of the Edmonton players or coaches for that matter. He would be blackballed.

I just hate this shit. At least we know where Gretzky learned his tactics though.

Short mentioned something along the lines of not everyone obeying the blackball order. Does anyone remember any Short player interviews from the Sather era? Which players or coaches crossed the line to speak with Short on the record?


Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Sad to hear that Short's hanging it up but hopefully he sticks around just a little and attaches semi to the retirement tag. It's funny that he was blackballed because I'd say maybe in the '03 and '04 seasons I called this shot quite and bit and he was the only guy who'd let me rail on Salo and would actually agree with me. Eventually I'd tell him that Tommy was coddled because Lowe controlled the media and Short would argue with me and say that the media could say anything they wanted.

And maybe they could in THIS regime...well unless you're Matty of course;)

12/06/2006 12:44 pm  

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