You’ve got your Hatfield and McCoy’s, Stalin vs Trotsky, Diefenbaker and Newman, Shelbyville against Springfield and of course the war time brawl for it all between Generals Patton and Montgomery. All of which are worthy titleholders for feuds of the ages.
But for hockey fans it may be a brand new era of bitter acrimony as the NHL wanders into feudal territory this year with the Burke/Lowe dispatches. Forget Dave Keon with the Leafs, Bobby Orr and Alan Eagleson or Winnipeg Jets fans and Gary Bettman.
Burke and Lowe seem to be taking animosity to a whole new level as they purge their souls of their angst. If Shakespeare were still kicking around this one might make a dandy play.
The two GM’s who it is reputed were once good friends, have certainly decided to let loose with both guns blazing in the last two weeks. This grudge was born with a Kevin Lowe offer sheet by the Oilers over the summer, on one of Mr. Burke’s most coveted of Ducks, Dustin Penner.
Burke has since that day taken every opportunity provided to lay a tongue lashing on his rival executive in the NHL lodge.
Consider some of these offerings from the sunshine state, some going back as far as June:
An Act of Desperation
The colossal stupidity of what the Edmonton Oilers did this past summer
Countered with a couple of hand grenades from the land of the Oil:
The Wizard of Oz
The experience, while vitriolic at times has provided a bonus for Lowe who in the heat of the verbal jousting back and forth with Burke, found some time to sign a new contract extension with the Oilers.
And the main attraction of the testosterone boys, Dustin Penner has managed to keep his sense of humour about it all (while busy counting his millions we assume), suggesting that perhaps he should have his Stanley Cup ring appraised upon its arrival from Anaheim, just in case!
Burke touched on the controversy today on CKNW's Bill Good show today from 11 am to 11:30 pm, though he wasn't near as quotable today as he's been in the last couple of weeks.
The boisterous feud has been good copy for the newspapers and made for quality clips for the radio and television sport broadcasts, but perhaps Gary Bettman is wondering why two of his highest profile GM’s are involved in a Grade 8 style grudge match.
Perhaps he needs to haul them both into the office to go over some feud film.
We suggest something from the collective works of Maroon Films, to show just how out of control this all could get, unless cooler heads prevail! Then again it could all make for a wonderful Stanley Cup divisional final in May, should both teams find time to play hockey after all the feuding is played out...