Glass Houses

Posted by: Mike Machnik

No, not the Billy Joel album. A perusal of the Sunday news brings this reminder about the old adage courtesy of the Union Leader of Manchester, N.H.

Kevin Provencher, UL beat writer for the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs, takes U.S. College Hockey Online to task in a column this morning for a recent article raising questions about the Monarchs’ parent club, the Los Angeles Kings, and their treatment of college hockey players.

Provencher writes,

College ice hockey’s worldwide web bible, U.S. College Hockey Online, earlier this season claimed through Michigan coach Red Berenson that the evil empire NHL is doing everything and saying anything to entice college players to leave school early (or not attend at all).

The story became a story, or so USCHO thought, when center Trevor Lewis bypassed Michigan altogether after he was drafted in the first round (17th overall) by the Kings this past summer. Lewis attended the Kings training camp and was assigned to the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL (where he already has 14 points in nine games). Lewis gives up his NCAA eligibility by playing in Canadian juniors.

The classy and well-respected Berenson spoke emotionally to USCHO after losing Lewis, and rightly so.

“I think (the Kings) took advantage of a kid who wasn’t getting good advice and signed him so that they own him, and they can do whatever they want,” said Berenson to USCHO.

But, had USCHO spoken with Lewis, Kings GM Dean Lombardi or assistant Ron Hextall, the story would have been dramatically different. We know Hextall wasted no time after the story came out and spoke directly with Berenson to inform the coach on how exactly the situation had played out.

Provencher mentions USCHO six times in his column.

There’s just one problem.

The story in question, the one that Provencher takes to town for being critical of the Monarchs’ parent club…wasn’t written by USCHO.

It was picked up off a wire service that USCHO and many other sites subscribe to called U-Wire, from the student newspaper at the University of Michigan, the Michigan Daily. For reference, here’s the story as it ran in the Daily.

Oops.

It’s hard to imagine how Provencher could not have known this, because it says right at the top of the article where it came from — just like stories picked up off the AP wire, Reuters, etc.

Maybe it was an oversight, or maybe if Provencher had spoken with USCHO, the story would have been dramatically different.

Nonetheless, it is what it is, and Provencher and the Union Leader certainly appear to owe our colleagues at USCHO quite a big apology.

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