A men's league player in Chicago expressed concern for his safety after an armed robbery at the Hawks' practice facility. The arena's response? Banning the player for life.
Pass the Advil, please. File this story under things that hurt the brain, like watching Inception hung over.
Last week, three hockey players were robbed in the garage of the Chicago Blackhawks' practice facility, Johnny's Ice House. Three men approached the players, two carrying guns, and one of the players was pistol-whipped before the players turned over their wallets and keys. A nasty, unfortunate thing to happen at any arena, right? Right.
Enter another regular player at the Hawks' facility, Tim O'Shea. He wasn't a victim of the robbery but, seeing he is a living, breathing human and has conscious thought, he found it disquieting that players were attacked at his arena. He expressed concern to the facility's GM, Kevin Rosenquist, about safety going forward. Rosenquist responded with an email saying Johnny's Ice House was taking the matter seriously and working with police to apprehend the robbers. He also told O'Shea:
"As far as your concerns with safety it is the city of Chicago and these things happen all over the place. It is unfortunate but true. If you or your friends are questioning your association with the league due to safety concerns then I would suggest that perhaps the city is not for you and you should look into playing in the suburbs."
You tell him, Rosenquist. Apparently we should all move to farms, because the "city is not for us" if armed robbery makes us unhappy.
NBC Chicago interviewed O'Shea, and he discussed Rosenquist's email in a video segment, which you can watch here.
The facility's owner, Tom Moro, saw the piece. His response was, naturally, to wrist-slap Rosen- wait, what? Nope. Moro went the other way and banned O'Shea from the arena for life. What the hell? Moro's email to O'Shea, after O'Shea saw his name listed as suspended on the building's website:
"I informed both of your captains that you are no longer welcome in our buildings. You are a coward Mr. O'Shea, do not ever contact us again or we will inform the police that you are harassing our employees. I hope you enjoyed your 5 minutes of fame."
So O'Shea is a coward because he spoke out about armed robbery. Sheesh. Apparently he needs to learn hockey is about hard cellys and keeping your trap shut if you go into the corners and someone pulls a gun on you. Woof.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin