Throughout the province of British Columbia, the newspaper 'The Province' is known to be fraught with sensationalism and questionable journalism from time to time. Look no further than Ben Kuzma's article about Pavol Demitra and his wife's condition.
In case you're late to this story, Pavol Demitra missed some time earlier this year due to a serious health condition that his wife was struck with. Pavol took a little bit of time away from the game to look after his family - what any respectable person who values his priorities would do.
Unfortuantely for Pavol and the rest of the Demitra's, his wife's condition has returned.
"We had 911 on the speed dial and she was in the hospital a couple of times," said Demitra. "Obviously when you have to call 911, you're very scared."
While Demitra wouldn't provide ailment details, his wife was also hospitalized in early February with a reaction to a prescription that initially looked like she may have a heart problem.
Certainly anyone with a family would recognize the valor in Demitra's actions. In life, work comes second behind family.
"It was very tough and very hard on the family," said Demitra, who has a son, Lucas and daughter, Zara. "They're still young enough, but they know mommy is sick and they don't understand how serious. When it came back the second time, you start thinking that it's more serious and you have to take the time.
The Canucks clearly understand this. "I think everybody understands," Demitra said. "It was very serious, I'm glad I'm playing for a great organization and they understand our family issues. They sent food and flowers and they took care of everything. I'm glad I'm playing for these guys and hopefully I can get back to my hockey and help — especially in the playoffs."
Everyone understands, right? Not Province writer Ben Kuzma:
As much as the Canucks need Demitra to return to Olympic form after granting him time to deal with the crisis, his absence could have sparked scrutiny. It may seem harsh, but if his wife was having the proper medical attention, why couldn't Demitra turn his attention to the Canucks?
Or how about Tony Gallagher, who appeared on the TEAM 1040 yesterday, mocking the Canucks saying that Shane O'Brien was getting scrutinized and controlled while Demitra was allowed to come and go as he pleased lately.
Maybe he had a good reason.