Canucks Sedins and Simpson

The Canucks PR Lies, Dishonesty And Blackmail; Vendetta Audio

Canucks PR Dishonesty

It always feels ironic to be interviewing Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet or goalie Thatcher Demko at an NHL sanctioned and credentialed event, knowing I’m not allowed to do the same thing in Vancouver.

The latest example was at the All-Star festivities in Toronto. Credentialed early last month as I’ve always been, just like for a Stanley Cup Final, an NHL Draft, or a Winter Classic.

Or interviewing the Canucks in a different NHL building, like in Seattle three weeks ago.

But not in Vancouver, where the vendetta continues.

Here’s the “9 reasons” why, as told to me by the Canucks “Director, Communications” Craig MacEwen, last February. It’s a lie with a little blackmail thrown in.

I did promise the actual audio …


Actually not. Try dishonest and excruciatingly unethical.

(transcript at bottom of this page below podcast – it’s astonishing)

I wonder where this fits into the “NHL guidelines” that are so often brought up as an excuse to not let me into the building as media. The Canucks media guidelines are special, as elaborate and detailed as anyone has ever seen in NHL history.

He or they also appear to spend a lot of time on their game-night seating chart. Aside from putting interns into professional press row, the Canucks conveniently lead the NHL in generic and anonymous press box listings whenever the need arises.

Here’s what it looked like on November 18th when as a beat writer, a Pro Hockey Writers Association member covering the Seattle Kraken, I was denied entry while the other four writers who requested spots through the Kraken PR staff, as I did, were given seats. One of them, from an essentially unknown, unaffiliated outlet, and non-PHWA, told me there were empty seats next to him. Of course there were.

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Canucks media seating chart – 11-18-23, hosting Seattle

A lie in written form. And the pseudo-standards or guidelines that kept me out, apparently didn’t apply to everyone else.

If you can’t expand the chart, just know there are five “Canucks social media staff” spots next to the road media (a.k.a., a couple empty seats) and a total of 9 chairs (6 and 3 elsewhere) for “Kraken players/staff”. Those seats magically become available when other division clubs, particularly the Canadian ones, come to town.

Why It Matters

So why is this important. Because if it can happen to me, someone who communicates with and interviews most NHL coaches, captains, GM’s and executives on a routine basis and has for decades, it can happen to anyone.

It comes down to motive. Is MacEwen just a pawn, or is this indeed a personal vendetta? Many folks have suggested to me that the whole thing was done to benefit my competition, his close buddies, whose ass I was starting to kick just about the time my ban went into effect in October of 2022 after I diligently covered training camp and the previous season.

Think about that. Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi almost killed Steve Moore in 2004 and ended up getting what, a 40 to 60 game suspension, wedged around the lock-out? I’ve been prevented from making a living in BC for 140 games now, and I’m not even allowed to know why —

By the way, Canucks President Jim Rutherford, who I first met decades ago, has been aloof, yet loosely supportive of the ban. He’s passes the buck. I mean, he just signed a multi-million dollar contract extension, why should he give a shit about the fact he’s helped to bankrupt a local business?

He apparently doesn’t. He has his go to guys, reporter(s) who he talks to and feeds information, just like he did in Pittsburgh. F’ free market, free speech and competition, contrary to him saying last year he “believes in free speech” (in attached article).

It also matters because as journalistic integrity and quality goes down the shitter, as I’ve witnessed first hand in Vancouver and elsewhere, it’s always nice to have another old school person around who can ably handle TV, radio, and writing.

I wish the players, who I like and respect across the board, and the coaching staff, for whom I feel the same, and the great Canucks fans at Rogers Arena, all the best. Sincerely. There’s a remarkable, unique energy found nowhere else.

As for the trolls who spread hate while knowing nothing about me … Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelis said it best … “The opinion of 10,000 men is of no value if none of them knows anything about the subject.”

It would have been fun to get to know you fans a bit better, and vice versa. I’m very confident you would have found the content and presentation entertaining and unique to the market, had it been allowed.

Hmmm, maybe someday …


— The Kraken staff has been first class, as has Vancouver’s assistant PR person, honest to a fault.

— Here’s my bitch and moan rant from 12 months ago with more remarkable examples and details.

— Please enjoy my youtube channel for its delightful NHL variety, as many Canucks fans have, thank you. 

“Simmer and Gabby 12 (abridged)

Audio transcript from above:

“I also, Rob, I also have 9 things that you have done …” he said.

“Nine?!” I responded.

“9 things in a file that are sitting here … no I don’t have to sent them to you …”


“I can sent them, I can send them to the National Hockey League. You can just go, go to every other rink.”

“It doesn’t matter, you’ve cost me tens of thousands of dollars,” I pleaded.

“Like I said, you’re welcome to go to any other rink, but you don’t meet the criteria here.”

“That’s not how it works.”

“That is how it works; that is how it works Rob. It is how it works. You’ve cost yourself money by missteps,” MacEwen said.

“What are they, I don’t know what they are,” I said.

“It doesn’t matter that you don’t know what they are,” he said.



“That’s the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” I said.

“Why do I have to justify to you, why you can’t come in, and why you don’t meet the criteria,” MacEwen said. “and there are nine other things that we have.”

“Really!? What are they?”

“I don’t have to supply that to you, all I have to do is go to the National Hockey League and supply that to them,” the answer came. “I didn’t want to go that route with you and have other problems for you in other rinks.”

“I don’t have any problems in any other rinks,” I said, stating the obvious.

“Well, if we were to give them all the other stuff, perhaps you would.”

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.