This is starting to become a league-wide epidemic, as the internet is finally starting to get players and writers in some hot water with management, even though there is absolutely no merit to what the New York Islanders have done to their beat-writer, Chris Botta.
In the midst of an eleven game losing streak, one that cost their head coach, Scott Gordon, his job, the Islanders have made another move here, one that is completely shocking and utter nonsense—they have pulled the credentials of their long-time writer, and a very knowledgeable one at that, Chris Botta, who has covered the team for years on Islanders Point Blank.
Though I was not a regular reader of Botta, I have heard nothing but good things coming from not only Islanders fans, but other writers and personalities around the league. In other words, he was a model of consistency. There was no official word from Islanders management as to why his credentials were removed, but it most likely has something to do with this Tweet he made the other day:
Scott Gordon was not perfect, but he is above some of the BS backlash simmering out there. Yep, he’s “an AHL coach.” Like Laviolette.
To be honest, I see nothing but 100% truth here. The disastrous season the Islanders have had cannot be pinned on Scott Gordon, who is coaching a shell of an already mediocre team, made worse by the fact that it seems Wang and Snow are letting the franchise die, being that they have nearly $17 million in cap space and have done absolutely nothing to help this team win.
Botta has since tweeted:
Isles floating that I interviewed players outside guidelines…really? Never told me. How bout a hearing? Stick to the issue. Shame.
Sounds like a cover-up if you ask me. It does not take a brilliant mind to realize that if this was the reasoning given by Islanders brass, they are essentially talking out of their behinds.
This is really a scary world we live in, where the truth can cost one their livelihood. Botta did not do anything but be honest, but apparently, the powers that be do not want any criticism of their team coming from one of their writers. In a way, I can understand that—the New York Rangers employ no one but mindless drones to do the writing for the team’s official site, writers that can make a 10-0 blowout loss look like a valiant, but failed attempt at glory. But nevertheless, the Islanders need to see the error of their ways here, and firing a much-loved writer is not the way to go about it. After all, how on earth can anyone sex up a team that is 4-11-3?
But this will not just cost Botta his job, there may be repercussions seen around the league. How many players have Twitter and become entertaining personalities through using them? There is already talk of instituting a player Twitter policy to protect teams from having players that like to speak their mind or play pranks on other people around the league.
The NHL is already a sport dying for some personality. You would think that they were be doing everything in their power to ensure that people hear of the interesting and downright funny players we have, but instead, they’ve been trying to axe it every step of the way.
Due to the loss of credentials, Islanders Point Blank has not “officially” shut down, but it cannot label itself a “team sponsored blog” any longer. That and the fact that Botta can no longer interview players and coaches and appear behind the scenes, may lead to the unfortunate termination of one of the better blogs on the net. Maybe some Islander fans should get a petition going to bring this guy back; I would certainly join it.