Eric McErlain recently highlighted a bit of Penguin hypocrisy. After Penguins fans raised holy hell in 2001 when Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis restricted playoff ticket sales to the local DC fan base, the Penguins are now doing the same thing as per the Ticketmaster fine print:
Orders by residents outside of PA, OH, WV, MD, NY, NJ, DE, VA and the District of Columbia will be canceled without notice and refunds given.
Leonsis remembers the reaction to his strategy in 2001, and the irony of the most vocal complainers doing the same thing seven years later:
We were raked over the coals in the Pittsburgh media for our efforts. Furthermore, a Department of Justice attorney called me. He hailed from Pittsburgh and threatened a lawsuit against us for discriminatory business practices. We, of course, heeded the warnings and stopped this practice. This is situational ethics at is finest.”
The tactic is not inherently bad — though a local-area “pre-sale” would be better than an outright restriction on out-of-town purchasers. But the Penguins’ front office using the same tactic that they gnashed their teeth about in 2001 . . . well, that smacks of hypocrisy. They complained and threaten legal action back then, and now take the very same objectionable approach when it suits them.
This situation is reminiscent of Penguins head coach Michel Therrien blaming poor officiating for his team’s 0-2 deficit. Therrien apparently does not not see the irony of accusing Detroit’s netminder Chris Osgood of diving while defending Sidney Crosby from the same accusations in prior rounds and the regular season. “Situational ethics” seem part and parcel of the Penguins’ plan of late, though it isn’t serving them particularly well on the ice.