While the Vancouver Canucks dropped their opening-round playoff game to Los Angeles on Wednesday night, the Twitter universe was buzzing after a one-line message on the Kings’ Twitter page.
“To everyone in Canada outside of BC (sic), you're welcome,” read the tweet following the Kings’ 4-2 win.
The Kings apologized through a spokesperson on Thursday.
"We encourage our digital team to be creative, interactive and to apply a sense of humor whenever possible," Kings spokesman Mike Altieri said. "To anyone who found it offensive we sincerely apologize."
The damage had already been done by that point, with the tweet drawing strong responses.
Fans quickly chimed in through various message boards, including at CBCSports.ca.
“It's like Christmas morning back when I was a kid when I heard at 535 this morning the Canucks lost. Bring on the whinging comments from Gillis, Vigneault and most of Vancouver,” wrote one with the moniker bigkeeper.
The tweet didn't sit well with senior members of the organization, especially after all of the attention it generated.
"We encourage our digital team to be creative, interactive and to apply a sense of humour whenever possible," said Mike Altieri, the Kings vice-president of communications and broadcasting. "To anyone who found it offensive we sincerely apologize."
The reply didn’t pass without some terse retorts from Canucks fans who continue to feel the effects of their team being constant whipping boys for the rest of the league — this despite the fact that the Canucks are two-time Presidents’ Trophy winners and boast some of the most skilled players in the NHL.
@k8senkow: Jerk move with that tweet. Apparently class is not valued in LA. Although maybe that's not news?
@gmilner: What a joke... Stay classy LA. You'll be golfing by the end of the month.
There was also plenty of reaction from fans with no allegiance to either Vancouver or Los Angeles.
At the beginning of the regular season, Hockey Night in Canada commentator Don Cherry criticized the Canucks, saying the Vancouver players are disliked because they whine at officials during his Coach's Corner segment back in October.With files from The Canadian Press