The Los Angeles Kings have apologized for a flippant tweet from their official Twitter feed that mocked the Vancouver Canucks.
"We encourage our digital team to be creative, interactive and to apply a sense of humour whenever possible. To anyone who found it offensive we sincerely apologize," Mike Altieri, the Kings' vice-president, communications and content, said in an e-mail message Thursday afternoon.
Earlier, Altieri indicated the Kings were "addressing" the situation, although he did not say if the staff member handling the Twitter feed would be disciplined.
"To everyone in Canada outside of B.C. – you're welcome," was posted at 1:26 a.m. Thursday morning by @LA Kings, which is operated by the team. The tweet followed the Kings' 4-2 win over the Canucks in the opening game of their NHL Western Conference first-round series.
The tweet was in reference to the Canucks' lack of popularity outside of their home province. It quickly generated responses, the first from a user named @canadakate123 that said, "@LA Kings seriously, show some class. That's rude. If you win I will congratulate you. If you lose I will cheer my team but not mock you."
However, many people felt it was a tempest in a teapot and congratulated the Kings for having a sense of humour.
The Kings tweeter showed a cheekiness that is never seen from official NHL team feeds. During the game, there was a tweet about a confrontation between Canucks centre Ryan Kesler and Mike Williams of the Kings that said it "looks like a gust of wind sent Kesler tumbling."
Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault had little to say about the controversy when pressed by reporters on Thursday.
"I don't care about the Twitter world," he said. "I care about the Stanley Cup playoffs. We're going to focus on Game 2."
With a report from David Ebner