What the 2011 Stanley Cup Championships brought us was more than just the reputation of the Vancouver Canucks as choke artists. It also brought to the mainstream a fear that an epic collapse by a Canadian team in Canada's favourite sport can lead to massive and violent riots.
When the Toronto Maple Leafs were knocked out of the NHL playoffs in a Game 7 collapse to the Boston Bruins last week, there was a tense fear in the city that fans would break stuff. They didn't. Although the city did have to be cleaned up a bit.
In Vancouver, they are still cleaning up from the riot that followed the Canucks' Stanley Cup finals loss. More than 200 people have been tracked down and face charges stemming from the melee. On Wednesday, two men were sentenced to jail for attacking a man and destroying a downtown store.
The Province reports that Robert Timleck was sentenced to seven months in jail and Nathan Blake was sentenced to eight months for their roles in the riot.
According to The Province, the two men threw a 10-foot pole through the window of a downtown Hudson's Bay store and joined 13 others who brutally attacked and beat a man who had tried to stop the vandalism.
They are the first two people to be charged in the beating of Robert Mackay, but 13 more await trial. That attack is just one fire that burned that night.
More than five dozen other people have been sentenced for participating in the riot.
According to a Vancouver police website dedicated to investigation the riot, police have recommended more than 1,000 charges and have identified 325 people they would like to have charged.
Of those, the Crown has charged 221 people with a total of 678 charges in connection to the riot.
Pictures of 215 unidentified people are also posted on the site in the hopes the public will help identify them.
Two years after the fact, this is a mess that is being actively cleaned up.
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"Our diligence and thoroughness will ensure that we lay the highest number of charges and obtain the greatest number of convictions with the most severe penalties," Insp. Les Yeo says in a statement.
"We will not rest or bow to pressure until all the evidence has been examined. We owe it to those who lost property and others who suffered losses to do this right."
The Globe and Mail reports that late last month, police recommended another charges against 34 charges against 10 other people, including one person as young as 15.
Those charges would include some related to the complete destruction of a police cruiser.
The assault of a Good Samaritan, the demolition of a police cruiser and $4 million worth of destruction to Vancouver’s downtown. And after all that, a sharp intake of breath every time a Canadian hockey team is eliminated from the playoffs.
Canada is still paying the price for that dumb riot. Thankfully, the rioters are as well.