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Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault directs his players during team practice in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday April 14, 2009. The Canucks open their NHL Western Conference quarterfinal playoff series against the St. Louis Blues Wednesday in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck (DARRYL DYCK)
Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault directs his players during team practice in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday April 14, 2009. The Canucks open their NHL Western Conference quarterfinal playoff series against the St. Louis Blues Wednesday in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck (DARRYL DYCK)

Canucks, pucks and politics Add to ...

For starters, the mayors of Chicago and Vancouver have a bet on the Blackhawks-Canucks series.

These sorts of wagers are now so trite and clichéd they make you doubt humankind's capacity for innovation, but if you must know what's at stake between Mayor Gregor Robertson (Vancouver) and Mayor Richard M. Daley (Chicago) you can see one side of it here:

http://mayor.cityofchicago.org/mayor/en/press_room/press_releases/2010/april_2010/0430_blackhawks_wager.html.

Here's betting that Mayor Robertson would prefer some of what the Daley family is famous for. A refresher is here:

http://www.slate.com/id/91350.

On another political note, Pierre Trudeau rolled over in his grave this afternoon when official bilingualism was set back decades.

Vancouver's Alain Vigneault, a francophone, was winding down his daily press briefing when a team official declared that the coach would answer some questions en français.

There was one problem, the inquisitor was from CBC Vancouver and does not speak French.

The reporter -- and we won't identify him, other than to say his name rhymes with Fhane Soxman -- was doing the bidding of his French-language colleagues, Radio-Canada, but a playful Vigneault wasn't about to let this anglophone off the hook.

"I'll ask the questions in English," the reporter said.

"No, no, no," the coach replied. "If you want me to speak in French, than get the French out here.

"Come on. Go back to that high-school French and let's go here. I'll answer in French only if you ask me questions in French."

"It's going to be a long afternoon," the reporter replied.

"Tell me," the coach rebutted, "did you ask Joel [Quenneville, the Hawks head coach]the same thing? Joel speaks French."

Vigneault went on to instruct the group that his counterpart's name is pronounced: "jo-elle, quen-ville."

"It's français," the coach quipped.

Follow on Twitter: @mattsekeres

 

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