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AVALANCHE/SHARKS START STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF SERIES IN CA
Published April 22, 1999
The Avalanche and Sharks agreed to postpone Games One and Two of their Stanley Cup Playoffs due to the tragedy at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO. The games scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday will now be played Saturday and Monday at the San Jose Arena. In addition, the Rockies postponed Wednesday's game against the Expos and now leave Denver for a 13-game road trip (THE DAILY). PAINFUL PROCESS: Avalanche President & GM Pierre Lacroix: "[Ascent CEO] Charlie Lyons said: 'We're close to this community. We have to act like all these kids are our kids.' We've agreed to go and start the series in San Jose in due respect to the situation. It's our way to show our community our respects to the situation" (DENVER POST, 4/22). Sharks GM Dean Lombardi: "We couldn't have played (last night), we couldn't have played tomorrow (tonight), either. We talked about playing Saturday, but I don't even think that's good." Sharks G Mike Vernon: "This incident is devastating, it's the only appropriate thing to do. Sports is a very minute part of our society" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/22). Rockies co-Owner Dick Monfort: "It's a hard time to get up and cheer and yell. I first thought we would play (Wednesday) and get the healing going, but it is obvious the time is not right." Rockies Chair Jerry McMorris: "As we get into this it is more and more tragic and more and more overwhelming. The mood (Wednesday) is clearly the same or even worse than (Tuesday)" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 4/22). McMorris: "We're exploring ways we can reach out to the community -- the school, the parents, the students, the S.W.A.T. team -- because everybody is deeply involved in this and we're going to try to do the right thing. ... Our players have gotten more upset as this has gone along" (CO Springs GAZETTE, 4/22). Expos Manager Felipe Alou: "Right now, you don't worry about doubleheaders. I'm worried about society, about the children" (DENVER POST, 4/22). IN REMEMBRANCE: Starting today, the Rockies will wear a Columbine High patch with the school's colors and script on their right sleeve. The Avalanche plan to wear a similar patch as well on the sleeves of its sweaters. The Nuggets will feature a "small patch on the shoulder area" of their uniforms. The Nuggets and Avalanche "also plan to donate money from their community fund to victims and their families" (Clay Latimer, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 4/22). THE RIGHT MOVE: In Denver, Bob Kravitz writes that yesterday was "no time to fall back on the halfhearted platitudes about providing a wounded community with two, three hours of escapist relief" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 4/22). In Toronto, Grant Kerr writes that the teams "responded accordingly" to the tragic events, and the members of the Avalanche and Sharks "seemed almost relieved" when the series was delayed (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/22). In Edmonton, Mark Spector calls the postponements the "only decent thing to do" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/22). But in DC, Dan Daly writes that "there are times when we need our games ... and this is one of them. In fact, sports may never be more useful than in periods of mourning" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 4/22).