Sex, Lies, and Hockey Pucks Decoder Ring

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30 years ago, the Stanley Cup playoffs ignited a rumor that has been messing with Jane Macdougall’s life ever since.

In 1994, the Vancouver Canucks had made it all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the New York Rangers. When they barely lost, fans expected the team to come back blazing the next year. Instead, 1995 was a total letdown. Team chemistry disappeared and fans started looking for an explanation. Quickly, a rumor took hold: a defensive player had been having an affair with the goalie’s wife, which destroyed team morale and left the franchise flailing.

In this episode of Decoder Ring, Acey Rowe from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation traces the Canucks rumor from locker rooms to chat rooms. And she talks to NHL players Kirk McLean and Jeff Brown to figure out how a story like this can snowball and survive for 30 years.

This episode was reported and produced by Acey Rowe. Story editing by Willa Paskin and Evan Chung. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin, Evan Chung, Katie Shepherd and Max Freedman. Derek John is Executive Producer. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director.

A longer version of this story was published on CBC’s Storylines, part of the CBC Audio Doc Unit. Julia Pagel is the Senior Producer of Audio Docs and Anna Lazowski is the Senior Producer of Special Programming at the CBC.

If you have a cultural mystery you’d like us to decode send us an email at decoderring@slate.com. Please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. And even better, tell your friends.

If you’re a fan of the show, you should sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring and all other Slate podcasts without any ads and have total access to Slate’s website. Your support is also crucial to our work. Go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today.

30 years ago, the Stanley Cup playoffs ignited a rumor that has been messing with Jane Macdougall’s life ever since.

In 1994, the Vancouver Canucks had made it all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the New York Rangers. When they barely lost, fans expected the team to come back blazing the next year. Instead, 1995 was a total letdown. Team chemistry disappeared and fans started looking for an explanation. Quickly, a rumor took hold: a defensive player had been having an affair with the goalie’s wife, which destroyed team morale and left the franchise flailing.

In this episode of Decoder Ring, Acey Rowe from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation traces the Canucks rumor from locker rooms to chat rooms. And she talks to NHL players Kirk McLean and Jeff Brown to figure out how a story like this can snowball and survive for 30 years.

This episode was reported and produced by Acey Rowe. Story editing by Willa Paskin and Evan Chung. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin, Evan Chung, Katie Shepherd and Max Freedman. Derek John is Executive Producer. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director.

A longer version of this story was published on CBC’s Storylines, part of the CBC Audio Doc Unit. Julia Pagel is the Senior Producer of Audio Docs and Anna Lazowski is the Senior Producer of Special Programming at the CBC.

If you have a cultural mystery you’d like us to decode send us an email at decoderring@slate.com. Please subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. And even better, tell your friends.

If you’re a fan of the show, you should sign up for Slate Plus. Members get to listen to Decoder Ring and all other Slate podcasts without any ads and have total access to Slate’s website. Your support is also crucial to our work. Go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today.

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