There’s so much low-brow one-downsmanship on the radio now it’s not often something is in such bad taste or so offensive it grabs my attention to the point of outrage, but The Dean Blundell Show at 102.1 The Edge managed it today.

Blundell, an Albertan and a talk show host based in Toronto, apparently finds humor in what is feared to be the drowning former Edmonton Oil King and Edmonton Oiler draft pick Kristians Pelss in Riga, Latvia.

While family, friends, fans and members of the Oil Kings and Oilers hope for the best and fear the worst while awaiting word on the fate of Pelss, who has been missing for three days, Blundell and his co-host used this unfolding tragedy as material on their show today – as pointed out by an Edmontonian going by the handle of JRM on Twitter.

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Listening to the podcast of Blundell’s show, which runs 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., made me numb – as numb as I felt when I first heard reports yesterday Pelss has gone missing was feared drowned. I’ll resist the urge to mount the soap box here and let Blundell’s routine speak for itself.


"Edmonton Oilers prospect Kristians Pelss disappeared without a trace after reportedly jumping off a bridge in his native Latvia. Pelss, who played two seasons with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL is believed to have jumped into the dark of a river in the capital city of Riga, Latvia early Tuesday morning," said Blundell, reading the first part of the item in straight news style. "Rescuers have seen no sign of him, according to a news agency.

"His clothes were found on the scene but a search of the river failed to turn him up. Edmonton Oil Kings organization along with the Edmonton Oilers and AHL Barons ba-da-ba-da-ba-da said that reports of him going missing are being looked at this week. There’s been contradictory information reported at times. They are hoping he returns to the Edmonton Oilers and Oil Kings organization shortly."

Then, the item takes a sickening turn.

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"How much must it suck playing hockey in Edmonton when you . . . I’m not going back. I mean, you’d rather jump off a bridge in like a war-torn country in a freezing cold river than go back to Edmonton. Shame. I hope they find him. I’ve been to Edmonton. I know what that guy’s talking about (laughs)."

The link to the offending podcast is here. It’s the first item under "Current Feed Content," using the "play now" button.

The station manager at 102.1 The Edge is Ross Winters. If you care to reach him, you can do so here.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • Youri

    Our education is better. We know where Canada is, and that the streets of Canadian cities do not go drunk polar bears with vodka and balalaika in his hands. We now summer. We, too, are in the northern hemisphere. The water in the rivers we warm. The war ended with us in 1945. We do not have any family in which no one would have died in that war, you do not understand. The truth now our soldiers are helping Canadian soldiers to kill civilians in Afghanistan, but Afghanistan is not from us, it further south. Yes, our country is not accepted mock dead people. There is a saying or a well or in any way. I apologize for machine translation.
    Notre éducation est meilleure. Nous savons que le Canada est, et que les rues des villes canadiennes n’allons pas les ours polaires ivres de vodka et balalaïka dans ses mains. Nous avons maintenant été. Nous aussi, nous sommes dans l’hémisphère nord. L’eau dans les rivières nous réchauffer. La guerre s’est terminée avec nous en 1945. Nous n’avons pas de famille dans laquelle personne ne serait mort dans cette guerre, vous ne comprenez pas. La vérité maintenant, nos soldats aident les soldats canadiens de tuer des civils en Afghanistan, mais l’Afghanistan n’est pas de nous, plus au sud. Oui, notre pays n’est pas acceptée morts simulées. Il ya un dicton ou une quelconque façon ou bien en. Je m’excuse pour la traduction automatique.

  • Love Monkey

    Can’t say I’m surprised… Based on the website banner, the radio station’s primary sponsor appears to be a rub & tug joint in Toronto so why should we expect them to epitomize class on the air.

    Anyway, I’d seldom heard of this asshat before yesterday so hopefully we can get over his stupidity and focus our thoughts and prayers on the Pelss family mourning the loss of a son and brother today.

  • Youri

    For the person who asked about K97’s apparent same joke with a picture of the since deleted Twitter comment and who Scott Banger is, Scott is the show producer for Terry Bill and Steve IIRC. If he’s saying they got no complaints about it, it’s cuz he’s the one screening the calls for them and the one the program director would be talking to if the station got calls/email complaints from other avenues other than the show’s.

    TBS can definitely cross the line but the station listeners for them are usually so rabid in their support for them that they rarely seem to complain about them. That’s likely why they got no complaints.

  • Chris.

    Oilanderp wrote:

    I want to live in a country where anyone can say anything they damn well please.

    Do you? Do you really? Are you sure you’ve really thought that through? Is it impossible for you to imagine any point where limits to free speech may be required?

  • RexLibris

    Anyone read Blundell’s apology via Twitter?

    “Truly sorry for untimely remarks about Kristians Pelss. Should have waited to know. Thoughts w family and friends”

    Let’s begin with “untimely”? When exactly would it have been the right time to make that kind of joke? A week? A month? Maybe, just maybe twenty years from now? Probably not. That he suggests his remarks were untimely tells us that he really doesn’t understand that what he said was, in principle, wrong.

    “Should have waited to know” What? How does knowing if Pelss is dead mollify the stupidity of the comment that followed?

    Not to mention, apologizing by Twitter? This kind of apology just gets back to the common refrain amongst celebrities when they have to make amends, they apologize without taking any blame or responsibility for their actions.

  • Slapshot

    The comments that Blundell made are unacceptable and for him to come out now after getting a negative response just show’s that he is a jackass. If he is truly sorry, he should resign from his job, otherwise his apology means nothing.My condolences goes out to Kristians Pelss family.

    • Love Monkey

      More so now with Pelss confirmed dead. The guys apology is insincere and comes on the tail of a negative response. His parents didn’t teach him manners when he was young. Or they did and he just grew up to be a dumbass. Dumbass scale 10/10 .

      Robin will there be a condolences book to sign or is something else OilersNation fans are doing at this time?

  • Jamie B.

    Apparently he tried to defend himself by saying he thought Pelss faked it, re: the wording of his apology. (Note: I did not hear those comments myself.) Considering he read the news report right before his “joke”, this seems somewhat disingenuous.

    And by the way, for everyone using the free speech defense, Canada does not have absolute free speech, we have hate speech laws in this country and I for one like it that way. If you don’t, well, there’s the US right there, feel free to move I guess.

  • Big J

    The level of hypocrisy here is astounding. Everyone has laughed at or joked about Michael Jackson, or the Hitler rant parodies, for example. So I guess its fine for some people to say whatever they like, but not others. Do you really think a manager for a Toronto based radio station is concerned about the backlash from Oiler fans? From a radio station, a talk show, and a host that most people hadn’t even heard of?

    • Rob...

      If you can’t come up with better examples than those two then you just failed big-time. I’d instead compare it to the nurse who hung herself after her mistake involving those Aussie radio personalities. And I didn’t hear one joke about her after the news broke.

  • Hmmm. I’m the lowest of the low. Thanks for your input. Perhaps you will call my boss and try to get me fired now? I deserve it since my opinion is incorrect. I am subhuman. Thanks. You win I guess? *shrug*

  • Blaaaaaah blahblahblahblahblahblah blaaaaah blahblahblahblah


    See? I can turn it off. I like having that choice.

    That’s not good enough for most of you is it. You want to make my choice FOR me. You know best. Your standards are the correct ones.

  • Rob...

    Had this been a Toronto player and an Edmonton radio station said this You guys wouldn’t care.
    Distasteful? Possibly. Change the station, you’re an adult

  • Rob...

    Well, to be fair, Blundell seems to have brows lower than Mongo’s in *Blazing Saddles.* It’s like picking on a helpless beast to call him on it.

    I mean, look: I wouldn’t describe Belgium as “war torn,” but it’s been roughly the same amount of time since war visited Estonia as it has Belgium. In the end, he pulls in like — well, gee, can’t really say “like MINDED” can we? Um — listeners who are similarly disinterested in the real world around them. There are a lot of them, just review the results of any recent election.

    So that brings in the coin, and the coin is what makes the choo-choo go.

    It’s all about where the choo-choo go. And at the level “where,” he drops out like a man who couldn’t point to Europe on a map if they threw him extra Scoobie snacks to do it.

    Like Mongo, “[Blundell] only pawn in game in life.”