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.

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.

"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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • FTO

    Kudos on this bud, he’s being lynched as we speak although there’s a sad amount of people coming to his defence. His comments were ridiculous and pathetic and I hope he gets what’s coming to him now. I’ve been doing whatever I can to get this out to the public.

  • Jodes

    Maybe one should arrange a phone call from the family of Mr. Pelss and he can man up and explain his actions and words. But He will probably give some half assed apology andcontinue to be his usual classless self.

  • Toro

    I have working my arse off on twitter to get this out there, thanks for helping spread the word on a pathetic excuse for a person. I wonder if he’d be cracking jokes if his kid jumped off a bridge. I know his comments were sent to the crtc, let’s hope they do something about it. Keep up the good work.

  • RexLibris

    I’m reminded of the Don Imus (I think I got that name right…) issue a few years back about a women’s basketball team.

    He was sanctioned, pilloried, fired…and then re-hired.

    I suspect that even if this example of human detritus were to be fired on account of this he’d quietly find another job with carte blanche to speak his mind at another station.

    Thanks for leading the charge here Robin. I only hope others in the media, specifically those in the Toronto-based national media pick up on this and treat him appropriately.

    • DJ Dynasty Handbag

      I just hope we aren’t jaded enough to think this kind of humor is funny. A young man is likely dead — that he’s a hockey player is secondary. Does this kind of crap really draw listeners today?

      • RexLibris

        There was some discussion on CBC this morning or last evening (yeah, my memory is getting that bad) about this same media/public effect: is the public getting so desensitized to poverty/abuse-of-power/crime/etc that we simply shrug and accept it as a form of entertainment in the same vein as “reality television”?

        If somebody wants to crack wise about this to their friends at a bar, so be it. But when did a professional’s resume expand to include this kind of thing?

        Sadly, I think some program directors feel that this kind of “loose cannon” approach does attract listeners.

        If one really wants to get the station’s attention, find out the principle sponsors of the show and send CC Winters in an email expressing your feelings about this idiot.