Rivals plan to line up for virus vaccine

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

It isn't just the public sickened by the preferential treatment offered to the Calgary Flames.

In the wake of the revelation the Flames received H1N1 vaccinations without waiting in line, their rival NHL team to the north said they didn't jump the queue.

Despite the fact at least one Edmonton player -- Ladislav Smid -- was confirmed to have come down with the virus last month, the Oilers haven't made any arrangements for the shots to be made available under special circumstances.

"If a player wants to get a shot, he can go to a clinic just like any other person," Oilers vice-president of communications Allan Watt said yesterday.

Oilers director of communications J.J. Hebert had a harder time hiding his distaste for the Flames and their families getting their shots Friday in private at an undisclosed clinic without having to wait in line for hours like so many Calgarians were forced to do in less-than hospitable weather conditions last week.

"The majority of the public want to get the shot, and we're no different," Hebert said. "But certainly we're not jumping in front of people who need to get it."

The Oilers aren't alone.

Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray said his team hasn't been granted any favours and doesn't expect any.

"Like every member of the public, we have to wait our turn for that (vaccination) to happen," Murray said.

Although not every member of the Flames took advantage of the opportunity, those who did were given shots Friday, a day before the province temporarily shut down clinics because of a shortage.

With young children and pregnant women being turned away on the weekend, the ire over a large group being given special privileges shouldn't come as a surprise.

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke plans on keeping his team's medical plan private.

Last month, Burke said the team would have sufficient vaccine for players, families and staff as soon as it is needed.

"If and when our players get medical treatment, it will be a private matter," Burke said yesterday.

"There is a plan in place, but it's an internal matter."


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