Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Globe and Mail agrees: the justice system needs to assume the responsibilities that the NHL abdicated

We've seen how tyke hockey players learn by watching the pros, how they'll front each other in scrums and crosscheck and facewash each other's protective grille.  We've discussed how the NHL sets a very low bar as to conduct on the ice, with both the National Hockey League Players' Association and the League itself acquiescing to acts of thuggery and assaults by indulgent slaps on the wrist or contortions to describe these events as 'hockey plays', inherent unavoidable incidents in a sport played at a high speed with collisions, by honourable men with 'character'.

Except that none of these violent events would be tolerated in normal society.  On the street, these same assaults would be met with arrests and charges being laid.  So why do we allow the NHL a dispensation?  When what they offer is played on a stage to the general public, and broadcast on public airwaves?  In stadiums that are largely financed with public monies?  Why do we allow the business of pro hockey to pollute our youngsters' morality so that they may (misguidedly) pursue greater profit?

If the NHL won't police itself, it's high time we started doing the job for them.  And billing them for our time.


  1. The problem with the logic of equating straight up what happens on the ice with what happens on the street is this: what do you do with a player taking a slap shot at a goalie?

    If that happened randomly on the street, it would also be assault, would it not?

    A better solution is for the justice system to issue a court order for the NHL to get its house in order.

  2. When fans want to discuss the state of the game fans seems to want to lay blame at Bettman, Colin Campbell, Brendan Shanahan or even Don Cherry and Mike Milbury but I think most people are misguided becasue the real culprits are the owners; in particular the more influential onese like Ed Snyder (Flyers) and Jeremy Jacobs (Bruins).

    Fighting will never be taken out of the game until Snyder and Jacobs agree. Tell me if the Bruins or Flyers don't sell hockey as a blood sport? Even if someone dies during a fight I would more than happily bet there will a large outcry to blame the victim defense ala Pacioretty and stanchion. Ultimately Bettman, Campbell, Shanahan are all EMPLOYEES, they do the bidding of the owners.

    If the owners all agreed that bare-knuckle fighting be banned like it was in Boxing then it would be outlawed instantaneously whereas if Bettman or Shannahan attempted to ban it, they would ultimately have to sell the idea to the owners first before it was implemented. CULPABILITY LAYS AT THE TOP.

    The Blackhawks are now a model franchise after Bill Wirtz died. His son Rocky is a more enlightened owner, as is Geoff Molson. When the old guard owners eventually die off, then the sport of hockey can finally move into the modern era. Sadly all the conjecture and pointification are pointless until the owners decide its time to take fighting out of the game.