Monday, February 05, 2007

Confluence Soapbox; Don't look now NHL, the "garbage league" is making a comeback...

You'd have thought the NHL would have earned their lesson by now.

You all remember those times, the quite often boring, clutching, hooking, grabbing, holding, slashing, tripping and cross-checking game of hockey that came to prominence in the mid '90's.

The same type of game that was a primary reason that the greatest hockey player (notice I didn't say "scorer" Gretzky fans, don't start whining just yet) in NHL history, Mario Lemieux, hung up his skates (the 1st time anyway) at the early age of 31. Lemieux famously referred to the NHL during that time as a "garbage league".

So when the NHL and it's players finally came back after it's yearlong absence in '05, the league took the opportunity to tweak many of it's rules, such as eliminating the redline and allowing the tag-up offsides.

But more imporantly, both the players and the league agreed that they would finally start enforcing the rules concerning hooking, holding, and the like.

But after a season and a half, and this is not only me opining on it, I've heard it on several different media outlets, but the NHL is slowly but surely going back to it's old ways.

You do get your officiating crews that call a tight game from time to time that call the penalties that should be called.

But the majority of games you watch nowadays has plenty of no-call hooking, holding, interference, you name it.

And now, the NHL is turning a blind eye to the game by game mugging of the best player in the league, Sidney Crosby.

It's not an exaggeration.

Nearly EVERY GAME now, Crosby is getting speared, buttended, slashed, high-sticked, and cross-checked to the head.

And that's just within the last two weeks !!!!

To make matters worse, when the NHL reviewed the spearing of Crosby by Jason Blake a couple of weeks ago, the league tapped Blake on his ass and fined him $1000, which is equivalent to a night's tab for he and his Islanders buddies at one of the NYC titty bars.

Moreover, the sentiment (not officially stated by the league, but inferred) was that Crosby was embellishing the spear, therefore that resulted in the low fine, and no suspension.

Last Thursday, at center ice on the opening faceoff of the game, Canadien goon Max Lapierre buttended Crosby in plain view of the referees.

Again, no penalty, no suspension.

Then yesterday afternoon, Crosby was high-sticked to the face by the Canadiens' Francois Bouillon.

You guessed it, no penalty.

We can even go back to last year, when Darian Hatcher high-sticked Crosby to the mouth, chipping 3 of his teeth and gashing his mouth.

I shouldn't have to tell you that there was no penalty.

I'm not stumping for preferential treatment for Crosby, hell that would be the day.

But for Christ sakes, Crosby not only is receiving physical abuse that should be warranting many more penalties than have been getting called, but some of these not only should be getting penalties, but warranting suspensions.

But so far, not a damn one.

So if you're Ray Shero, what do you do ??

Go out and get a goon of your own (he's got Eric Cairns, but he's out indefinitely with post-concussion symptoms, so he doesn't count) ??

Do you make a trade like the recent rumors indicated like George Laraque or Brian McGrattan ??

I'm sure it's tempting for Shero, but I doubt he'll pull the trigger. Here's why;
  • There's no way that a goonish teammate will be playing on the same shift as Crosby if/when he gets roughed up
  • Who do you remove out of the lineup to put the goon in ??
  • Do you really want to trade away a player and/or draft pick for someone for realistically 30 games or less, since playoff fights are a rarity nowadays ??

But it's not just Crosby, Brendan Shanahan recently aired similar remarks in reference to the nightly abuse that Jaromir Jagr is taking.

The NHL has enough problems as it is, and with the renewed Versus contract, they're just digging the grave deeper with bonehead moves like that.

But if they continue to allow the "garbage league" antics to continue, and it's stars to get Hack-a-Shaq'd every night, you might as well yank it off of Versus and the regional networks too, 'cause no one wants to watch this horseshit again.


Anonymous said...

Concussion in the NHL may be worse than the NFL, unfortunatley the same person is medically in charge of both leagues. Elliot Pelman is both the medical advisor to the NFL and NHL. If the powers that be in both leagues don't change the current policy maker, they are doomed to the same failed policy. He is not even a legitamate doctor, his degree is from Mexico, and his Resume and Studies have been found fruadulent. Congress may be the only power that is willling to right this wrong. Players like Rob Dimiao and Wayne Crebet have a major bone to pick with the so called advice they have been getting. The catch 22 is the leagal ramifications to be dealt with going forward. When you know something and you withhold fron those who you are supposed to be protecting, leagally your done. The studies in question are now found to be fraudulent and statistical evidence of a medical device used by the N.E, Patriots has been omitted for reasons of association. To associate football concussions to boxing concussions is suicide for the NFL. Numerous studies have been done on the neurological damage done to boxers. Blows to the jaw are the origin of a majority of these concussions. A properly corrective medical procedure has been the reason the N.E. Patriots have the lowest concussion rate in the league. The only players who recieve concussions are the ones who either take a blow to he head or are not wearing this retainer like mouth guard. This can all be confirmed by video replay and medical records. On that note the doctor has a testimonial that states Ted Johnson never had any conussions while wearing the mouth guard. We feel the concussion he had were events produced from his tackling style, he split a helmet one time, blows to the crown of the head are now being related to a cord attached to the pituatary gland. ESPN will be reporting on this very issue and the difference in the symptoms between the two concussion types. Hockey concussions are a majority of blows to the jaw, since head contact is not the objective blows to the jaw are most common. Pelman had denied the connection until a recent Feb 06 story in ESPN, since much more damaging info has put him on the hot seat. It is time for a new regime, his work is a miseable and costly faiiure in many peoples minds.. Go to for more info

Tony said...

Thanks for your comments....