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At Least The Intended Message Is Right

from Mark Madden at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Nick Boynton is a retired NHL goon. Daniel Carcillo also skated in the NHL. He was a dirty, sadistic hack. Carcillo played like a criminal.

Boynton recently wrote a piece for The Players' Tribune web site. Carcillo did a video. Each talked about issues that stem from head trauma. Each decried the NHL's laissez-faire attitude in dealing with that problem.

The message is correct.

The problem just needs better messengers.

Tom Wilson's path of rage through the NHL playoffs ultimately led him and his Washington Capitals to the Stanley Cup. Wilson handed out head shots like candy on Halloween and only got suspended once.

Too many “old-school” TV types said it was just “playoff hockey,” and the NHL nodded in silent agreement.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Alan's avatar

I don’t disagree. I can’t say whether or not Wilson’s presence would make or break the Caps cup win, but I do feel he should have dealt with more penalties and more suspensions. He should not have been allowed to play the way he did.

The “talking heads” at NBC are the last people the NHL needs to be listening to.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 06/16/18 at 06:34 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Bettman still maintains there are no head problems even though NFL has or is trying to protect their players.  A lot of NHL players who have passed and have their head be used for studies.

I am no expert but this BS (like Wilson) should be addressed soon.  What does the NHLPA get paid for?

Pre Season is gravy for the owners, maybe just sit out.  $$ always get Bettman and Owners attention. Mostly a waste of time for Vets.

If Wilson was a factor in the Stanley Cup run, all teams will try and get a thug. JMO

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/16/18 at 08:12 PM ET


Bring back the broad street bullies!!!

I’d love it.

Posted by SlimChance on 06/16/18 at 11:45 PM ET


Terrible take by Madden.

I hated Carcillo as a player too, and I do wish that more high-skill active players would speak up about the issue.

But come on, have a little empathy here.

These guys are told in their teens and early 20s that the only way they can make the NHL is by playing on the edge. They aren’t told what it’ll do to their brains. They aren’t told that they won’t have any support whatsoever after they’re done playing, and hardly any even when they are.

And even if you do the research on your own and know you’re probably making a Faustian bargain ahead of time, what 18-year-old kid is prepared to say, “No thanks, I’d rather go work at Denny’s than play in the NHL and have a chance to make millions of dollars and win a Stanley Cup”? As an 18-year-old I probably would have made the same choice. But when you’re retired, in your 30s, and brain damage has taken away your ability to be a good husband or father, you have a wee bit more perspective.

It takes a really heartless bastard to look at what’s happened to guys like Boynton, Carcillo, Montador, et. al and say “They are not victims, not by any stretch of the imagination” and that “they deserve zero sympathy.” Now, I’m not saying they’re blameless, either. But they are absolutely victims, too. And I tend to believe them when they say that, with the benefit of hindsight, they wouldn’t do it over again—even though it would cost them their “immortality.”

And frankly, the fact that formerly predatory players are the ones speaking out make them more credible, not less credible. Active stars probably still feel that they are being “protected” by the tough guys, and even if they don’t they probably aren’t eager to say that some of their teammates are useless. But when the tough guys themselves, even Stanley Cup winners, are saying, “You know what? It wasn’t worth it”—that means something.

The guys whose entire careers and livelihood required them to buy into the “old school” mentality 100% during their playing days are now the ones who are most steadfastly and vocally opposed to that mentality. They are the ones actively arguing that players like them shouldn’t be in the game. Think about that.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 06/18/18 at 07:48 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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