Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 11/02/13 at 02:56 AM ET
The Globe and Mail's Roy MacGregor spoke with former Maple Leafs player, coach and Hockey Night in Canada commentator Howie Meeker ahead of Meeker's 90th birthday on Monday. The Hockey Hall of Famer spoke very bluntly about the state of the NHL while reflecting upon his own attempts to improve the game:
Flow: “They dump it out, they dump it in. Lots of times, there is absolutely no reason for them to be dumping it in.”
Shot blocking: “It should be a penalty. If you leave your feet to go down to stop a shot, it should be a penalty. If you go down to block a pass, no problem, but to me it’s obvious that it should be a two-minute penalty if you go down to block a shot on goal. This isn’t entertainment. It just makes for dull hockey. It’s crazy. The NHL needs goals and here they’re doing everything possible to stop goals from going in. They’ve got to be out of their minds.”
Fighting: “The game doesn’t need it. I can’t understand it. There’s just no need at all. You don’t need fighting. The playoffs are wonderful entertainment – and there’s no fighting. Fighters are like the dinosaurs, they are history.”
Goon players and staged fighting: “It degrades the team. It degrades hockey. I just turn it off.”
Meeker continues at significant length, and I highly suggest that you give this article a few minutes of your time.
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