Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/03/13 at 08:17 AM ET
It is no longer enough to blame the continued existence of fighting on NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, the board of governors, or uneducated American hockey fans.
Truth is, we love the gore as much as the Americans. We are rapidly reaching the point where, if change isn’t wanted by the players and their agents – the latter a group that always seems to skate away from responsibility in these matters – the rest of us might as well stop worrying about the NHL players and focus on the children playing the sport.
If you don’t want to help yourself, boys, there’s nothing we can do for you.
-Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on the fighting topic.
added 9:38am, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globea and Mail,
Whenever it comes up at his annual news conference, commissioner Gary Bettman will cite statistics saying fights are down – and they are – as if that’s good enough. The NHL Players’ Association, meanwhile, is in the business of protecting the job security of all its members – and if you remember anything about last year’s lockout, a disproportionate number of smart-guy pugilists, including Parros and Kevin Westgarth (Princeton, class of 2007) were front and centre in labour negotiations.
Their voices count when policy is being formed.
The bottom line is this: Until the public outcry to toughen the rules becomes far greater than it is today, it will be hard to budge either side from the status quo.
In the meantime, they’ll continue to cross their fingers and hope that whenever a player smashes his face into the ice, as Parros did Tuesday, that he will eventually get up again. Surely it won’t require a fatality before common sense ultimately prevails.
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