Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/08/13 at 10:48 AM ET
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
The NHL and its many fighting and violence zealots must be so, so proud. Over the next few days, you’re going to hear from them that Shawn Thornton is one of the good guys. They’ll talk about how much character he has and how he visits sick kids in the hospital and what a great team guy he is and how out of character this attack was.
All of which may be true, but Shawn Thornton proved that on the ice, he’s nothing but a bully and a punk and someone who deserves to have the privilege of playing hockey taken away from him for a long, long time. Kudos to him for coming out and answering for his actions after the game and taking responsibility for them, but that was the only thing he did all night that had even a shred of integrity. What Thornton did was no different than what almost killed Steve Moore and forever changed the career of Todd Bertuzzi more than nine years ago. In fact, Brooks Oprik should be saying, “There but by the grace of God go I,” or something like that right now because it could have been much, much worse for him. Initial reports had him conscious and alert at a Boston hospital, which means those who enjoy this kind of nonsense have just dodged another bullet.
(Thornton received a match penalty, which carries an indefinite suspension, and has an in-person hearing with the NHL. Wouldn’t you just love to see the NHL throw him out for 25 games then see if Thornton has the gall to appeal it?)
Those who defend fighting in the NHL will tell you this had nothing to do with fighting. And that’s a bunch of unadulterated bunk. It had everything to do with fighting. Why did Thornton attack Orpik in the first place? Because Orpik refused to fight him, that’s why. So Thornton took it upon himself to force Orpik into a fight. And that has nothing to do with fighting? Who are these people trying to kid?
Neal was certainly no better with his accidental-on-purpose knee to Marchand’s head.
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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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