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The Problems With The NHL

from Chris Mueller at the TimesOnline,

The NHL’s product is a choked, stifled mess. A handful of teams play entertaining offense, and the idea of superstars being treated well is anathema. The blind provincialism of fans helps maintain the status quo. A quick exploration of social media reveals just as many fans celebrating Dubinsky’s play as there are Penguins fans venting about it.

What is crazy is that many of these fans aren’t even Columbus backers, but rather Rangers fans or my favorite subset, “people who hate Sidney Crosby and think he receives preferential treatment from the league.”

Try and imagine that. There are people that watch the NHL often, and really believe that Crosby is treated too well by officials. It boggles the mind. These are the same people, by the way, who wax poetic about how honorable hockey players are, and what great guys they are, after watching 60 minutes, sometimes more, of players pot-shotting each other and playing dangerously.

Talented players are sitting ducks because the one thing that could save them—consistent, stringent officiating—is utterly absent, seemingly by design.

Hockey’s other issue is that the old Canadian mentality, one which seems to prioritize toughness and grit over skill, grace and speed.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink



“It boggles the mind. These are the same people, by the way, who wax poetic about how honorable hockey players are, and what great guys they are, after watching 60 minutes, sometimes more, of players pot-shotting each other and playing dangerously.”

No, senor, it doesn’t boggle THE mind, it boggles YOUR mind.  You are clearly not a hockey fan.  Hockey is tough.  It is unmerciful.  Yet, those same guys that take pot-shots at each other for 3+ hours shake hands and go have beers after. 

I will concede the players respect for one another appears to be declining; however, that’s because people like you don’t want enforcers to protect your beloved star players.  That stuff didn’t happen when the players policed themselves.  You can’t really think that the refs can handle that by themselves can you?  If they did that, it would be like the NBA with fouls when someone just looks at a star player.  Stops every ten seconds.  Free throws constantly.  Boring.

The league is imperfect, but the “needs” you impart appear to be specific to you.  I love to watch tough, physical, defensive hockey.  Scoring is hard - that’s what makes it impressive. 

Go back to watching your beloved basketball, and leave your two cents in Bettman’s tip jar.

Posted by nolan33 on 11/29/15 at 11:46 AM ET


I see a larger problem than anything this tool has to say.  I see an over abundance of “journalists” that feel the need to relentlessly lecture hockey fans about why they are wrong. Why the league is wrong. Why the players are wrong and,of course, why only they are right.

“Hockey is a wonderful game, in principle. The NHL is an awful league, in reality.”

Then go cover the KHL you piece of sh*t

Posted by SlimChance on 11/29/15 at 01:31 PM ET


Yes, anyone who disagrees with me is clearly not a hockey fan but is instead a piece of shit!

Posted by Garth on 11/29/15 at 01:36 PM ET


Posted by SlimChance on 11/29/15 at 01:48 PM ET

WingFanFormerlyInLA's avatar

I LOL’d….

The butthurt is simply awesome.

Posted by WingFanFormerlyInLA on 11/29/15 at 02:09 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Not seeing a lot to disagree with in this article.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/29/15 at 02:21 PM ET


As soon as players in NHL get their contracts, they do not have to play hard anymore. The game does not look very good if players do not feel existencial urgency to play.

Posted by tutoka from Leelanau Peninsula on 11/29/15 at 02:32 PM ET


People know I am a hockey fan, a Pittsburgh fan, and a Crosby fan.  I almost always lean towards the side of the penguins as any normal fan would.  I just don’t know how anyone can see a play like Dubinsky did the other night and think it is ok to do.  It isn’t hockey.  It is cheap.  Any stick-work like that is cheap.  The 1-game suspension is a joke.  Completely and utterly tiring.  Torts calling the penguins whiners is just icing on the cake of hilarity. 

Any fan should hate seeing that.  It allows classless, talentless bums to ruin a good hockey team.  The penguins could easily employ a few of these guys and just neck-check any talented player on the ice if they know they will only get 1 2-minute minor and possibly a 1-game suspension (only if they have had a previous record of doing so that is).

What is the point of allowing these kind of players to get away with stuff like that?  With the cost of tickets especially.  If we want to see a bunch of border-line hockey players take runs at each-other, why not just spend a whole lot less and go see a minor league game?

The worst part of that crap Dubinsky pulled the other night was he didn’t need to do it in the first place.  The game was even with or without Sid getting hurt.  Up to that point, I think Sid had 1 shot in the whole game. 

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 11/29/15 at 02:55 PM 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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