The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/15/14 at 11:53 PM ET
I don't mean to spear this to death, but I'm gonna give it a try:
My final take on the handshake line shenanigans is this: Milan Lucic is paid $6 million dollars a season to be a bully. He very, very evidently doesn't respect his opponents, and based upon the league's ridiculous, "Past precedent = you CAN spear that" logic, it's clear that the NHL tolerates his behavior.
Lucic will also receive over ten thousand dollars in playoff bonus money, and for all his efforts to bully, instigate, intimidate and cause bodily harm, he was given ONE task: to preserve the artiface of sportsmanship, by acting like an adult for all of 90 seconds.
To all of his many defenders and excuse-makers, I would simply suggest that a man paid the kind of money Lucic is paid to inflict pain and suffering upping his foes, during games and afterward, should be expected to successfully pretend to be something other than an overgrown infant for a minute and a half.
Chris Chelios did a significant number of controversial things while playing for the Detroit Red Wings, and none was worse in my mind than skipping the handshake line against Anaheim in 2007--but Chelios was at least contrite about having not met the bare standards of conduct of an adult professional athlete after he did it, and that at least spoke to the character of someone who was a mean, vicious on-ice villain from the moment he laced up his skates.
I'd suggest that those of you who suggest that this handshake line is some sort of abomination--or that it's Dale Weise who "broke the 'code'" by sharing the sweet nothings that were whispered in his ear (hint: there is no code, friends)--spent thursday swinging at the same kind of low-hanging fruit that Lucic and Shawn Thornton spent the past four months aiming for and then blaming on "the heat of the moment" when they got caught acting like children.
Then again, given the Bruins' explanations for their "hard but clean" hockey, perhaps that was the heart of the nut. It's one thing to be a loser; it's another to be a childish loser who can't stand getting callled out for acting like a childish loser. And no, the fact that Lucic sponsors an anti-bullying charity does not make his actions on the ice after Game 7 any less childish or professionally unacceptable. There is no redemptive value here, just immaturity, ego and arrogance.
Hell of a series. Great Game 7. Poor sports among both fans, media and Bruins.
Quick update: one of the reasons I'm so pissed off is due to what was said in the locker room. Lucic had a hissy fit about getting caught, and this is...Really sad. And dumb.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.