Posts Tagged ‘NHL’


April 22, 2012

THE NHL has just suspended Raffi Torres for 25 games for slamming an opposing player into the ice.  There are many stories in the media that hockey is too violent.

But is it?  Ratings  are higher than ever both in the United States and Canada. The sports editor of the Montreal Gazette wrote on Saturday:  “Face it:  Fans want violence.”

And here is what Don Cherry said about violence:  “The fans who pay the money love it.  The players don’t seem to mind it;  the coaches don’t seem to mind it.  So who is it who doesn’t like the fights and the banging around?  It’s the reporters who get in free.  This is war.  This has been going on forever.

Is  hockey too violent?

What do you think?


December 19, 2011

Saturday morning, Jacques  Martin, who speaks French was  fired as coach of the Canadiens.  He was replaced by Randy Cunneyworth who is unilingual English.

The decision has ignited a firestorm of criticism. Former players and team executives, nationalist groups and the francophone fraternity of sports writers were quick with condemnation, saying bilingualism is a necessary qualification for the post. Sportswriter  Philippe Cantin led the charge. “It’s not simply a hockey team.  It’s an institution. Like all institutions, it has responsibilites that go beyond being a hockey team in the market”. One of  those responsibilities is that the coach should speak French.

Let’s put this in perspective.  Can you imagine the Toronto Maple Leafs hiring a coach who can’t speak English?

Should the coach of the Canadiens be able to speak French?

What do you think?


November 21, 2011

After 320 days from a concussion that threatened his life, Sidney Crosby is coming back tonight for a game with the Penguins.  Although his doctors have cleared Crosby, 24, to play, many people (including hockey fans) think it is too dangerous to come back now.  Although concussions are down this year in the NHL, there are 19 players suffering from them.

Suppose Crosby was hit again and suffered another concussion (a quite likely prospect).  Would that mean lights out for good?  As the Globe and Mail put  in its leader this morning:  “The risk of playing with a concussion is catastrophic – though rare.  Second impact-syndrome (a concussion on a concussion) can  cause death in young athletes.

Is it worth it for Crosby to come back.  He is only 24, a wealthy man and has other life options.

Where do you come down when a hockey career is stacked up against a death sentence?

Should Crosby be coming back tonight?

What do you think?


September 2, 2011

In the last few months three retired hockey enforcers have died – two to suicide and one to an overdose of pills and alcohol.  These enforcers are paid bick bucks to pro tect their team’s stars on the ice – with their fists if necessary.  For example, Wade Belak, 28, who hanged himself this week in a luxury Toronto hotel, had 136 fights.  The blows that all these men took to their heads have never neen counted. But science has demonstrated that there is a link between concussion and depression, personality changes and memory loss.

Even if fighting in hockey is permitted to continue – in the heat of the moment – is it high the enforcer’s role should now be banned?

One simple and easy way to do that would be to reduce the size of each team,’s roster by one or two players.  Then it would be harder for a team to carry a player like Mr. Belak who garnered only 33 scoring points over 14 seasons.

Should the designated hockey fighter be banned?

What do you think?


June 5, 2011

Last night Vancouver took a two-game lead into the Stanley Cup final with Boston.  Canadians are beginning to smell a Stanley Cup.

It has been a long time since a Canadian team hoisted the Cup.  The Montreal Canadians last  did it in 1993. There has been some discussion as to whether Vancouver is Canadia’s team.

Do you think it is?

The Globe and  Mail says it is the duty of all patriotic Canadians to cheer the Canucks on.   Are you a patriotic Canadian?  Do you believe it is your duty to cheer the Canucks on?

When I first started to follow professional hockey many years ago, there were only six teams in sight – two of them in Montreal.  Not an American team in sight.  Now most of the teams are American interlopers and the boss of the NHL is a hard-boiled American legal gun named Bettman who is paid millions to run what was once a Canadian league.

Bettman moved the NHL offices to New York where he spends most of  his time.

Considering how little of the Canadian element in hockey still survives, should we all be cheering on the Vancouver ‘ Canucks’.

What do you think?


March 19, 2011

Gentlemen’s Quarterly magazine has named Canadiens fans as the worst in the National Hockey League and the 11th worst in professional sports. Here is an example of the piece: “In 2003, team veteran Patrice Brisbois was heckled almost every time he touched the puck; the jeering was so intense it likely induced a stress-related irregular heart beat. How did then GM Bob Gainey feel about his bloodthirsty fan base? ‘I think they’re abunch of gutless bastards, to be honest,’ he said.

The Habs were the only club to crack the top 15 of “the meanest fans in America.”

Are Canadiens hockey fans the worst in the NHL?

What do you think?


February 28, 2011

A new poll just out says 54 per cent of Canadians want an outright ban on fighting in the NHL.  Sixty-eight per cent say violence is not an inherent part of the game.  However 60 per cent of young Canadians (18-34) are against a ban and nearly half of younger Canadians say fighting is an important part of hockey.   Older Canadians want a ban.

A majority also want stronger penalties for roughness resulting in injury.  Sydney Crosby, by far the best hockey player in the world, is out with a a concussion.

These results generally fly in the face of bullies like Don Cherry who want hockey players to mix it up with their fists.

Should fighting in the NHL be banned?

What do you think?