Wednesday 25 April 2012

How Did We Get Here

To understand an issue you sometimes have to study contributing factors, however seemingly unrelated, to make sure that any conclusions are based on facts and reasonable assumptions.   If you believe that most people form opinions as a result of their early development and experiences then we need to look at the recent history of fighting and the role of the enforcer.  This will help us understand why NHL players and league officials all believe that fighting should remain in the game.

Saturday 21 April 2012

Nader Calls For Bettman's Resignation

Ralph Nader posted another open letter on the League of Fans website, this time calling for Gary Bettman to resign.  Citing a "disturbing increase in head-hunting thuggery in this year’s NHL playoffs", Nader states that there has not been adequate leadership in the league to deal with the issue.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Take Back Our Game

If you are a hockey fan you can’t open up a newspaper or sports website without being subjected to the numerous acts of violence in the first round of this year’s playoffs.   I’ve seen too many online comments and tweets from fans who say they are turning off the TV, and being turned off the sport.  Instead of giving up, we need to take back our game.

Sunday 15 April 2012

NHL Playoffs – Showcasing Violence

The NHL playoffs began with fan anticipation, media hype and some exciting and entertaining hockey.   And then Shane Weber slammed Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the glass.  That incident served as a test of the NHL’s resolve in eliminating head shots from the game.  The judgement they delivered either became a catalyst for the violence that followed, or just another failed opportunity to show they were serious about player safety and respect.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

A reflection on a lost brother’s role as a hockey enforcer

On April 7th I posted my thoughts (They Knew What They Were Getting Into) on Sheldon Kenny's article on his brother Lyndon.  His story should be read by all hockey fans so that they understand there is an emotional and physical toll on individuals who fight in hockey.  This story is very similar to those told by other enforcers but did not get as much attention in the media because it involved a junior player.  Therefore to help spread awareness of Lyndon and his struggle with concussions, here is Sheldon's original article reprinted with his permission.

Saturday 7 April 2012

They Knew What They Were Getting Into

On March 22nd another story was posted about an enforcer who committed suicide.  It didn’t get as much exposure as those about Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien or Wade Belak because it involved a junior player who didn’t make the big leagues.  I wonder how many more potential stories like this are out there - teenagers who chased their dream of playing in the NHL through the role of a fighter.

Sunday 1 April 2012

NHL Responds to Rangers - Devils Brawl

On March 19th the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils started a brawl at the 3 second mark of their game, causing considerable outrage in the press.  It took almost two weeks for the NHL to address this incident, no doubt after considerable internal discussion to ensure that the official response was reasonable and reflected positively on the league.  Concerns for player safety, how the game is marketed to the fans and how to protect the sanctity of the game all needed to be considered.