29
Sep
09

OK, I’ll say it…hockey isn’t a real sport…at least not any more.

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3 Responses to “OK, I’ll say it…hockey isn’t a real sport…at least not any more.”


  1. September 29, 2009 at 9:34 AM

    Please consider the article below and let’s see if someone can defend this ridiculous excuse for a sport.

    The brain trust of the Toronto Maple Leafs doesn’t need to make apologies to anyone.

    Professional hockey is all about winning, and few care how you do it. Professional sports is the consummate results-oriented business.

    Given that, five straight springs without a playoff game certainly prompt the axiom, desperate times call for desperate measures. And if you can’t make the playoffs in the NHL, where over half the teams are granted admission to the post-season, you probably should try something different.

    General manager Brian Burke and coach Ron Wilson agree on what that something will be — the Maple Leafs need to be much tougher to play against. Fans are OK with that. Hockey is a physical game and is at its best when there is a bit of sandpaper.

    Mr. Burke has also made it clear that the Leafs will be more than just miserable in the corners. They also plan to fight — often. Boss’s orders.

    After an exhibition game against Boston that included five fights, Leaf Andre Deveaux made it clear what his role was.

    “People aren’t going to notice what I do on the ice unless I fight.” He fought twice, by the way.

    Boston Bruin Brad Marchand says Burke’s strategy is clear.

    “You could really tell they wanted to send that message that they’re going to be a big, tough team,” Marchand said. “They were running all over the place, trying to take guys’ heads off.”

    Sadly, one might say, fighting more is a formula that sometimes works, and Brian Burke should know. His Anaheim Ducks were the nastiest team in the league when they won the Stanley Cup, and he is going to try that formula in Toronto.

    But regardless of how Toronto does in the NHL, this new propensity for pugilism is going to rub off on other players — particularly in junior hockey and also perhaps in the older categories of minor hockey.

    The fact is the Toronto Maple Leafs are the most watched hockey team in the world and that carries with it more than a little influence.

    For generations young fans have emulated Johnny Bower and Dave Keon and Darryl Sittler and Wendel Clark and Mats Sundin. And this open mandate to fight and fight often will have a trickle-down effect and reverse a trend in junior hockey that has seen fights steadily declining for years.

    Again, to be clear, that is not the Toronto Maple Leafs’ problem. But it’s going to be somebody’s problem and, quite likely, fairly soon.

  2. 2 Adam
    October 1, 2009 at 9:36 AM

    I know many fans actually enjoy hockey BECAUSE OF the fights. I enjoy it DESPITE the fights – which is why college hockey is more fun for me to watch. This past year’s Frozen Four tournament is a prime example of some of the most exciting hockey you could ever see played – and there were zero fights.

    It would be interesting to see how many fans the NHL would lose if fighting were eliminated. How many are interested enough in the skill and competition of the game to continue to be die hard fans without the fights? I don’t think you would lose many fans at all.

  3. October 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM

    Adam

    I also believe that when hockey is played the right way, it can be really enjoyable an exciting to watch.

    Now, about eliminating fighting…That would be a great experiment but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you. In fact, my guess is that the executives at the NHL would disagree with your point that they wouldn’t lose many fans at all. I say that because each time a ban on fighting is discussed, these guys go running to bury their heads in the sand. They’re afraid to see how many purists like yourself actually enjoy the finer points of the game.

    The problem is that the owners, players, coaches and yes, most of the fans WANT fighting in the game. Stopping the fighting would be as easy as pie, they just don’t want to stop it for fear of what might happen.

    This recent statement from the Leafs is a clear indication that fighting is indeed an important part of the sport. In my book, that means there isn’t much of a sport there to begin with.

    Thanks for the insights.

    Any other hockey purists or pugilists care to chime in?


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