Friday, March 12, 2004

A word about hockey

I love hockey. It's awesome. The season might be too long, but that takes nothing away from the fact that these guys are incredible athletes.

Probably, you heard about the Canucks player going after th Avalanche player in retaliation, inadvertantly breaking Steve Moore's neck (though he's expected to make a full recovery). Let me just say that while this is terribly unfortunate, and the assult was a horrible lapse in judgement by one of the best players in all of hockey (Bertuzzi), it changes nothing about how great a game hockey is. I defer to these words from Barry Melrose, ex-coach of Wayne Gretzky and the LA Kings, and other teams:

ESPN.com - NHL - Melrose's Place: No Cup for Canucks:

"This situation isn't necessarily a black eye for hockey, though, because anyone who doesn't like the physical nature of the sport is going to bash it anyway...

Those who know hockey understand that a line was crossed and that what Bertuzzi did is should never be part of the game.

...Others will be calling for an end to fighting and a move to European rules, but they likely don't watch a lot of overseas hockey. If they did, they'd see that the European game is the dirtiest in the world. Players over there engage in all kinds of stickwork -- slashing, spearing, high-sticking -- and the physical play involves kicking and the like. There is no accountability or retribution, so a dirty player can run rampant all game long without having to face justice.

...Many people who don't truly understand the game are talking right now, but they are exactly the group who should not be saying anything. The NHL is dealing with one terrible incident and will survive. Let's just hope Steve Moore's career survives."

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