I wasn't going to say anything, but with the reaction from the league, different articles around the net, and my brief conversation with One Team on the last post, I feel a little response is prudent.
Please, go and check this article out from the Times. It is what finally energized me to respond.
This is a very accurately written peace that pretty much sums up my own feelings about the hit and all the crap seen around the league. Two paragraphs from the article state my opinion very well:
- How many players do we have to see prone on the ice before the NHL institutes a zero-tolerance policy? How many stars — think Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Chris Pronger, Marc Savard — have to miss months or more at a time before we decide to better protect players? See what the NFL is going through, all the retired player lawsuits? That’s coming to the NHL sooner than you think.
- When asked if he expected Hansen to be disciplined for the hit, Vigneault said: “Not a chance. Not a chance. He’s trying to grab a puck in the air. It’s unfortunate if a young man is hurt. [But he’s] trying to jump to get the puck. Stuff happens.” That cavalier attitude toward a potentially serious injury is everything that’s wrong with the NHL mind-set. It’s a pre-concussion era, Neanderthalic line of thought — the idea that it’s a violent game for manly men, and if you can’t deal with the risks, go play badminton instead.
I can't get my head wrapped around how Hansen or anyone around him can take him seriously when he says he had no control over the situation, and that the game is so fast, things just happen. Yes, they do, but as Shanahan stated, "While it might be true Hansen initially reaches up to play the puck in the air, he changes the position of his arm and delivers a sharp, careless forearm to the back of Hossa’s head."
Thank you! This is exactly how I saw it. Not only did Hansen know exactly what he was doing, he changes his body movements to do it on purpose. It happened so fast, I don't know what I am doing my ass! After Shanahan states this, I don't know how he found the courage to deliver one stinking game to Hansen. I have never done something in a game that I wasn't completely aware of. Even when accidentally do something, I know how and why it happened, while it is happening.
Being a tough league with a dash of violence is one thing. Having nearly 100 players lose some 1,700 man games to head injuries, as the league did last season according to the CBC, is another. The league is built on stars and skill and toughness, not violence. Even Raffi Torres — the guy who gave Hossa a concussion last April with a vicious, illegal hit to the head — gets that.
“If I want to keep playing in this league, I’m going to have change the way [I play],” he said earlier this month.
And here we come to the point, "Being a tough league is one thing. Having nearly 100 players lose some 1,700 games to head injuries is another."
We have far too much violence in our society, and maybe it's what allows Vingneault to be such an arrogant jerk, I don't know, but sooner or later we have to start slowing it down and begin focusing on the better things in life. I could go on and on about how much violence has infiltrated our pop culture and planted a characteristic seed which hold yet to be seen unfortunate results, but can we at least agree to start taking these seeds out. Personally, with regards to hockey, I have had unfortunate run ins with idiots on the ice who end up having an impact on my future. I have suffered head hits, checks from behind, and everything else under the sun, which has given me separated shoulders, untold amounts of injuries that will never heal properly, and a concussion which opened pandoras box of head injuries and pushed me away from pursuing further progression in the game.
It happens, because we accept it as being a part of the game. Every single player who has done it to me, because they couldn't do it on the score board, has used that very line as part of their excuse. "It's part of the game, get over it." If you can't win, cheat. How do you respond to that? With more violence? What kind of society are we trying to cultivate here?
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