So we all read the comments from NHLPA boss Paul Kelly last week:
“”If it’s a staged fight between two superheavyweights that perhaps arranged it a day before the game, I’m not so sure those are the fights that we need to continue to have in the sport. And if they’re the most dangerous fights, we ought to take a good, hard look at those. …”I’m not advocating elimination of their jobs, I’m talking about the question of safety. If those guys can hold a roster spot and skate on a fourth line and play and engage in fights which arise from the emotion of the game, great. But if they’re only there for one purpose, then I think that’s at least one issue our competition committee will take a hard look at.”
Well what do you know….somewhere out there is a rat. Question is, was it a Loblaws rat or a Florida Panthers rat?
You see a Minnestoa Wild tough guy Derek Boogaard took great exception to the quote…
“”It bothers me a lot,” he said Thursday, adding Kelly’s comments are “kind of comical. He should try and do it then and see how the sales for everything goes. It’s goal scorers and the fighters who really push and drive the revenues, I think. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I mean [Marian Gaborik’s] jersey is No. 1 [in Wild sales] and I’m up there, too. I’m pretty sure it’s like that for every other team.”
I hear what the guy is saying, but it’s a pretty lame argument. That isn’t the story though…..
“Kelly called Boogaard on Friday and said his quotes were largely taken out of context. The Star Tribune requested Kelly, but the NHLPA didn’t make him available.”
How great is that. Kelley’s comments were not only taken out of context, they were largely taken out of context! So after Boogaard drank the Kelly Kool-Aid his tone changed:
“Typical Toronto media,” Boogaard said.”
Ahhhhhhh yes. The writers from the Canadian press (the rag to which the quote is attributed made this one up eh Paul. If it’s true that the CP made that up, it’s too bad. The pro-fight lobby is right when they say that fighting is a natural policing method or a response to things that occur in the heat of the game. I think even the anti-fighting lobby can buy that. The argument is that the pre-meditated fights are the ones that should be outlawed and it’s pretty hard to disagree with that sentiment. Cement heads aren’t a viable part of the future of the game, both the league and union (that can’t appear to stop tripping over themselves) need to figure that out.
“It takes longer for us to get up to par because you get thrown into a role at 16 years old. In junior, some coaches only play you two or three shifts a game and you do that for four years. … Teams just have to be patient.”
Ummmm no Derek, that’s not the way it will work. You either have the talent to play or you don’t. There is no patience necessary. What will eventually happen is that players will either be able to play at the junior level or they won’t. Teams won’t draft or sign 1 dimensional goons (not the difference Bill between your favorite slur!) if these types of brawls go the way of the Nordiques.
You can read the whole Boogaard story here