Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Add visor, no wiser.

OK, I know that's a lame title for a post. It seemed far more clever in my head when I thought it up, and now I'm too lazy to change it. But here's something else bugging me today - this fighting in hockey crap. Now the GMs, meeting in that hotbed of hockey fandom that is Florida, are discussing stiffer penalties for fighting in the NHL. Specifically, that goon-centric type of fighting that is clearly premeditated and gratuitous. And I say fine. If you can't play a regular shift, then you are in the game only to fight. And good riddance when you pack your bags and go back to Binghamton or wherever it is you're going. The FTHL or the XQPHL or whatever goon league will have you. I'm on board.

But then, in the same breath, these GMs want to institute an extra penalty for people who wear visors and start fights. If this isn't outright hypocrisy, it's at the very least incongruous with the idea of getting rid of the goons. The goons are part of that macho, tough-guy NHL culture that so many people deride, but it's that same culture that calls the visor-wearers pansies and wimps and says that those players who choose to wear one can't be tough guys. So if you're going to say that goons should be a thing of the past, how can you then say that visor-wearing players can't be in fights? That it should be left to those who choose not to protect their broken-teeth tough-guy faces? You're either in favour of curbing fighting or you're not. Legislating goons out is fine. But legislating who, among those players who remain, are allowed to drop the gloves is over the top. It seems to me it has to be one or the other.

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