I can't help but be drawn into the debate around violence in hockey after reading Adam Proteau's blog regarding suspensions (or lack thereof).
As a life-long hockey fan I've only wanted the best for the game I love. I grew up in the days of “roller derby on ice” in the mid ‘70s and I didn't know how that served the game.
I lived through the mid ‘80s where it seemed nobody wanted to win the championship and very few teams did.
In the ‘90s it ended up being a matter of survival. The almighty dollar was the bottom line and you either sank or went ice fishing.
Through it all, there was always an underlying current of violence. Yes, hockey is inherently a violent game, enormous men are meant to crash into each other in order to either attack or repel goals, but where has the “decency” gone?
I'm reluctant to call it a “reflection on today's society”, as a disgruntled senior citizen might say, but it seems as though the “do unto others” aspect of life has escaped hockey altogether.
Emphasis has been put on the Todd Bertuzzi/Steve Moore episode ever since it happened and the same can be said for the Marty McSorley/Donald Brashear episode. I'm sure neither Todd or Marty would have enjoyed being on the other end of their attacks, yet what was it that didn’t stop them?
Maybe it's time to make the punishment fit the crime. If you commit a crime in which you personally infringe on someone, then that “ups” the punishment.
Tripping, elbowing or interference happens, but maybe it's time to put these things into perspective.
Is half a season too much for knocking someone's teeth out with your stick? Somehow, I don't think so.
Tom Putnaerglis, Kelmscott, Australia
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