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Message: Is The NHL Out Of Control This Year? Or Is This Playoff Hockey?

As most of you know, I like to go to the data before forming an opinion on something - and this piece of data is pretty telling ...

... the NHL has suspended 8 players (including Raffi Tores who is about to be suspended) in the first week of the playoffs vs 7 players suspended for the entire 2011 playoff season.

I'm personally getting close to the point of disgust ... and I love rough and tumble NHL Playoff Hockey. The difference this year is the clear intent by teams to head hunt the opposing team's best players ... and I literally mean head hunt.

I'm not the only one on AGORACOM feeling this way ... check out this Hockey Smockey thread on the Golden Hope Mines HUB (which should have been in the OT section) where many members are feeling the same way. Here are some excerpts:

Penderite - I'll go on record here, so many may call me a whining Canuck, but hockey has become..'who can injure the top players, with the littlest penalty possible.' Hockey is now more about being as physically damaging as possible, and get away with it.

Glorieux - If this is Bettman's idea of hockey, he can go back under the rock he came from!

Glorieux actually raised a good point about the NFL. That sport is far more physical than hockey but when the whistle blows, everybody goes back to their corner. You know why? Commissioner Goodell takes a no nonsense approach to protecting the game and its players. When they see a problem rising, they act swiftly and its their way or the highway.

Bettman, on the other hand, is nowhere to be seen. His first failure was failing to crack the whip when Sidney Crosby was head hunted and knocked out for a year. Once that went unpunished, the animals went wild.

Shame on the NHL. From the players lack of respect, to the executives' lack of action. Instead of showcasing the best it has to offer, it has succeeded in showcasing the worst it has to offer.


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