(I originally posted this on my tumblr, responding to this picture) I have been thinking about this and have nowhere else to say it so I’m saying it here/thinking out loud.
I find it ironic that Sid, the poster boy for head injury in the NHL and why the NHL needs to be less violent, is on the receiving end of this hit. Because if it had been anyone other than Giroux, it wouldn’t be making front pages. It was kind of predatory in my opinion. It was clean, and a good hockey hit sure, but he definitely sought him out to hit him like that. I understand that’s what the NHL is about, as long as the hit is clean, but the fact that the NHL flip flops from wanting to protect Sid to advertising how awesome it is that the new “superstar” is physical. He’s a solid player but his actual talent in goal scoring is what impresses me, not trying to seek out players to hit. I chalk it up to a bit of the Flyers mentality. I just think it’s weird that Giroux had an amazing series points-wise, and the thing that catches headlines is the hit on Crosby. I know Giroux has had concussion problems too, but it’s funny how the NHL pretends that those issues don’t exist when it can be used to get publicity like this.
And I’ve seen this hit headlined on NHL site and elsewhere, not just here. That’s what really confuses me. But that’s the thing with the NHL and violence…it is forever contradictory. We want to keep clean hits in the game, but eradicate concussions…you can’t have one without the other. And you definitely won’t change anything by displaying to fans and young players and other players that hitting a superstar is more important than winning a series for your team in goal scoring.
/end rant. i have weird opinions ever since I wrote that paper about fighting in hockey. And then thought about it a lot again today when I read about that football player that killed himself likely as a result of long-term effects of CTE.
I don't really have any solutions or suggestions. I myself am torn between the clean hitting aspect of the game, when it becomes predatory, and how it ultimately hurts players more than we realize.