Henrik Sedin and Joe Thornton: Shut Up

by

It’s official.

The modern NHL is now Salem, Massachusetts circa 1692 and Zdeno Chara is a Witch.

I don’t know how else to explain the mounting hysteria surrounding this incident. I swear to you, I’ve taken off the Black and Gold sunglasses, people. I’ve looked at this from every angle and am making a sincere effort to be as objective as possible.

I think the NHL made the right decision in this case. Period.

Zdeno Chara did nothing illegal.

Zdeno Chara did not intend to injure Max Pacioretty.

Some people see it otherwise.

Chiming in from out west, a couple of high profile players have decided to speak out publicly about the incident. Henrik Sedin and Joe Thornton have both donned their Puritan robes and and want to stand witness at Chara’s dunking into the waters to see if he floats.

In the case of man-boy Jumbo Joe, he seems to be suggesting that the Boston Bruins are immune from league discipline thanks to some sort of magical artifact they keep buried beneath TD Garden, possibly an enchanted black magic totem of such power that it clouds the vision of authority figures making decisions about NHL rules (A Witch! A Witch!). It probably makes sense to him somewhere inside that cavernous, empty tree-stump of a head lolling about on his neck. How else can one explain a league MVP and perrennial leading scorer who has failed his team and choked out of the playoffs 12 years in a row? It’s obvious someone has put a curse on him.

Witches in Boston!

Sedin’s comments are more tempered but still swim within the same stream of illogic. He seems to be suggesting that, because there was an injury, even if Chara did nothing wrong, nothing that dozens of other players do night in and night out, that there still should have been a suspension to send a message. So what’s that message, though? That any accident that results in a head injury should mandate suspension? If a shot gets deflected into the bench and a guys gets hit in the head, should the deflecting player be suspended, then? Jesus, it makes me nervous about the Stanley Cup Finals. What if the team captain when passing the cup off to a teammate accidentally drops it on the guy’s head? 10 games the following season?

I have a better idea. Or rather, my equally rational comrade-in-arms Gonz did (credit where credit is due, mate). Let’s have everyone skate around with a big hunk of memory foam strapped around their heads. They’ll look like living bobble head dolls. Wait. How about giant plastic dog collars that won’t allow players to lift their arms above their shoulders? Speed limits. Guys who skate faster than 10 mph go straight to the box. Or maybe anyone taller than 6′ 2″ has to skate on their knees.

What? You want a safer game right?

Yes, it’s concerning that there seems to be a rise in the number of head injuries in the NHL these days. I think it has a lot to do with the speed of the game and the size of the players. If there’s a disregard for safety amongst the players, it needs to be addressed, of course. I have a hard time believeing, however, that so many guys are out there trying to intentionally hurt others.

The bottom line is that hockey is a violent contact sport, by it’s nature. There have always been unfortunate injuries. There always will be. I think people are doing their best to make it safer without compromising the integrity, the essense, of what makes the game great. A hysteria driven witch hunt may be more dangerous to the sport we love than a few concussions, however. You have to ask yourself; if you change the NHL too dramatically, what have you changed it into? How watered down do you want it?

You know what? If it’s too much for you maybe just switch over to some curling. But remember. If anyone trips and hits their head on those big rocks?

Immediate suspension.

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3 Responses to “Henrik Sedin and Joe Thornton: Shut Up”

  1. jaylectricity Says:

    I’m wondering if Joe Thornton noticed that Daniel Paille was suspended for 4 games this year. Sort of blows a hole in his theory.

  2. Ozzy McGurt Says:

    I find it remarkable that you, Ken, are now bashing Mr. Thornton. I seem to remember comments from you at the time of his departure from Boston that he was the sole player on the team that exhibited the skill and intelligence that the Bruins needed. I’m just sayin’.

    As for the core of this story, I’m with ya all the way brother. Those of us who enjoy hockey for what it is know that injuries are part of the game. Our man Grapes has the best idea for a solution that I have heard yet, and I stand behind it as well. Get rid of the helmets. Get rid of the ginormous NFL style pads. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: if the hitting player has the same chance of being injured as the hittee does, the dangerous hits would go away. If you stand a good chance of breaking your forearm when you smash it into an opponents head, you’re probably going to pass on that hit. Get rid of the equipment that makes the players feel invincible and the problem would be solved. Period.

  3. Ken Socrates Says:

    I may have said skill but I guarantee you I never said intelligence. No one here ever thought Joe was a MENSA candidate. A likeable kid with a boatlad of talent but sadly lacking in the “it” factor that makes for a good leader, especially at playoff time. The trade to San Jose horrified me, of course. Looking back, however, it wasn’t so much that they traded him, it was the pathetic return they got on a centerpiece player who would turn out to be league MVP that season. Basically, it was for a couple rent-a-players and an aging German winger. When it should have been for Jarome Iginla or someone. The very notion that they allowed a doomed, incpmpetent, out of his league wannabe GM like Mike O’Connell make that deal is still astounding, isn’t it?

    I was as surprised as anyone by Thornton’s comments, OZ. I think he may harbour some ill will towards the Bruins about how things ended here. His comments are completely absurd to me. I’ve always liked Joe and lord knows I’ve not hidden my sadness about what’s become of him in San Jose.

    He’s dead wrong on this issue, however.

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