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NHL and the Law

Posted 8:17 PM ET | Comments 0
Whether hockey fans like to admit it or not, hockey players are celebrities, and with that status come partying, hitting women and driving into Tim Horton's. Anyhow, it's how the NHL goes about with dealing issues that arise and they do a good job. In contrast the NFL worries more about the Deflate Gate than actual issues that their players commit, such as beating wives or dog fighting. While the NHL always finds the appropriate method of dealing with their employee's criminal negligence.

Considering drugs are a massive part of the celebrity lifestyle and people aren't surprised that players get arrested for possession. For example, Jarret Stoll and Mike Richards were both arrested for controlled substances between April and June, the latter of the two is still fighting his charge. Even more is the Buffalo Sabres centre Ryan O'Reilly who drove his truck into a Tim Horton's in the middle of July and unfortunately for him he doesn't have an excuse. Indeed, O'Reilly didn't drive into the Tim Horton's due to them not selling his hockey card, actually the reason was clear why he did it; he was drunk and he even left the scene.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, though. Other players like Jordan Tootoo and Brian McGratten also struggled with alcoholism. In fact, Sean Avery, a former NHLer got arrested for possession while I was writing this blog. Similarly, yesterday morning Montreal Canadiens player, Zack Kassian, was in an accident when the driver of his truck drove into a tree and although he wasn't the driving, Zack is now in rehab. This is an example of how the NHL appropriately deals with issues; the player doesn't get fired due to mistake, actually it's the opposite, the NHL helps.

Equally as important is how some players (generally ended in 'ov' for some reason) are abusing their significant other. On October 31st, 2013 Semyon Varlamov turned himself into the Denver police and charged with second degree kidnapping which is a Class 4 felony. Ironically his agent later said he was innocent of all charges, makes sense and two months later he went on to be released, due to lack of evidence, fair enough. Likewise, this summer, Patrick Kane, who had been accused of raping a woman was also dropped because there was no evidence. Anyhow, a case which did have sufficient evidence was the Slava Voynov case. Voynov beat his wife, punching her, kicking her and choking her, which is truly disgusting. Thankfully, Voynov got suspended from the NHL. Despite this though, the LA Kings allowed him to practice with the team and the NHL fined the Kings a hefty $100,000. Again, the NHL suspended Voynov and he served three months in prison, afterwards his sentence US immigration center took custody of him and later deported him to Russia.

With all of this in mind the NHL handles player's domestic violence charges well, only suspending the player until a ruling from the law. In sum the NHL is just like any suburban father's life, well, minus being payed bucket loads of cash. In the end, incidents will always happen no matter the occupation and as long as your local judge is like the NHL, you should be fine. In short, the NHL always finds an appropriate way to deal with the issue and always think first about their players, not the money. Well, maybe the money.
Filed Under:   NHL   Edmonton   NHLPA  
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