I've been a hockey fan all my life. Regardless of who is playing I always enjoy a good hockey game (raise your hand if you watch the IHL All Star Game) but with the recent Chris Simon incident (see video above) I have begun to question if the game has always been like this?
As a fan of the game I know that coaches put out enforcers at certain times knowing that they are going to drop the gloves but when a player like Simon goes off the deep end and attempts to injure outside the play of the game that bothers me. Don't get me wrong, I love the feel of the arena when the coaches match enforcer against enforcer knowing that these guys will go. At that moment I am transported back to ancient Rome to the coliseum watching gladiators fight for their lives. But what Simon did...what Bertuzzi did to Steve Moore does not belong in our game.
I remember many an IHL game as a youth when my Flint Generals and a foe (many times the hated Saginaw Gears) would have bench clearing brawls. While we don’t see that kind of play much any more (the Sharks and Coyotes did all pair off last night in a heated game that should see some more suspensions from the NHL) what gets the attention is bonehead plays like Simon or like the Predators own Scott Nichol. (Let me say this now. I don't see the game through Pred colored glasses when a Predator does something like Scott Nichol did they need to be punished. There is no place in our game for that. None.)
As a fanatic of the game I do, of course, defend the honor of my game to those who don't understand it but these types of acts make it hard to do. Where is the honor Simon? Where is the honor Nichol? Where is the honor of the entire Philadelphia Flyers team? I feel that Colin Campbell is doing the right thing and making the suspensions tough but the players themselves need to hold each other accountable to this. Bring back the honor to the game.
So I ask the question to the readers of the blog...has the game always been like this or have we become more sensitive to this type of behavior? Are we seeing more because of more cameras at the games? What gives? Help me out here.
To view video of the Simon incident got to http://predjoe.wordpress.com/