Great read courtesy of the Montreal Gazette. (Stick tap to BoF reader Rouven for the link.)
Chris Nilan cuts through the pity fest and stomps on all the bullshit…
“I’m not sayin’ take fightin’ out of hockey,” Nilan said. “I’m not sayin’ I want fighting out of hockey. What I am sayin’ is that (NHL commissioner Gary) Bettman can take it out if he likes … that he might as well take it out because it’s not being used the way it once was. It’s so different now.
“Guys make excuses that oh! the instigator rule makes it too tough to fight. I say take the extra two minutes anyway. These days, they take too many two-minute penalties for hookin’ or holdin’ or stupid, little penalties.”
This is so true. Fighting is definitely not what it used to be. I don’t get the point of having an enforcer if his job is not to clean up the BS for fear of giving up a two-minute minor. Crosby takes a hit to the head? You bet your ass that an enforcer should be sent out and drop a few on whoever did it. Someone keeps running your goalie? Bust them up so next time they think twice. It used to be like that, I don’t know what happened because you rarely see it anymore.
Nilan also had some great words on what Laraque said :…
“Oh, listen to this big bullead sayin’: ‘It’s the toughest job in hockey . that I couldn’t watch a movie the night before a game,’ ” Nilan said, shedding a mock tear or two. “Here he is sayin’ all this s—! Here’s this guy who never had two, three fights in a game. He never had to go into Boston to fight (Stan) Jonathan, (Terry) O’Reilly, (John) Wensink, (Al) Secord or (Gord) Kluzak.
“I won’t sit here and tell you I was never scared,” Nilan continued. “Of course, I was nervous before a game. I knew I had to fight. Before a game I knew that maybe I had to fight two or three guys. But not for a second the previous night was I goin’ around moanin’ I couldn’ watch a movie. Not for a second was I depressed.”
Now here’s Nilan talking about the transition from hockey to retirement. Keep in mind that Nilan made a pittance compares to what today’s NHLers make.
“Was I bummed out and down when I had to retire?” Nilan asked. “Yeah, why wouldn’t’ I be, especially when you’re 34 years old? Did I have the easiest transition in the world outside of hockey? No! But it happens to a lot of guys. It happens to players. It happens to referees. It happens to a lot of peoples who don’t play hockey.”
Here’s a guy owning his life and not making excuses or looking to play the role of the drama queen. Kudos, Mr. Nilan!
Article wraps up perfectly…
“The rest of it . I don’t buy. I truly believe these are three different people and they’re three different cases who had issues in their lives. You can try and tag it they were fighters and that’s why they died, but I don’t buy it.”
Some quick thoughts as I take a break from researching snow blowers. Damn, no good global warming really messed up my driveway last winter by not showing the eff up.
– Very impressed with the Colorado Avalanche so far this year. That team is just stacked with youth. This Landeskog kid looks real good. And you know what, I think I may have been wrong by mocking Sherman for giving up a 1st rounder for Varlamov. Though let the record show that I was just joining in with the mob on that one!
Of course, I say all this after they beat the Sens 7-1 and that could prove to be the high point of their season. All down hill from here!*
* Nah, they’ll be fine.
– Luongo has been fantastic in his first two games. Fantastic at making snow angels that is. Granted, he always starts off slow but you’ve got to wonder if we’re going to see him decline from now on. Say what you want about him, he’s been a pretty damn good goalie over the years. If not for his mental issues, he could have been great. Just don’t see much positives there anymore at 32 years of age. It’s a prime age for handsome bloggers such as yours truly to make their mark on the world but not goalies with 12 years of experience in the league already.
So what would you do if you were the Canucks? I’d really have a hard time trading Cory Schneider. In fact, I think I’d do everything I can to try to convince Schneider to sign on for a couple more years with the promise that if he keeps up his stellar play, he’d have every shot at taking over as the starter.
This also once again points out the danger of these long contracts. They’re always good for the short-term but so many things change yearly that they’re really a death sentence in the long run.
– Don Cherry is a good guy. I don’t care what people say about him and his opinions, to me, he’ll always be a good guy. I believe at the end of the day he means well. I don’t agree with everything he says but there are also many things I do agree on. I guess that’s bound to happen when you voice opinions on touchy subjects every week. And there’s something that differentiates Cherry from guys like Roenick or Milbury or other loudmouths whether they be in politics or whatever. I’m not sure what it is; It may be childhood memories of watching Coach’s Corner; Or it may be that he doesn’t strike me as someone who’s fake like so many of these shock jocks do.
Maybe it’s because of his age. The more I think about it, the more I think that’s the thing. Because if someone younger was saying that, I probably wouldn’t feel the same. You gotta admire a man who has forged his own beliefs over his lifetime and sticks by them. No matter how much of a sonofabitch you think he is, you still gotta respect him for that. And I do.
– But his comments about Nilan were all wrong. Because from what I read, Nilan did not say what Cherry said he said.
– That’s all for now. I’ll leave you with this: If you’re not watching Boardwalk Empire on HBO, you’re missing out. By far the best show going right now, imo.
I did not see the Aaron Asham vs. Jay Beagle fight until a few minutes ago. I did however read a bunch of stuff about the fight earlier in the day in my Google Reader, which doesn’t play videos.
With all the uproar over his actions, you’d think he stomped on Beagle’s head with his skate and then urinated on him right there on the ice. But here is what he did.
You know what that is? That’s entertaining! It’s a guy who is jacked up on adrenaline after whooping the ass of his opponent. Nothing to apologize for.
Where do we stop with this craziness? Professional hockey is entertainment, nothing more and nothing less. It’s about heroes and villains, about big hits and fights, just as much as it is about highlight goals and amazing saves. So let them entertain. Let’s stop dissecting every action of showmanship while sitting on a high horse. It’s not that big of a deal, people. It really isn’t.
The stuff I’ve read over the last 24 hours about the NHL being hypocrites for cracking down on headshots and still allowing fighting is downright stupid. There’s a big difference between getting blindsided and fight between two willing combatants. There’s also that little thing about fighting that, oh I don’t know, makes hockey what it is. It belongs in the game. Case closed.
/ over and out
// sleeper motion