I don't know about you but I've had enough of this. I refuse to support the NHL with my time or money until the brutality has been completely abolished from the game. I'm not even talking about fighting, body checking or physical play. I'm talking about blatant brutality to another player who is not in the position to defend himself. What prompted this was one of the many disgusting headhunting hits in the first round of the 2012 playoffs. A lined up run from the other blue line. The player didn't get a penalty. Apparently no official saw it and if they did see it they thought it was 'clean' hit. How can a hit that causes a player to lose consciousness be a 'clean' hit? What made matters worse is that during the break the panel of commentators blamed the team for not having an enforcer to prevent hits like this from happening. This is when I realized that the league has absolutely no interest in cleaning up the game. This is what made me sick. It's like human cockfighting out there. Where is the NHLPA in protecting their members? Why is this ok with people? Why am I the first person to start a petition? I'm a professional in my thirties. I love hockey. I watched it growing up with my dad and have been watching it ever since. However, I now feel ashamed admitting to my colleagues that I watch this brutal sport.
Clean it up or I, and many other people in my demographic, will take our money and support elsewhere. Don't forget this also means their children and therefore future generations of players and fans. This petition is to demand from the league that they clean up the game for once and all. If they are serious and want to do it there are MANY measures that can be taken.
Suggestions of how to execute this:
- equal suspension for the full duration of a players injuries (i.e. you give a guy a concussion and he's out for a year, then so are you). Watch how QUICKLY the players take care in how they play once this is enforced.
- Video replay on ANY play. Get rid of the 4 officials on the ice. It's time to automate refereeing. If necessary, keep one on the ice to drop the puck and pick it up and have 2 bouncers on skates on standby ready to jump in to break something up. Apparently the officials don't see anything anyway and they simply contribute to the problem of retaliation when calls aren't made. Have a team of officials watching video and live play right at the boards and let them blow the whistle when they see something. This can be used for any call...offside, icing, etc.
That alone should get a good enough start on cleaning up the league. Oh and one more thing. Start at the top and fire the person in charge who allows this to happen, Bettman.
That's it, and thanks for listening. Good luck NHLPA members. We want to see you healthy and playing the beautiful, skillful hockey that we know you are capable of. You are amazing athletes and THAT is what people should be talking about the next day. Not about career ending injuries.
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