Man, there are a lot of nerds covering hockey.
Man, there was a lot of moral self-righteousness and outrage.
For those late to the party, Connor McDavid got into a fight last night and hurt his hand when he missed his intended mark and hit the boards instead. I will pause and give those who see fights as the evil in hockey an opportunity to dab away their tears.
When the Connor McDavid injury news filtered down, there were scarcely enough soap boxes to cover everyones disapproval, agenda promoting, and self-promoting. They seemed to fall into these categories:
1 "See, I told you they should take fighting out of hockey"
2. "Connor McDavid should know better because he's a generational talent"
3. "How are they going to sell tickets in Toronto and Montreal for the World Junior Championships"
4. "This just furthers my argument that CHL hockey is evil. players are the modern day coal miners and David Branch presides over the Hunger Games" Tongue in cheek, but no doubt the CHLPA and the lawsuit guys were thinking about it.
Note, that I haven't listed a category for "voice of reason" . For that go to Victor Fernandes column. He covers the Erie Otters day in and day out and knows a thing or two about the Otters. Even Victor had to be a tad bemused as he was on every Toronto sports radio show talking about this.
Here is Fernandes' take here:
For the anti-fighting softies, I offer the following. The fact that fighting has been muted in the game of hockey is cause for much back patting amongst so called hockey media. I offer the counter that the fact that McDavid had to fight for himself was the problem. I had a couple of people watch THE WHOLE PLAY and not just the McDavid soundbite and they seemed to offer up the fact that there was a liberty or two taken with McDavid before the fight.
In the good old days when Gretzky had Semenko and McSorely and Gordie Howe had his elbows, there was no messing with the star. Now Crosby and McDavid have to fend off sticks, shoulders, elbows, knees, etc while the enforcer is starting to be from a bygone era.
The second argument was promoted by a couple of people, including a former GM turned broadcaster. Connor McDavid is generational talent who is 17 years old, and prone to 17 year old emotions no matter how poised and protected he is. Everyone has a breaking point. Even Harry Potter, another "Chosen One" had a misstep or two and lost his temper the odd time on his way to the (Spoiler Alert) vanquishing of Voldemort.
By the way, did you see how McDavid acquitted himself in that fight? He showed a mean streak that would have done Dale Hunter and Mark Messier proud. I like the fact that he can handle himself when the going gets rough, just too bad he got injured, and I hope that the injury is not serious.
Other opinions worth reading for your approval and disapproval are here:
Come on man! Lets gain some perspective here. So for the moral outrage crew, the fighting is evil crews, the generational talent crew and the Jr World Hockey ticket angst crew? Give your damn head a shake and look beyond your own soapbox.