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My Reaction to the Patrice Cormier Situation

January 20, 2010

My apologies for this being the first post in nine days. Last week was rather crazy for me and it has taken some time for the routine nature of my schedule to return. I intend to post regularly from this point forward.

As most of you that read this blog are hockey fans and seek out blogs to get coverage/better follow the game, I’m going to just assume that you are aware of the events surrounding Patrice Cormier. For those of you that are not, here is a video showing his brutal hit on Mikael Tam.

Pretty much every hockey blog I read, forum I check or show I watch has made some sort of reaction to this and this one will be no different. Yet I’m going to only dwell on a concern I have for the game and not so much the hit itself.

Let’s be clear here. That hit was intentional, ugly and Cormier should be suspended for a long time, if not, the rest of the season. It doesn’t matter that he’s a star prospect, the man has a history of hits like this and he’s apparently not learning anything. Keeping him on the ice is a risk to the well-being of opposing players and a threat to the integrity of the game.

One thing is for sure across the board when it comes to the reactions I’ve seen, the violence in hockey debate comes up.

In my personal life outside of hockey I’m a staunch pacifist, but when it comes to the game, violence is a necessary component. Fights are used for strategic purposes and hitting is just a part of the game’s fabric. This doesn’t mean that I’m a proponent of “goon” form of the game that seems to plague some of the lower tiers of semi-pro hockey, but violence is part of sport. Actually, if memory serves, the first official game of hockey had a fight break out during it.

Contact should not be taken out of the game, but idiots that show complete disregard for the health of others should. Cormier is young and has a chance to turn it around. An opportunity to learn from his mistakes and play a cleaner style of hockey. Yet this is not something that should go unpunished, when someone lays an intentional hit that leads to another player into convulsions, you need to be suspended for a long time. This is especially the case when this is not the first time an incident like this has occurred.

Violence isn’t the problem with hockey, it never has been and it’s hard to foresee a future where it would be one. Yet there needs to be some sort of crack down on players that threaten the safety of those around them. Additionally leagues should looks at injury issues, such as the hits to the head dilemma that is plaguing the NHL this season, and make adjustments to the rules to better protect the players.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 20, 2010 1:03 pm

    I agree with every word of this. Bad, bad hit, and a long suspension is absolutely necessary. This sort of thing needs to be stamped out.

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