It’s become an epidemic in the NHL. Players are hitting anything thing on skates, and they don’t care if they do it right. Just ask San José Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle. He was hit from behind by Maxim Lapierre just over 10 days ago. The hit got Boyle a ride on a stretcher, and it got Lapierre a seat in the press box for five games.
It’s about time someone opened up and told fans how they feel. Boyle was interviewed by David Pollak of the San José Mercury News. During the interview Boyle said
I don’t think he thought he was going to put me in the hospital with the hit, so I agree with him that wasn’t his intention… CBSsports.com
I think the problem here is players are not thinking; they are just doing. This is an NHL problem as much as it is a player issue.
Boyle has just started to skate again. He’s lucky. I couldn’t help but wonder what Boyle would do if that hit presented it to him. Here’s his answer.
We’ve all been playing long enough that in a split-second, we’re conditioned to make that decision,” Boyle said. “A lot of guys would probably choose to not hit there. And vise versa for me, too. There are a lot of guys in the league where I wouldn’t hit and, I’m not going to lie, there’s probably a handful that I would.
I think Boyle nailed the NHL’s problem. Players are choosing who to hit. They are willing to risk lives and careers solely on what name is on the back of a jersey. I feel for Boyle, but after reading parts of his interview; I feel less. It seems that he understands there is a risk involved in hockey, and further more he seems willing to deliver the same kind of hit.
The NHL has a responsibility to protect all players, but the players themselves have to also take on that burden. That means no matter who is in front of them, making the decision to deliver a hit on a vulnerable player is never acceptable. CBSSports
Let’s be honest; players do not care about each other anymore, and the days of brother hood may be over. It’s about money, and banners hanging from their arena. I’d like to have a player answer these questions. How will you feel when you choose to run a player and that player dies? Is that going to change things?