I wanted Da Nephew to grow up to be a Montreal Canadiens left winger.
He's already tall for his age at 21 months, and he's probably going to be like his Daddy who tops out at 6 ft 3. He's smart and co-ordinated (ok I'm a bit biased here yes) and he already loves hockey.
It's one of his favorite words.
"Hock-key," he'll say, "Abs go abs."
He's demanded to watch hockey from his father at times. He and I play with two little sticks and a toy ball I bought him. He likes the goalie stick (thanks Carey Price).
I don't want his father and mother to ever experience what Max Pacioretty's parents are going through. I don't want to see my beautiful favorite boy in the whole world lying unconscious on the ice after a questionable check.
I was going to help pay to put him into hockey. Now I'm thinking maybe he should pursue a safer career path instead.
Like King Crab fisherman on the Bering Sea.
Gary Bettman today, after a conference where he was trying to encourage hockey participation in the USA, told hockey parents the world over that if their kid sustains a broken neck like Max Pacioretty it's just "part of the game".
Don't expect him to do anything about it. Don't expect him to care. Don't expect the person who does the neck breaking to be punished, care or even offer up some basic courtesy.
Yo Neanderthal aka Chara - still waiting to hear an apology instead of just how you are relieved to not get punished for something you actually did do.
So hockey parents do not expect Bettman to apologize for getting it wrong. Do not expect the person who endangers your child's life and future to apologize either.
Broken necks are part of the game.
What is not part of the game? Common sense, common courtesy, respect.
Bettman's rebuttal to Air Canada - a major NHL sponsor who is taking a stand against undue violence in hockey - smacks of juvenile arrogance. He doesn't need Air Canada?
This is a commissioner who's last gig - as the head of the NBA - saw that sport excel after he left. He's incurred 2 work stoppages in the NHL so far. He's having trouble expanding the sport into an unfriendly southern US market, and gaining corporate sponsors to help him do it.
In the course of a single day he's disrespected every hockey parent & player, a major sponsor, and an Original Six team that is an NHL money making machine.
Bettman is down a couple of goals, not with just with this but with the Glendale mess and the general lack of respect for the NHL in the sporting world (particularly the USA). Does he even realize how callous, disrespectful and stupid his comment was today?
"It's part of the game."
As a hockey parent, is that enough to reassure you that your child is safe on the ice? It doesn't work for me with Da Nephew.
Meanwhile the Habs, their fans and the marvelous corporations (Air Canada & Bell) that have stood together at the other end of the ice can suddenly smell blood.