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I believe in the code. I also believe, generally, that what happens on the ice should stay on the ice. Numerous times in my illustrious men’s league career I’ve shared a beer with someone 30 minutes prior I was sharing fists with. It’s the nature of a small, communal sport that once the final whistle blows we’re all people who love the sport and carefully guard its reputation.
With that comes the responsibility to police our own. If someone is acting like an idiot on the ice, we can handle it. When Montreal Canadiens fans called 911 because Zdeno Chara gave Max Pacioretti an unplanned nose job, it was embarrassing for the sport (but mostly embarrassing for the losers who support Le Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge). Our sport is controlled violence that in an otherwise uncontrolled world would be illegal.
All that being said – fuck this kid. Someone in the BLT Facebook comments said he was banned from USA hockey forever. Great start, but he should be jail. What he did had no bearing on the game, was not commiserate with the actions that preceded it, and was indicative of someone who cannot function in our society; never mind society writ large.
What he did violates every rule written, and unwritten. The reason we as a sport ARE allowed to commit acts that would otherwise be illegal (aka, fighting) is because we keep it within an acceptable range of violence, and rarely exceed it.
This kid exceeded it well outside the limits and should be punished not as a hockey player, but as a criminal.
February 19, 2019