Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Wednesday Wonderings: Burnout Edition

by Jes

Blogger Burnout sucks, especially when combined with an on-off again throbbing headache and a lack of actual hockey news.

First, let's start off in the world of women's golf (zzzzz....), where the LPGA is going to mandate English proficiency.

At a mandatory South Korean player meeting Aug. 20 at the Safeway Classic, the tour informed its largest international contingent that beginning in 2009, all players who have been on tour for two years must pass an oral evaluation of their English skills. Failure would result in a suspended membership.

Wow, talk about really stupid rule changes ... If there is a sport that doesn't require English to be spoken, it's golf. Hell, they throw you out of the Country Club just for thinking too loudly. When do golfers need to speak, other than to the caddy?

I can understand that the LPGA wants its players to be able to do interviews, but who the hell interviews women golfers, anyway? How about getting some eye candy out on the course? I don't think the media is really concerned about Korean women golfers who can't say boring clichés in broken Engrish.

Imagine if the NHL tried to pull off something like this? Oh, you could just see the exodus of European NHLers returning back home because they didn't pass some stupid multiple-choice test Gary Bettman dreamed up.


While French/Quebec players might have the rep for being soft in the NHL (think Daigle, Turgeon, Brisebois), the fact is that Quebec is the #1 province for hockey fighting. The brawls in Quebec beer leagues are infamous, and the brawlers that province produce are second to none (Worrell, Laraques, Brashear)

So, it seems quite strange, then, that Quebec has taken drastic measures to reduce fighting in junior hockey. It's not an outright ban, nor is it European (automatic ejection), but it's a serious change to how fights are penalized.

Young hockey players in Quebec are going to think twice about using their hockey gloves as boxing gloves in the wake of strict new penalties announced Wednesday to curb on-ice violence.

Hockey Quebec is targeting unsportsmanlike behaviour such as fighting, checking the back of the head and verbal abuse in the minor leagues.

Players who fight, instigate, or jump into an on-ice brawl as a third combattant will be suspended for two games on a first offence. A second offence puts the player out for four games and means a trip before a disciplinary committee.

A third offence means an indefinite suspension.
That's right, folks, a TWO GAME SUSPENSION for being in a fight! Gary Bettman must be jealous!

It seems that The Powers That Be felt too much backlash from Jonathan Roy's actions. (Click here for YouTube goodness)

I understand that fighting in hockey is not very necessary, but it does provide us fans with extra entertainment, and allows for on-ice disputes to be handled without the need for serious stick swinging.

Still, this feels like a gross overreaction. Couldn't the Quebec Fed simply give much harsher penalties for serious incidents? Why should a player be suspended two games for an average consensual fight? Most fights never end up close to being monster brawls or outright assaults. Why can't these bureaucrats distinguish between the two?

I'm not sure if the QMJHL will follow these guidelines, or if it is just for the lower kiddie ranks. This is definitely something to keep an eye on.

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