NHL suspensions based on injuries and not the act?
Most everyone looks at a dangerous hit from behind, sees it over and over again on the highlight shows, registers mild disappointment at the practically meaningless one-game suspension, and can’t even summon the strength any more to complain.
Maybe that’s the idea. That we’ll all shut up eventually, and let the boys play.
Willie Mitchell isn’t most everyone.
So while most of the witnesses to the Martin Hanzal-on-Dustin Brown hit deflected questions Thursday morning, or gave careful answers, or just didn’t show up, the 35-year-old L.A. Kings defenceman whose career might have ended two years ago on a hit from behind by Evgeni Malkin was considerably more forthright.
A story on Zach Praise.
He is the son of an NHL player and coach, and if you listen closely, that’s unmistakable in almost everything he says and does at the rink.
For all his boyish good looks, Zach Parise has the mind of a hockey lifer, at only 27, and it’s that IQ his coach wanted to tap over the off-season in setting out a new identity for the New Jersey Devils.
"I had conversations with Zach and some of the other players over the summer, and they really felt that we could put a little more pressure on other teams," Peter DeBoer said on an off day on Thursday, a day after his team had tied their Eastern Conference final.
Some hockey history for you lovely folks.
Two Swedish researchers compiling an encyclopedia of hockey history have scored a hat trick of significant new discoveries, including what they're calling the earliest known image of a hockey player — a well-dressed skater with a curved stick and flat-edged puck striding along England's ice-covered Thames River in December 1796.
Sport historians Carl Giden and Patrick Houda have also unearthed an extremely rare book published in 1776 that includes the first detailed description of field hockey — ancestor of dozens of derivative sports, from NHL hockey to ringette to the underwater game of "octopush" — as well as another vintage illustration of a group of boys at play that's considered the earliest of its kind.