The media can “spin” the problems of the NHL onto Mario Lemieux’s shoulders all they want, but when push comes to shove, the NHL will still be the one that needs to correct their problem, not Mario. Until the NHL fixes the problem of leaving players to “police themselves” the Pittsburgh Penguins need to employ the Matt Cooke’s & Eric Godard’s.
Mario Lemieux came out with what he thinks would be a resolution to the NHL’s problems, just to be turned down. Nobody in the media ever seems to mention that Mario and the Penguins are the victims of what is wrong with the NHL yet are always the very first to point out that Mario needs to clean house. Mario Lemieux is suggesting that it’s time the NHL do away with the idiotic let the players police themselves policy and it’s time the NHL actually polices itself & the players.
Mario is suggesting putting a stop the good ol’ boy network’s backward mentality of the Colin Campbell’s & Brian Burke’s of the league. The same who say that Mario should not come out and say this in public, the same who would have thrown it under the rug if he didn’t.
If you don’t believe there is a good ol’ boys mentality listen to ex-goon Duane Sutter who is now the Calgary Flames director of player personnel: “You see guys turning their backs on a guy coming at them, 3 or 4 feet from the boards, If you don’t want to protect yourself, why should the league?”
A simple case in point: When is the NHL going to come up with a policy for scrums in front of the net? This happens about 15 times a game. If a player is poking at a goaltender after the whistle, the NHL never calls a penalty, the referee’s probably don’t even have a penalty they can call. This forces players to come in and cross check, spear, face wash or a plant a fast jab to the mouth of an opposing player, which by the way the NHL referee’s never call a penalty for either. Hence the players need to “police themselves”
For the NHL to do away with Matt Cooke’s type of play, they need to stop this entire mentality. Mario is trying to help the NHL do something about this. Mario is an example of what could and should be a forward thinking NHL. Mario Lemieux is doing everything right and would be a complete idiot if he left his star players unprotected until the NHL starts policing itself.
The problem with the league right now is that the ex-goons are running the asylum. It is time for the forward thinking owners and GM’s like Lemieux, Molson and Yzerman to step forward and take over the league by mutiny if needed. It’s time for the NHL to move on to the next level.