Getty ImagesIn the past few years or so we've gotten to see entirely too many hits doled out by the true villains of the NHL against some of its better players. Patrick Kaleta on Jack Johnson and Maxim Lapierre on Dan Boyle obviously stand out the most, mainly because they were committed by itinerant and inveterate scourges on the sport and happened within the last week or so.
This has obviously led to a never-ending discussion on how we get "the rats," who play only to hurt and serve little to no other purpose as hockey players, out of the game for the good of the sport. It is they the fighters are meant to protect star players from, and it is they who seem wholly undeterred by those fighters presence. In this way they not only disrespect their opponents — what with the constant attempts to injure — but also The Code, and that is perhaps their greatest crime of all.
Another massive crime that players in this sport can commit, which was recently illustrated by the case of Nail Yakupov being healthy-scratched by Dallas Eakins, is if they do not show a commitment to the game in all three zones. People seized on Yakupov's declaration that he doesn't like to backcheck — and wholly ignored his lack of fluency in the language in which he spoke those words — as evidence that the Oilers should (nay, will) trade the No. 1 overall pick less than a full season after they drafted him.
Who cares if the rumored return for a potential star forward would be a 30-year-old left wing who would create a bit of a logjam on their top line what with Taylor Hall already being the elitest of the elite at that position and a 33-year-old goaltender with a no-trade clause? Who cares if both of those guys are going to be UFAs and likely want no part of spending the next seven or eight winters in Edmonton as if Buffalo's weren't bad enough? Did you see that thing he said about backchecking? It's unforgivable.Read More »from Hockey’s value system is perhaps irreparably broken (Trending Topics)