[Ryan Lambert is covering the NCAA hockey tournament for Puck Daddy; What We Learned returns next week.]
When does an NHL player have to “answer the bell” and fight to atone for his sins?
If he takes liberties with a goalie, like when Milan Lucic freight-trained Ryan Miller? Sure. If he takes out a player with a hit that crossed the line of illegality, and you don’t believe the NHL’s punishment fit that crime? OK, fine, that’ll work.
But the idea that a player should have to fight after a clean hit has been an asinine suggestion, now or in any era. It’s actually depressing, as a fight enthusiast, to witness that Pavlovian reaction in which a hitter gets jumped for having the nerve to combine timing, velocity and his opponent’s vulnerability into a massive, injurious check.
We beg for players to play the game right, to deliver hits that are clean. And then, because the player on the receiving end has name recognition, their reward is accepting fists to the face. Do your job right, do itRead More »from Mike Milbury, Brooks Orpik and the idiocy of retribution