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Cheers To The Good Ones



Naturally, the type of person who follows hockey during the summer months is the type of person who loves hockey.

Naturally, the type of person who loves hockey doesn’t like bad things being said about it.

I’m allowed to because I love it too.

I did not. have. sexual relations...

I did not. have. sexual relations...

THE PATRICK KANE thing is pretty vague.  In all reality, what probably happened was a series of semi-jackass moves marinating in a sauce of people not acting appropriately, which unfortunately got topped with a small portion of physical violence.

We’ll never know exactly how it happened, and I don’t care.  It brings me to another point.

Hockey players of the highest level, like most athletes (actually, probably a little less than most athletes), have a sickening sense of entitlement.

All I can remember growing up as an average-to-above-average minor league hockey player was Mom saying “just don’t get cocky… Hockey players are just so cocky.”

Mom taught out of the “treat everyone equally” bible, and we did the best we could to oblige.

And, who would be better qualified to speak on the topic of “what hockey players are actually like” than a woman who has four pieces of Stanley Cup jewelry (back then at least, they got the wives something every year too), and was with my Dad from the Saskatoon Blades to the end, followed by my twenty-some years of hockey?

They have reason to be confident, these hockey players.  Fit and young, athletic and rich, it’s easy to feel like you rule the world.

Can we introduce some sensitivity training?

Can we hire my Mom to talk to NHL teams and tell them all how they’re just people, and no better than the next guy?  Or at least to slap guys like DiPietro, who when invited to Clark Gillies CHARITY  golf outing says things to his golf group (who pay to play with a celebrity) ”this sucks, are we done yet?”

This blanket doesn’t cover the whole of the sport, or all sports.  In fact, in any NHL, AHL, QPCHL (quarter-pounder w/ cheeseHL), you’ll find five plus guys who are smart, socially aware people.  But it’s the opposite five plus that make us skeptical of the rest.

For Them, By Them, Ed.

For Them, By Them, Ed.

Sports coverage of other sports tends to include more shootings, hit and runs, and general violence than NHL coverage (even less now that the FUBU-wearing Ed Belfour is done), and for that we can be thankful.

But we still need to exorcise the general nose-up, better-than-the-rest attitude sported by these guys.

As a kid, playing junior hockey, I tried to play in Kelowna’s elite NHLish summer shinny games, and got treated like an absolute leper by most guys.  A few went out of their way to be nice.

As I got better at hockey, and moved up leagues, guys got nicer at that game too.  But my list of people who made me feel like a dog has always been nicely tucked away in my back pocket.  I’m not out for revenge.  It’s just nice to know which guys are there for a ride in the limo, and who will stick with you when you’re riding the bus.

Here’s to the good guys of the NHL and other sports.  To those who appreciate the gifts they’re given and share with others.  As we’ve seen, they certainly aren’t obligated to.  These are the guys who deserve the real coverage.  They’re the ones that matter.


6 Responses to “Cheers To The Good Ones”
  1. smoboy says:

    Awesome blog, JT. While these experiences are probably forgotten by the pros 5 minutes after they’re finished, the joes will carry that memory for a lifetime. Included in that memory will be whether the pro was a dick, or a nice guy.

  2. j says:

    everyone raise your hand if you’re surprised to read ricky d is a douchebag…….. yeah, me neither.

  3. Jeff K says:

    Love the blog…. now on my daily read of stuff.


    My Uncle played in the 70′s and I was around him a bit as a kid. I get that some players might be short with fans and rude on their way to the bus after a tough loss on the road but I’ve seen alumni players be jerks around the locker room on friday night pick up games. (side note- Stan Mikita made me look good when he was 60ish and I was 22 in my “prime”)

    Some guys need to come build power line in negative 30 with a wind in barren Saskatchewan with a bunch of jerks and drunks and really put their life on the line trusting the other guy to do his job.

    Entitlement is a disease. Crosby-Toews-Sakic-Yzerman-Gretzky-Iginla-Linden-Guerin-Koivu-Staal(any of em) or even Howe-Orr-Messier-Bourque. Do you think any of these guys will ever be in the paper for other than stats or goodwill? Whatever happens to Kane……. where there is smoke there is fire right? The idiot put himself in a position either by being drunk or being with a person(cousin) that did not respect him enough to behave.

    Or he is an ass.

  4. Deirdre says:

    Turco, and the kittens.

  5. WWPKD says:

    Success breeds confidence. All pro-athletes are somewhat successful but there is a Chara-stick-length gap between being confident and thinking you are better than everyone around you. Im sure from the outside there is some grey area there making it hard to tell the difference. Hopefully when it comes right down to it the good-guy gene shines through in the spotlight and D-Bag becomes a recessive trait in all athletes……scratch that… all hockey players. Hopefully other sports figures continue to keep writers in business with their less than savory off court/field behavior. Personally the only NFL/NBA headlines that catch my eye contain the words (in any combination or order) GUNS, DRUGS, DOGFIGHTING, ABUSE, FAVRE, ADDCITION, VIOLENCE in bold and all caps.

  6. Tanis S says:

    Wow, great blog Justin – nice to see a real hockey player admitting that some of the players need to grow up!!

    From an autograph fan (that’s FAN not seller) I’ve heard a few horror stories about some of the players (both current and former) that are rude to the fans, and that includes telling kids to “f*&k off”!!

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