Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bobby Clarke should be suspended and fined

OK, maybe, as an Ottawan, I have a beige outlook on sports teams. I tend to think that their players shouldn't attempt to damage the careers of individuals on other teams.

A while back, I wrote about the thuggishness of the Philadelphia Flyers. Shortly after that, another one of their players, Riley Cote, was suspended.

So when Steve Downie sucker punched Jason Blake, I thought, here we go again. The Broad Street Criminals are at it again. But why is a team consistently like this?

Those that know me well know that I have an intense dislike of Bobby Clarke. When I had a radio show in Kingston back in 2000-01, on several occasions I ranted about the standoff between he and Eric Lindros. Bobby Clarke is about the only man that could drive people to sympathise for Lindros. I think back to the incident when Lindros suffered a collapsed lung, and had he followed the Flyers' instructions, he may have died.

I'm building up to something here. That is, that Bobby Clarke is a despicable human being, and quite probably a sociopath. Approving of a sucker punch by one of his players is just another example of this. I think hockey would be a much more noble sport if they were to take his words and use them to finally let loose and give him a suspension and fine. And not a 1- or 2- game suspension. Something to show that they're serious about protecting their assets, their best players. When you have guys like Jason Blake and Patrice Bergeron, useful, productive players who give the fans what they want (i.e. scoring), being attacked by marginal players such as Steve Downie and Randy Jones, respectively, who are openly being egged on by their manager to do such things, you're robbing from hockey to appease the lowest common denominator. The game can do better. Punish Bobby Clarke - remove him for the rest of the season (perhaps the Flyers coach, Paul Holmgren, should suffer the same fate). That would teach them, and hopefully change the dynamic of the game.

1 comment:

Jan Triska said...

I agree with the general sentiment of this...the Philly bunch seem to be keen on repeating the 70s era when the 'Broad Street Bullies' ruled the NHL for a couple of seasons, only to be taught a lesson by the Habs.
It's a shame that it's a collective approach to the game they now have, this season, in the dressing room.