I'm sure most hockey fans have already heard of Giroux's "head-shot" on Zubrus. If you've seen the hit, you know the severity—it can be found in the video below.
I find this beyond laughable personally, for reasons stemming from hockey hits just five years ago and of course when the NHL was about hockey and not the circus show it is today in the 90s.
Yes the dead-puck era had it's failures and as we're entering the broken-stick era, people want more scoring in general, yet the gritty physicality of the game fans like me grew up on is becoming a thing of the past.
How many have forgotten of the great Scott Stevens hits of yesteryear? I haven't.
Yet, the greatest downfall of today's No Hits League is the inconsistency of suspensions. Weber's head-board smash of Zetterberg was fined a measly $2,500 while Giroux is suspended for what could be his team's last game of the season without him in the lineup.
For those who will also recall the laughable suspensions of the Phoenix Suns players in the second round of the NBA playoffs against the Spurs not too long ago, the inconsistency in punishment is one of the many annoyance, but it comes from the same root problem.
The game is being softened, and it makes fans like me vomit in rage.
Hockey IS hitting and fighting. A goaltender isn't making saves because he covers most of the net space but it's because he is athletic and can stop the puck with his quick reflexes.
The NHL isn't hockey for me anymore, it's a variation of the sport and one I do not prefer.
Is the KHL any better? Perhaps not, and international hockey is soft in itself, but the NHL is about North American hockey, and it's not so much becoming about the fundamentals European players are so heavily taught, but it's become about the players making a ton of cash with minimal risk. And there should be risks. You don't get paid vast amounts of money without giving something up.
So spare me the player safety mantra when hockey players just 35 years ago played without helmets and getting a one game suspension for a hit similar to Giroux's would be seen as a literal joke.
No, now we look forth to an age where hitting is on its way out in hockey, and that means hockey itself is on a slow road to death—perhaps like an undetectable parasite that bides its time before it stops your heart.
One day, and it won't be too far into the future, the NHL will not be hockey, it'll simply be an over-organized reality show, which I will not waste my time watching.
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