Hockey Violence: George Laraque vs. the Quebec Minister of Sport

Miah D.Senior Writer IMay 31, 2008

We all remember what happened about two months ago. The video made the entire NHL and Patrick Roy's name was (again) involved in a strange Hockey brawl. Worse, he involved his son, Jonathan. It was during the QMJHL first round playoffs between Chicoutimi and Quebec.

Well, you may not call it a fight. It was more a senseless and classless attack, out of a frustrated coach, and a goalie who wants to impress his father; toward a defenseless and completely innocent player.

Still, fight or not, the Quebec government apparently wants to take some action. The best that they could find: ban Hockey fights from the Junior League of Quebec.

Do not get me wrong, I have nothing against Mrs. Courchesne, the Quebec Minister of Sport, Education and Leisure. And what happened between Jonathan Roy (who is now also a singer!) and Bobby Nadeau - oh wait, I should say what Jonathan Roy did to Bobby Nadeau - has no place in Sport.

But the measure she is taking has no sense for the simple reason that it does not apply to the right case.

Talking with the french journalists covering the Stanley Cup finals, Penguins Georges Laraque just shot out loud what I was thinking deep in my mind.

"The minister does not have anything else to do, it makes no sense. If her project is accepted, the QMJHL will change to the League of Ballet Dancers of Quebec and the Maritimes!" the Quebec Native player joked to the media.

He went further.

"What's next, forbid the slap-shots because the puck can hurt? Or the elimination of the hits? Or the 220 lb players? Or why doesn't she forbid the skates blades because they can cause serious injuries?"

I could not agree more.

Okay, let's suppose Madame La Ministre actually succeeds, and bans fighting from the Junior League. Then what? They will come in the NHL (IF they make it) and will look like a bunch of gutless guys on the ice while those who have been trained by - let's take an example - the brothers Hunter with the London Knights in Ontario will rule on the ice. Pathetic.

Pascal Dupuis and Maxime Talbot had about the same speech, supporting their team-mate's point of view (and mine, and maybe yours) .

"It has always been like that. Fights are tolerated in the NHL. The youngsters won't know how to defend themselves when they will be provoked" declared Maxime Talbot.

Mrs. Courchesne has been reported having a meeting in Victoria, and took the opportunity to expose her idea to her Canadians homologue; who all agreed.

We then have to wait for further discussions in the Western and Ontario League.

While the NHL tries to improve its " charisma" by reducing the goalie equipment in order to increase the number of goals (that is what THEY think), this probable new Junior system is another step back.