The last time we talked about this, George Laraque just made it clear that banning fighting from Hockey sounds as good as tattooing your first hobby's name on your forehead. You might like it, but it is just ... just ... not good.
Still, Mrs. Courchesne is holding on to her ban-fighting-campaign.
Today, during a meeting concerning Hockey, held in Quebec, she held her let's-destroy-Hockey speech.
"I am among those who believe it won't reduce the interest for Hockey."
Will all due respect, Madam, are you also among those who believe all players should wear a flowery skirt on the ice? Let's say pink for the goalies?
I am a bit surprised though. She is not just the Quebec Minister of Sport and Leisure, she is also a Hockey mom.
Her son, Jeff-Drouin Deslauriers, used to play for the Quebec Remparts and is now the goaltender of McGill University. In February 2004, he had a very much Jonathan Roy look alike scenario during a game, as he went pulling the other goalie out of his net to fight him.
Where have you been at that time Mrs. Courchesne? Filling a petition to ask for candy-made pucks?
I said it before, I have nothing against the Minister. She is trying to do something to fix troubles, she wants to make a difference, and she wants to be productive in her work.
The thing is, I just can't think of Hockey as a fight-free sport.
From the Flyers-Canadiens warm-up brawls back in the 1970s, to the Friday night Nordiques-Canadiens animated meetings, I just can't imagine how Hockey would look like as an actual let's-all-look-polite-and-smile-to-each-other type of sport.
Can you imagine? Let's take an example.
During a Penguins-Canadiens game, Alex Kovalev hit Evgeni Malkin from behind, who took it hard along the board. Right away, Captain Sidney Crosby went to ask for some respect. What if he had just said, "Hey Kovy! You almost injured one of my best team-mate, but let's all be gentlemen here and fix this the Courchesne way. What about some pizza after the game?"
Moreover, all teams have someone in their roster who goes on the ice for special missions. Whenever the time comes that the game gets tougher, and that tensions are rising, they come out there and ask for some respect.
You don't ask them to score twenty goals a year, you don't ask them to have the most amazing stick handling, but they are as important as the other players.
I mean, who hasn't ever stood up from his chair when there is a great old Hockey brawl on TV, screaming "come on, kick his #$$"?
The Quebec Junior League Commissioner, Gilles Courteau, had a much different speech last week. He said the measures were oriented to the banning of "unjustified violence" or violence gratuite. Now, that is something we can all sit down and talk about.
But just banning fighting in general, come on.
Please Mrs. Courchesne, give it up.