Heard On Episode 4.9 of A Foot In The Crease
Undoubtedly every season in the National Hockey League, a variety of incidents take place resulting in serious injuries followed by half hearted apologies from the perpetrators. It is usually along the lines of, “I’m sorry for the injury I inflicted. I didn’t mean to hurt anybody.” It is really rare to get the sense of true remorse from anybody.
I can somewhat believe the, “I’m sorry for the injury I caused” part because I honestly don’t think that many players relish the extent of an injury they inflict on a fellow player.
Nevertheless, the “I didn’t mean to hurt anybody” part just reeks of insincerity. If the offending player really didn’t mean to hurt anybody, then he shouldn’t have played so recklessly in the first place.
However, if there ever was an apology you could truly believe, it was Tom Kostopoulos' after learning he had been suspended for three games for a devastating hit from behind on Leafs’ defenseman Mike Van Ryn.
Love or hate Don Cherry, he is absolutely right when he says defencemen going into the corner should never turn their backs unless they are asking to be leveled.
Kostopolous makes his living on being a gritty forward who plays a strong forecheck on ice. This is exactly what he was doing against Van Ryn, expecting the Leaf defenseman to collect the puck and round the net.
Instead Van Ryn threw on the breaks leaving Kostopolous no opportunity to avoid the hit. Immediately, a look of concern came over Kostopolous as he witnessed a motionless Van Ryan on the ice.
Kostopolous’ intention to call Van Ryn personally to apologize, plus his written statement leads me to honestly believe Kostopolous truly feels bad for the injuries suffered by Van Ryn.
An offense worthy of a suspension? Absolutely.
But after the suspension is served, no hard feelings toward Kostopolous should linger. But hey, all that, was just rigamarole.