NHL player-safety called into question

The NHL season began with several bangs, literal and figurative, and some questions raised.

The NHL season began with several bangs, literal and figurative, and  some questions raised about the NHL’s stated commitment to player safety.

Why was a Montreal player allowed to complete a full minute of play sans helmet? Every minor league requires players to leave the ice if their helmet comes loose – pro leagues do not even demand they buckle their chin straps.

Why would a valuable player like the Senators’ Stone play with minimal lower arm/wrist protection? Not blaming the victim here, but common sense should come into the picture during competition against the powerful but often clumsy and/or mean athletes who populate NHL rosters.

The first night was exciting, and I expect more of that as we go along,  but was marred, of course, by controversy and doubt emanating from the closest Canadian rivalry (just a two hour drive separates Montreal and Ottawa).

Of note about all this. In spite of the fact that the NHL playoffs are the ultimate stage of the season and provide the most exciting full series post-season play around, every year, Americans really do not care much.

Case in point, after a first night of rough and tumble play which produce an overtime win and two one goal nail biters, I had to get 46 features deep into the Sports Illustrated web site to find any mention of it. Partly why, I suppose, I did not renew my long-held subscription to the print magazine.

A major sports on and off-line, “journalism,” center relegated one of the most interesting opening nights of playoff hockey in a while to a station below several NFL mock draft opinion pieces, NBA mock draft opinion pieces, the NBA playoff schedule, recaps of the past pro and college football and basketball seasons, notes on the soccer friendly (exhibition) match between the USA and Mexico, several bits highlighting the, “stars,” of last year’s bathing suit extravaganza and sundry other scraps of mostly sports related, “news.”

One thinks Gary Bettman needs to consider very, very deeply before any thought of expanding the NHL in more American cities – including Seattle and Las Vegas – any time soon. It seems clear the vast majority of Americans do not care much about the game at any level.

• Good news on the local baseball front.

There will be both an AA and an A team in American Legion play this season. Really looking forward to attending at Butler Park this year, and watching local kids compete for wins and scholarship opportunities against the top teens in Washington State.

There will be more, much more, to come on schedules for that in these pages soon. In the meantime, Babe Ruth play has begun and games occur almost every weekday at Butler and other parks.

Just Posted

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Early Trail borrowed a couple of names from the U.S.

Place Names: Connection between Trail and Butte, Montana

First Past the Post is the only option

Letter to the Editor by Dieter Bogs of Trail

Acid tainted vehicles from Trail spills, held for evidence

Contaminated vehicles are evidence in ICBC’s lawsuit against “negligent parties”

Kootenay Boundary swears in 7 new directors

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary swears in 7 new directors and 6 returning directors

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Most Read