Having become an intense and knowledgeable fan of hockey since the mid-1970s, I just feel something is missing in today’s game. As I write this in my Don Cherry sports coat, I will admit the speed and skill is obviously better than ever (less Mr. Gretzky, Lemieux, and Orr), and the restrictions on clutching, grabbing, and hooking is nice to see. Yet, once again, something is missing.
I hate to sound like a dinosaur, but I truly miss the “honest” fight in hockey, and the occasional bench clearing brawl. I believe I am not going out on limb thinking the fans do as well! If you were to put a microphone on the fighters in hockey today, you might hear at the face-off circle, “How’s your family, try any good IPA beers lately, and oh yea, wanna drop the gloves?”
Then after the bout, often you will see pats on the back and nods of solidarity. What the hell is that! I hate these scripted fights. The mindset that the team is playing sluggish, so let’s create a contrived fight is utter nonsense! When Dave Schultz and Terry O’Reilly went after each other, it was over a cheap shot, or a vicious check. Clark Gillies and Tiger Williams did not ask about the wife and kids before dropping the gloves. Ask Mel Bridgman how he felt about Bob Nystrom!
I want good old time hockey back, from Eddie Shore, to Gordie Howe, to Bob Plager, to Rick Tocchet, and maybe I’ll include Colton Orr, if he does not invite someone to fight, then share a milkshake after the game.
Those are my thoughts, how about you?
Dan “Old School” Green