Pardon my love of Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
No, not this old dirty bastard – I mean the now dead rapper from the Wu-Tang Clan.
Let’s just get on with it already.
“When he went after [Jason] Blake, I loved it,” Clarke told The Sports Network of Canada.
Clarke said Blake deserved Downie’s punch for saying Downie should have been suspended for more than 20 games.
“Blake was a guy who had no problem going out and saying [Downie] should be suspended for life or suspended for the year,” Clarke said. “When you say something that stupid, why shouldn’t this kid go after him for it?
“The kid did what every hockey player should do. If a player like Blake who’s been around as long as he has wants to criticize a player, then he has to go on the ice with him and suffer the consequences.”
Clarke, in this case, is of course Philadelphia Flyers vice president and former Broad Street Bully Bobby Clarke. Now, it could be very easy for me to get apopleptic about this and start screeching fire and brimstone. I’m not going to do that because not even Leafs coach Paul Maurice is all that upset.
This, however, leaves the door wide open for me to criticize the NHL. Yeah, I know, beating that drum is starting to get old around here, I’m sure but when you’ve got a league run by gutless morons…these things happen.
How is it that the Commissioner declared that any further goonish actions out of the Flyers would be subject to punishment of the team – meaning that all of these questionable hits and actions are viewed as OK by the higher-ups in Philadelphia. Maybe not all the way up to the owner, Ed Snider, but certainly to the VP’s office with Clarke. Paul Holmgren clearly has no problem with it – that or he’s been rendered silent by Clarke.
It’s a shame, this situation provided the league with the perfect opportunity to punish these cementheads and make an example out of them and to say that respect at its most basic level will be maintained in the league. Instead, we continue to get the same blind-eye routine out of Bettman and Campbell and when something truly egregious occurs, they’ll wring their hands and talk about how they never expected something like that to happen and they’ll overreact with how they handle it.
This is how Bettman handles things – he’s a procrastinator. The NHL’s plan is to keep putting things off until it hits the ultimate breaking point and everyone is fed up and sick of things and then everything has to be changed drastically. Gradual implementation is never the answer and neither is fixing things when they’re very obviously already broken. Disrepair is Bettman’s M.O. and sadly for the rest of us, coming up with the right answers isn’t his strong suit.