Some people are complaining that the NHL is wimping out the game of Hockey by trying to protect players from getting killed. I will illustrate why they are doing the right thing. If you still think its wimping out, that okay, your allowed to have wrong opinions, plus I'll just have Crankshaft introduce himself to your head.
Meet Pat LaFontaine. Arguably the greatest American born player of all time, his career was cut short by numerous concussions sustained over his career. I rank him as the greatest American player of all time, even above Modano because his career was cut short and points per game average is superior to Modano's. Here's his top 10 goals.
The hit that many people believe ended his career.
Another hit to Lafontaine's head. Notice how he has a mask on as he is still recovering from another head injury.
Pat LaFontaine is the only American born player to score 100 or more points in a season, and he did it twice, the second time he scored an amazing 148 points*. He ended his career 6-8 years too short, but with 1013 points despite playing less than 25 games in a season three times because of concussions. We will never know what might have been if his career hadn't been cut short.
Mike Richter is also one of the greatest American players, anchoring Team USA in goal for a decade. Some have even called him the best goalie in the world from 94-98. His career was cut short by concussions and a skull fracture. Richter proved that even a goalie mask (which can stop a bullet) isn't 100% protection of the body's most important organ.
Eric Lindros suffered an ungodly amount of concussions over his career, also cuting it short.**
Do I even need to mention the Hockey Punch Incident?
The brain is most important organ in the body. It controls every function of your body and a little trauma can screw up your life. Other organs can be somewhat replaced by artificial ones if necessary, however there is no substitute for your brain. I am amazed that no one has been killed from a headshot in the NHL. It based on luck I believe because other leagues have suffered deaths from headshots.
Hockey can be physical and relativily safe at the same time. Douglas Murray is an example of a player who makes huge but clean hits. If poeple still believe that this is wimping up the sport, Pronger would love to introduce his elbow to your head, maybe you would reconsider?
If only the NHL would get rid of its Wheel of Punishment and actually suspend and punish accordingly, more people would be satisfied.
*He finished second that year in points to Mario Lemiuex
** He still wears helmet at all times in case Scott Stevens jumps out to say hi