The sound of one hand punching?

BGLHead

It’s been a rough summer for retired tough guys.
But at least one NHL enforcer seems to have found enlightenment.

When the Dalai Lama speaks at the Jarry Park tennis stadium in Montreal on Wednesday to mark Tibetan Democracy Day, the host of the event will be none other than Georges Laraque.

The announcement, from the Canada Tibet Committee, describes BGL as “a philanthropist and businessman protecting the rights of animals, the environment and humans alike …”

Laraque is “the perfect fit to introduce His Holiness. As a model global citizen, he’s already a testament to universal responsibility. Laraque is leading the effort to rebuild Port-au-Prince’s Grace Children’s Hospital, is a leading advocate for animal rights and, in 2003, was the spokesperson for the Edmonton Capital Health District’s Shaken Baby Syndrome Campaign.

In the final season of his contract buyout, Laraque is collecting $500,000 from the Canadens in 2011-’12.

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147 Comments

  1. EricInStL says:

    To all haters of BGL screw you. What did he do to you ?
    Did he smack your wife or kids ? No.
    Oh so he doesn’t skate too well? So what.
    Well he fought sometimes ? What about you and your job, do you do it at 100% effort at all times ? Of course not.
    You monkeys should differentiate between sports and life.
    Sports does not = life.
    Jeez give the guy a break. And BTW Boone nice one adding his 500K at the end…
    So Boone if you don’t like what BGL has to say why put him on ? Oh yeah, I remember to get the monkeys to chime in and boost your # of eyeballs to this site.
    And yes I do know I’m a monkey right now for writing but I couldn’t help it and dammit if Boone didn’t make a penny off me.

    • Da Hema says:

      Boone is infatuated with BGL. Perhaps it is unrequited love.

    • malmn says:

      Give the guy a break? Please. He is a major clown and sh*t disturber. He was not good for the locker room. He’s a whiner, complainer and excuse creater. More importantly he didn’t deliver the goods. He sucked and sucked royally. He was a drag to the team. It was embrassement to see him in the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge. The buy out was a great idea!

      GO HABS GO!!!

  2. Guy-Guy-Guy says:

    BGL:

    Still cheaper per goal scored than Gomez!!! Too bad the guy lived by the code and didn’t aim to hurt or intimidate smaller players…

  3. Guy-Guy-Guy says:

    BGL.

    Still cheaper per goal scored than Gomez!!!

  4. moester says:

    Does THN even know what hockey is all about? How do they expect the Flyers to finish in the top 4 when they just lost their two best players one of which was their captain. Sure they have a good goaltender now but when a team makes a change this drastic you at least have to give them a year to adjust. And Jagr…pffff I’ll believe he’s still a difference maker when I see it.

  5. deggy24 says:

    I’m all in favor of softer padding. Equipment makes for injuries, not less. Look at football. Want to make for a safer NHL? Enforce the rule that you can’t hit a guy who doesn’t have the puck. The Howie Meeker ‘finish the check’ mantra, coupled with the bigger, more equipped players, has players vulnerable when they shouldn’t be. I sat two rows off the ice for a Habs game a few years ago, and I’ve never seen more guys get rid of the puck and have to duck from a hit that would have surely yielded a concussion.
    I’ve had about 10 serious concussions through football, hockey, and rugby, and am fortunate that I haven’t had any depression or awful side effects. I’m 55. I ran into a friend, an ex-CFL player who I played junior hockey with. He was a goalie. In our 30′s we opposed each other in full contact ball hockey. I said, ‘damn you look great, obviously those head bonks we gave each other never had an impact on you”. He said, “don’t be deceived, I’ve had 7 seizures over the last decade, though probably from hits I took playing football”

    Habs Win!

  6. filincal says:

    To BGL’s defense..he did do his job while on the ice. Not once when he played did our team get pushed around. Which is something we had happened when he wasn’t there. Yes he was a slow skater, but thats another story. I think “everyone” gets on his case because he didn’t pull a “Gooin” and beat the crap out of Lucy when he kept skating away with the excuse that his coach told him not to get ragdolled by BGL.
    Plus he’s had too much to say after he quit hockey.

  7. kungpowchicken says:

    BGL was to be an enforcer for the Habs and this is by all means his main focus for our club. How successful he was in this role can be debated, no doubt. On another note, however, did you guys notice how much of a terrible skater he was? I was shocked. He did not belong on the ice with anyone else at the NHL level. He was a liability at all times simply based on his inability to skate, pure and simple. Should not have been signed, period. Suivant, next!

  8. Frank Labarbotte says:

    BGL is a fool. Why do we pay attention to him again?

  9. showey47 says:

    Byfuglien weighed in at close to 290 lbs when he was arrested?

  10. Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

    My take on what BGL has to say is who cares. I see fighting in the upper levels of hockey the same way I see same sex marriage: it has nothing to do with me so why waste time worrying about it.

    The NHL product is so far removed from the game we call hockey at this point it’s bordering on WWF vs. amateur wrestling. Be entertained by it, but remember that the actual game is still out there and enjoyed by millions too.

    ____________________________________________________
    They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

  11. Timo says:

    I have a much shorter description of Laraque – phony.

  12. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Does anyone else here miss full scale bench clearing brawls? Why this game went downhill when thirty five minutes of Saturday night were freed from grappling players rolling all over the ice trying to get just one of eighty possible arms free. The spectacle of 40 guys waltzing and groping on slippery ice was the game, man.
    The players wanted it to stay, and the fans loved it cause you could go out and pee like a racehorse and still never miss anything. And then it was gone, replaced by skating.
    They’ve already changed the rules too much.

  13. myron.selby says:

    I’m not sure what to think about GL refusing to fight except against other heavyweights. But I can tell you that he is about as genuine a human being as you’re likely to meet.

    When my son was about 12, I took him to a gym where they had a skating machine to try to improve his stride. The guy who owned it, trained a few of the Oilers and Laraque was one of them. He always had time to talk to all the kids.

    He was involved with so many charities here in town I couldn’t keep track. Apparently the Oilers get a lot of requests from kids wanting an Oiler to come to their birthday party, it seems that Laraque used to just show up to some of these kids houses and join the party.

    He’s also been doing a lot of work trying to help out in Haiti.

    Whatever else you can say about him, suggesting that he is some kind of publicity seeker or hypocrite is just not supported by his behavior.

  14. punkster says:

    Man you people are pathetic. I go away for the day and come back expecting to read the prerequisite useless arguments, pointless debates and insulting personal attacks. And what do I find? Reasonable discussions with very few heated words and even an apology or two.

    Come on people it’s September already. Time to step it up and get ready for the season. This is your training camp. Now get the cobwebs out and let the mud slinging begin.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  15. Neutral says:

    Kovy had a good career, a steady 1st line RW, not too many on the habs right now will match Kovy’s career. He can’t do what he use to, he also ain’t 25 anymore knock him all you want he was a great one with a couple of stanley cup rings to boot something most habs may have to wait awhile for.

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay for all the fans of tanking, just know that Jay Feaster doesn’t support this theory. Interesting article here, he basically ridicules Edmonton for being bad every year and that his team will be better than Edmonton again this year. Looks the battle of Alberta is heating up on the ice this year.

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2011/09/03/calgarys-gm-jay-feaster-blasts-the-oilers-rebuilding-plan/

  17. D Mex says:

    Attn – Mike Boone :
    Good of you to let us know that Alex Kovalev was back in Montreal for his annual Foundation golf event yesterday.

    Question :
    I’m interested in knowing if you seized the opportunity to let him know, face-to face, that you (and other alleged HIO personnel) called him ” a dog ” in your post here last month. I’m very interested in knowing how that would have played out …

    ALWAYS Habs -
    D Mex

    • Omit says:

      He probably would have barked.

      “Time wounds all heels”. – J.L.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Boone: Alex I Called you a dog on Hockey Inside Out
      Kovalev: Okay thanks for telling me, who are you again? And did I tell you what a dog that Clouston was to play for!

    • W35T5ID3 says:

      Dude ya starting sh*t?Got beef with boone?He just calling it like he see’s it and i bet he’d even ask kovy….” n/m doggin it out there kovy ” but on most nights, more or less … “I’d say Kovy it’s safe to say you were f**king the dog tonight,eh?”

      ….Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and man quit stirrin’ the pot ….grow up.EEEeesh.

      …..You’ll never get to heaven if you’re scared of getting high…..

  18. Habstar says:

    Let me guess before BGL signed his 3 year $ 4.5 million dollar he promised to fill that role and after he got his money he changed his mind. What does that tell any one that’s at least a bit intelligent? That’s what I thought also! It made me sick to my stomach seeing that he already made a fool out of Bob Gainey but continued to be a distraction in the dressing room. BGL didn’t give any interest at all to help his team he was always in it all for himself. So here’s my message to you BGL you fooled a few but as for the majority of us fans we will always have an upset stomach every time your name pops up. That’s how you will be remembered!

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    I do not understand the article in the Globe and Mail written by BGL. On one hand he describes the mental difficulty of fighting and it sounds to me like the fighters or at least Georges hate it. But then he goes on to say he doesn’t think taking fighting out of the game is solution because then fighters lose their job, and all the kids currently fighting hoping one day they will make NHL money for fighting.

    I just don’t follow what his message is.

    Personally I would rather see those 75 jobs replaced by players like Brock Trotter, Enqvist or Pulashaj. As the for the fact that these fighters hate doing this job, isn’t this supposed to be a game being played. Aren’t players supposed to enjoy their role on a team, to have fun playing the game. Isn’t that really the most disconcerting part of this role now accepted in the NHL. The enforcer, seems to me those guys no longer enjoy the game.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/the-new-problem-of-the-nhl/article2152832/

    • HardHabits says:

      Interesting.

      Here’s my take. He’s concerned short term for the current stable of pugilists and so called heavyweights and super heavyweights, which IMHHO is reasonable. Cutting them all lose in one fell swoop would lead to a public relations disaster. However his long term concern for future enforcers is probably just a romantic notion and defensiveness to protect what was once his profession. Fighters have other sports like MMA and UFC to turn to if they want to bash heads.

      It’s not just fighting in hockey though. Fighting is just a sub-set of a larger problem; head shots and the head trauma they produce. This is the issue.

      I am against the instigator rule because it gave players like Laraque a bigger role in the NHL. It’s intention failed it’s purpose. Fighting has to be eliminated and all dirty calls need to be called using more than just on ice officials but video replay as well IMHHO. An infraction is an infraction.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Yah, but his whole description of how bad the job is, yet there should still be those jobs just makes zero sense.

        As for the PR disaster, not sure maybe Don Cherry and friends would see it that way, but all the other players that get to make the big show would be a good PR story.

      • The Dude says:

        HH… did you see the first 10 year’s of Laraque’s career??He was good ,SOMETIMES REAL GOOD!And his opinions as a N.H.L.ers are his opinions “of which I agree with and aswell thank him of his years with the Habs “…He’s a real good guy!

  20. Pucknut says:

    What do you make of the hockeybuzz rumour that Montreal is trying to deal for either Bogosian or Oduya?

    If this is so, what would we have to give up?

    • scrowe21 says:

      Its Eklund. He makes rumours up every week and is wrong 99.9% of the time.

      Either way I hope its not true. We would have to give up too much, Bogosian is overrated and we don’t need Oduya.

    • RGM says:

      It’s a Hockeybuzz rumour, ergo I make very little of it.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Okay, so I realize these rumours are Eklund based, but speaking of wpg/mtl rumours, would Byfuglien be available cheap this year in trade? Granted would take 3months of training to get this tub of goo back in shape. Imagine him parked in front of opposing nets during our pp. I don’t know just so much wpg rumour going on for so long, wonder if this would be a good gamble trying to get this guy.

      • Jim Edson says:

        Eklund gets short of web hits and posts a Habs trade rumour.

        It’s an instant catalyst for his shortages!

        ———————————————————————-
        …..My empire is crumbling, my international sponsors are deserting me, my authority is questioned, I am held in contempt wherever I go.

        Who am I: Mohamar Ghadaffi or Gary Bettman.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        Speaking as a tub of goo, I’m offended you would call another tub of goo a tub of goo. Tubs of goo have feelings too (although they might take a bit longer to get to Brain Central).

    • The Dude says:

      Bogosian would be a Super Star in Montreal!

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      Honestly why do you even bother with reading Eklund’s shit? He pulls trade rumors out of his ass to get more internet traffic and people keep eating this shit up.

      You know, this guy could be out of a job if people stopped paying interest in his BS.

  21. HabFab says:

    And in the EX HAB file;

    Steve Begin has a try out with the Canucks. Played 2 games last season for Nashville.

    Gui Latrendresse told a Minnesota newspaper that he “has worked his butt off” over the summer and “utilized nutrition better because as everyone knows I like to eat.”

    Yeah, okay Gui…

  22. slychard says:

    Ok twilight, I over reacted, but that’s what happens when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Friends?

    • twilighthours says:

      Sure. I’m a man of love.

      ————————————–
      If you’re sick of not being able to view the HIO comment structure from your iPhone, try downloading Mercury browser. If you have alternative suggestions, please send them along!

  23. HardHabits says:

    Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a city called Rockham-Sockham and they had a hockey team called The Robots?

  24. DEANDALLEY says:

    Boxers get knocked out wearing huge gloves …..

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      The goal of boxing is to inflict brain damage.

      Look at Muhammad Ali. The boxing establishment will deny it, but he suffers from dementia pugilistica, a form of Parkinson’s caused by repeated blows to the head.

      I can see the beauty and nobility of the sport, but unfortunately there is no way to make it safe. The same is not true of hockey. It’s possible to greatly reduce the risk of serious brain injury in hockey.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Boxers would get knocked out instantly without gloves.

  25. HardHabits says:

    You can’t have it both ways. So many say they are against fighting yet lambaste BGL for not doing his job when he was a Hab. I was pissed too that he had his epiphany while in Montreal but in retrospect I respect his actions now that I have had a second thought about it, especially in view of the deaths of all those former and current enforcers. He’s one of the lucky ones because he never really got his head rattled. He has every right to speak and use his celebrity to advance his ideas. He’s actually a quite eloquent and soft spoken individual. So what if he’s a success after hockey. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

    • B says:

      You’ve put the cart before the horse. Fighting is still a part of hockey (right or wrong) and fighting is exactly what Montreal over paid Laraque to do. I might have some respect for him if he retired due to his developed aversion to fighting, but instead he accepted a huge sum of money from the Habs and then refused to do what he was given that huge sum of money to do.

      • Frank Labarbotte says:

        Exactly my thoughts and very well articulated. I would also add BGL used his position on the team and fame that it accords to push an anti-fighting agenda while he was PAID TO BE THE FIGHTER FOR THE HABS! I mean come on… say what you will about him being a “stand-up guy” or a “really genuine person,” but to me he’ll always be a self-serving, spotlight-craving douche.

    • Duracell3 says:

      I can agree with most of that. He had a fine career, was a game away from getting his name on the cup….twice and no one can fault him for what he has done now that hes done with hockey. It seems dumb to blast him for not jumping guys and being injured, just my view though.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …HH, You and I …have found ‘something’ to agree on
      …unfortunate it affected Our Habs’ piggy-bank …but, Georges IS One of the ‘enlightened-Ones’ !

      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
      http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  26. ProHabs says:

    I see Reg Houle is going to attend the Summit. How can this guy still be employed by the Habs. His work set this franchise back a decade and it took A Savard and B Gainey years to bring this franchise back to respectability after all of his bubblehead moves.
    The only Habs employee who performed worst at his job was George Laroque.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Reg is a great public relations guy and hard worker that was put in a position that did not fit his expertise my friend. He was a very poor GM I thought, but he works tirelessly for the club.

      • Bill says:

        Exactly right. It’s not Rejean Houle’s fault he accepted a job offer that almost no-one would turn down. Even if he was completely unqualified and unprepared and unsuited for it.

        Don’t blame Rejean. Or even Tremblay. Blame the guy whose fault it all really is: Ronald Corey. Gainey’s main success as GM was digging the Habs out from under the rubble of the Houle era, and I am grateful to him for it.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Agreed

        • Omit says:

          Bill

          You’re blaming the wrong guy when you say Corey. Corey took his orders from Molson’s. Blame corporate interference.

          “Time wounds all heels”. – J.L.

        • Frank Labarbotte says:

          Ok it is his fault, because he accepted the job and did extremely poorly. Blame Tremblay too, because he was unable to shelf his ego with Patty. And yeah blame Corey for overseeing this mess as well as the Molsons for allowing it all to happen, but let’s not act like Reggie didn’t have anything to do with the mess… if you hire me to mow your lawn (qualified or not) and instead of pulling out the ol’ mower I just take a crap on your lawn, it’s still my fault isn’t it?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            LOL oh that is a very funny analogy. I am just picturing some guy crapping on my lawn wearing a weedman shirt while I continue to ask him to start cutting and scooping.

  27. Ian Cobb says:

    OHL, QHL, & the WHL this year has mandatory soft elbow and shoulder pads, leather instead of the armor.

    Public out cry is the only thing that changes things. Especially where there is so much money involved.

    STAND UP AND SHOUT!

  28. savethepuck says:

    There has been a lot of discussion the last 2 days on here about bare-knuckle fighting being the culprit in the resulting head injuries. Nowhere else have I seen this in the media. All I see is that fighting causes head trauma. I think a player is going to get knocked out during hockey fights whether the knuckles are bare or not. One thing I see from the posters on here that are defending fighting in hockey is that there is no way a couple of punches in the face is going to cause serious brain damage to a hockey player. I don’t think that is the point. I have read a respected neurologist’s opinion that 1 in every 4 hockey fights probably results in a concussion. I have read that repeated brain trauma causes permanent brain damage. Maybe people aren’t thinking that when we are talking about hockey fighting, the most serious head injuries probably result from that hit to the chin that knocks a guy out causing him to fall defensively half unconscious to the ice usually with the head being the first to hit the ice. You know, that punch that everyone says “Whoa, did you see that!” Thirty or 40 years ago, we used to cringe when someone was taken out by a dirty player causing a serious knee injury. It was likely the end of their careers, and any player who went for the knees was a cheapshot artist ruining careers and he had no place in the game of hockey. Nowadays, due to advances in medical science, the most serious knee injuries mean a player is lost for the season not usually a career. Again 30 or 40 years ago a player takes an elbow to the head or falls helplessly to the ice after getting knocked out by a punch, hitting his head. Everyone then was just saying ” he got his bell rung, he just has to shake the cobwebs out and he’ll be back next period”. The thing is we are now educated enough to know what these head injuries are doing to our hockey players and unlike knee injuries, medical science has not advanced enough and likely never will, to the point where they can correct this brain trauma. It’s obvious things have to be done, and any posters on here ( I won’t mention names) who are saying “it’s part of hockey”. “the players know what they are getting in to” , ” we need it or there will be too many cheap shots”, etc… should give their head a shake because their opinions are definitely flawed. It’s 2011, times have changed, and the only logical reason for them defending fighting, despite all the evidence, is the simple fact that they enjoy watching a hockey fight, regardless of how it is affecting the lives of the participants.

    “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

    • B says:

      How about they have mandatory top protection helmets with mandatory eye and jaw protection, then they hand out severe suspensions for anyone who removes their helmet (perhaps even gloves too) during a game? There would still be a penalty for fighting or punching a guy in the head, but with the proper helmets kept on there would be a significantly reduced chance of concussion. That might also render more silly and unnecessary the questionable practice of staged fights?

  29. 24 Cups says:

    Hab tickets on ssle now via the internet.

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=53060&navid=DL|MTL|home

    • Mike D says:

      Unless I’m reading that wrong, it looks like they’re all sold out.

      **Disclaimer for those who don’t go to the link: It’s for 5 and 10 game packs, not individual game tickets. I believe those go on sale Sept. 10th.**

      - Honestly yours

      • 24 Cups says:

        There’s still some stuff left but they’re all multi-game packs. Then they offer “Speciality Packs” such as Marquee, Rival, Weekend and Northeast.

        The team with a faithful fan base and the largest rink in the league still puts the squeeze on their customers every chance they get.

        For the love of the game. Right.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK3P97RfVaI

        • B says:

          Supply and demand. That’s business and NHL hockey is a business. Owners try to maximize their revenues and players try to maximize their pay cheques. It is what it is.

    • I logged into the waiting room when it opened at 9h15, and I finally got the chance to nab some tickets at 10h45 or so. There were some packages already sold out by then, and all the packages had certain seating sections that were sold out. But I got my 10-game pack in the general section I wanted, so I’m pretty excited. Can’t wait to see the Jets in February!

  30. slychard says:

    @twilighthours. Are you serious about Boone? Inflammatory for the sake of it? Where do you see anything negative in his comments? You’re an imbecile.

  31. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Big Georges is what he is, whether that’s sincere or not. He seems to be trying something or other, in spite of the grandstanding. Why pile on him? If he used his ill-gotten gains to golf, booze or to run a sweatshop somewhere, he’d be just another retired NHL player. No one would even mention it.
    As is, at least he’s trying to do something useful in Haiti.
    I knew a lot less about concussions when he signed with the Habs, but with what I know now, I guess it’s just as well he didn’t put on a Habs uniform and go cause someone serious brain damage. As this dossier unfolds over the next few decades, I think old Georges is actually going to look good.

  32. Marc10 says:

    A couple of changes that wouldn’t necessarily hurt the sport, but might help:

    - softer padding for the players
    - Olympic size ice rink
    - enforce the rulebook… consistently

    If the players are faster and stronger, give them more room and do away with the hard armour. But of course they built all the new rinks to maximise seating…

    “To be irreplaceable, you have to be different”.
    Andy Warhol

    Go PK Go!

    • Mike D says:

      For me, mandating softer padding is a no-brainer and also a very simple and easy first step. Enforcing the rulebook correctly is also an easy one. Unfortunately, the a-holes that run this league will drag any real change (even easy ones like these) through the mud at a snails pace because I truly believe they don’t care. Frankly, the PA isn’t much better either since they could easily force the league’s hand on these if they wanted to. I’m really hoping that these changes are implemented by no later than the next CBA (after this season).

      About using Olympic-sized ice, it would be cool but it would be a logistical nightmare and owners would never agree to removing that much seating from their arenas. It might be possible to increase the size of the ice surface so that only minimal reconstruction and seat-reduction applies. Then you would end-up with a hybrid of something between standard size and Olympic sized. That would be a step in the right direction. albeit a highly unlikely one.

      - Honestly yours

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Yup, it all comes down to money.

      The shoulder and elbow pads are completely ridiculous. They are beyond stupid! But all the manufactures are not going to accept pulling them off the shelves and investing money into new designs at the drop of a hat.

      • Mike D says:

        You’re right, Hobie. One thing to consider though is that manufacturers wouldn’t have any choice if the equipment changes were mandated by the leagues (especially the NHL). As for investing money into new designs, I think that investment would be relatively minimal since they would essentially be reverting, in large part anyways, to the designs of old.

        I don’t mind the size of the newer equipment so much. It’s more the materials of the outer shell that need changing. My fear would be that softer equipment would mean a reduction (or complete removal) of true shot blocking which is a part of the game I enjoy. Why not use the material of the outer shell as more of an inner shell and keep the soft/leather stuff on the outside? This way blocking a shot still wouldn’t hurt any more than it currently does, but shoulder and elbow pads, when delivering body checks, are still cushioned to reduce injury.

        - Honestly yours

      • GrimJim says:

        The WHL just mandated soft-cap shoulder and elbow pads only for the upcoming year.
        http://www.whl.ca/article/whl-annual-general-meeting-concludes
        Personally I think the best change would be improvements to the helmet to make them safer and the easiest would be air-bladder linings like what they currently use in football helmets for the CFL and NFL.

        Apparently the OHL went soft last week too
        http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/juniors/2011/08/31/ohl_equipment/

  33. Hobie Hansen says:

    As much as I love fighting in hockey; Something has to change.

    When you stop and think about it, nowhere else in the world is bare-knuckle fighting accepted. Even the fighters in the UFC wear padded gloves and a lot of the fighters in the NHL are bigger and stronger than the men competing in MMA.

    The players today are much bigger, stronger and faster than just 10 years ago. When you get punched in the face by a trained athlete who is 230 lbs of solid muscle, bare-fisted, there’s a good chance of some damage being inflicted.

    Sure there’s a chance of guys who are 6′ tall and 190 lbs hurting each other in a fight but those chances increase when we start talking about guys like Colton Orr or Matt Carkner smashing each other in the face. And many of the guys who engage in fights these days are Orr or Carkner’s size and strength.

    When I see a fight between two heavyweights today, as much as I love a good fight, I feel there’s a decent chance someone will get injured.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27IBNb-MUzA

  34. savethepuck says:

    The Elliot Friedman article was very good. That’s the reason I haven’t commented on the Belak death yet on here. I would prefer to wait for the facts to come out.

    “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

  35. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Elliotte Friedman is less insightful than Red Fisher, so I don’t read his work either, but I can still summarise it for you.

    * First he dismisses common sense, and obvious conclusions.
    * Next he states “good-ol’-boy-hockey-establishment” consensus opinion as fact, without support.
    * Lastly, he sites some “un-named NHL executive” as the source of his wisdom.

    “Andrei Kostitsyn is a better hockey player than Max Pacioretty”
    - Sean Bonjovi

  36. Ian Cobb says:

    Summit Itinerary update to take note of!!
    Note to Catherine Richard.

    Hi Catherine,
    First, sorry for getting it wrong about mentioning that you were the Rockets grand daughter, when in fact your grandfather is Henri.

    Secondly about the tours starting at 10:30am Nov.19th. We have all our tickets for the first tour, being the HOF. There will be about 100 of us for the HOF tour. It looks like there are about half that number going on the Bell Center tour at this time, after the Hall tour. They will have to buy their own tickets for this event. ($5:50)

    At 1pm our total group has to be at the Novotel hotel to meet some former players that are putting on a presentation for us. So we will be under a time restraint. The reason for doing the HOF tour first is that some of our members have done the Bell tour in the past few years and are not participating this year.

    Is Tanya Formagie available to tour us this year?

    By the way, if you would like to join us at any of our weekend events, we would love to have you. Reg Houle and a couple of others will be joining us again this year as well. If you would I will send you the Itinerary.

    Thank you very much,
    Ian Cobb
    HIO Fan Organizer
    Belleville Ont.
    613-968-9807

  37. HardHabits says:

    Boone’s Photoshop skills are still stuck in the finger painting and crayon stage but that headline today is pure gold.

  38. HabFanSince72 says:

    Here is my problem with Elliotte Freedman’s article.

    Sure, we can never say what caused one person to become depressed and commit suicide, but the “let’s not jump to conclusions” argument smacks of cigarette companies saying we need more data before saying nicotine is addictive. It’s an argument that bolsters those who would do nothing about hockey’s very serious head injury problem.

    Depression / suicide has many causes. It’s partly hereditary (think of the Hemingways). It is partly due to life events. We know that brain injuries increase the risk, and that drug abuse also increases the risk. Did fighting contribute to any of Belak, Rypien and Boogaard’s deaths? Did it make them depressed? Did it make them take drugs? No one can ever know. Even if we had been able to do every brain test known to man when they were alive, from psychoanalysis to MRI scans, we wouldn’t have known. (The same applies to all mental illness.)

    Here’s what we do know:

    * Head trauma increases the risk of drug abuse and depression.
    * Repeated head trauma increases the risk of dementia later in life.
    * Hockey players often suffer repeated head injuries.
    * Fighting in hockey directly causes head injuries, and some fighters show unmistakable signs of irreversible brain damage.

    We don’t need more data to change the game.

    • The Dude says:

      But a frozen puck traveling at over 100 mph and your coach demanding you throw yourself in front of it while it’s pinging of the sticks of others ,this is good for you?Look,there’s nothing safe about hockey”it’s one of the most difficult and dangerous sports to play cause there’s so much going on” and the “Lets make the game safer gang” is dreaming thinking fighting is the main cause of issues concerning mental health. You want to make Hockey safe ….stop watching!

      • the dude commenting on mental health

        how meta

      • HardHabits says:

        You need to focus on the subject. HFS72 is taking specifically about head shots. Not blocking shots.

        Take for example the NFL, a league that plays a game no less violent and intense than that played in the NHL, they have taken steps to stop hits to the head and IMHHO so should the NHL. It’s not about pussifying the game it’s about making adjustments for the increased speed and athleticism that today’s hockey players bring to the table.

        Try and focus on the subject. We’re talking head trauma.

        Hits to the head, whether they are elbows with hard plastic padding or punches with bare knuckled fists, turn players’ brains to mush.

        And if making the game safer means taking steps to avoid injuries, especially those that cause head trauma, then I am all for it.

        There’s a reason why many seasoned hockey fans prefer international hockey like the WJC, Olympics, World and Canada Cups to what the NHL is offering.

        • you type like hell understand the words you laid forth, will process them and stack them up to his current mindset, then retort accordingly in a sensible manner?

        • The Dude says:

          If I don’t want to look at the whole picture HH then I’ll start just looking at fighting.And there is no difference between a gloved or bare-knuckle smack to the chops as far as the trauma goes,bare knuckle causes cuts and cut scarring can reopen in boxing “brows,nose etc “that was the reason for gloves and no other.As for the N.F.L. apples vs oranges,but still the same problem”it’s a dangerous sport!”and if you want safe football watch flag,but of course a basketweaver like crosseyed-mofo will not be able to line up the dots for this,lol

          • so your saying you arent looking at the whole picture and that fighting causes brain trauma

            yé!

          • punkster says:

            Stephen, you’re trying to defend the fighting aspect and all its possible repercussions to the players by claiming it’s just a part of the sport. Thing is it’s going to change. If not this year then certainly after the next bargaining session in 2012. I think we’ll all have to get used to the idea that the league will impose some sort of limits, increased enforcement and penalties and possibly an outright ban in the future. Like I said yesterday it’s all about change.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

        • Ian Cobb says:

          Some small changes are creeping into the game.
          OHL, this year has mandatory soft elbow and shoulder pads, leather instead of the armor.

          Public out cry is the only thing that changes things. Especially where there is so much money involved.

          STAND UP AND SHOUT!

      • Duracell3 says:

        And there is the difference. Throw yourself in front of a 100mph puck, its probably going to hit a shin guard, but say it doesn’t and you break your leg.

        Legs heal, brains don’t.

    • JF says:

      Agreed. While we can never know exactly what caused the deaths of Boogard, Rypien, and Belak, it certainly seems that depression played a significant role. It is equally clear that the risk of depression is increased by head trauma and concussion, and that fighting leads to head trauma and concussion. We know enough to know that the game needs to be changed so that hits to the head, whether caused by checks or by fighting, are minimized.

  39. arcosenate says:

    I guess it boils down to what extent fights sell tickets in the NHL. The product on the ice does not seem to be the bottom line for the powes that be, bums in the seats leads to money in the owner’s pockets. And if that means bums on the ice throwing punches then there you go.

    The NHL really does not give a crap about players in my opinion and I really don’t think the players give much of a crap about each other either.

    Too much money at stake for either the players or owners to make the real attitude changes that would lead to more respect for each other and the game.

    Sure, move the nets back to a pre-Gretzky distance from the boards, take out the centre line for offsides but when it comes to a safety issue like automatic icing, talk about the integrity of the game.

    I’ll be very surprised if very much changes that leads to profits for owners or players…

  40. G-Man says:

    He whines more than SK. Sad, really. I mean, for an enforcer…..oh…yeah….right….sorry.


  41. The 2011 Summit

    This will be one to remember.
    And don’t forget the Children’s Foundation Auction.
    Raffle tickets are 20.00 ea or 3 for 40.00
    Everyone should bring one item to raffle off.

    Shane Oliver
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    hockey@sholi2000.com
    Ph- 204 724 8418

  42. Mattyleg says:

    I just hate the way Laraque always chimes in on issues, regardless of how little he understands them.
    Just because the newspapers are calling for your opinion doesn’t mean you have to give it.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  43. twilighthours says:

    I’m a vegetarian who also hates Laraque. Maybe this means I am somewhat neutral on this issue. Whatever the implications, I find Boone’s hate for Laraque a bit much. This post today reeks of him trolling for comments and page refreshes. It’s inflammatory for the sake of being inflammatory, and nothing more.

    I think it’s probably time we all moved past Laraque and let him live his life how he wants.

    ————————————–
    If you’re sick of not being able to view the HIO comment structure from your iPhone, try downloading Mercury browser. If you have alternative suggestions, please send them along!

    • V says:

      Agree about moving on.

      It’s long past time to get over his stint with the Canadiens and it certainly appears he is trying to do good things with his life. I wish him well.

    • slamtherimtim says:

      the guy screwed the habs with his code , as fans we can hate on him as long as we want , for whatever we want ,

    • Mike Boone says:

      I honestly don’t hate Laraque. But the cynic in me is a bit leery of transformations.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger
      Gazette City columnist
      mboone@montrealgazette.com

    • New says:

      I wish BGL the best of luck in his career as a “personality” as I consider that to be his forte. He is now an aspiring politician in the least of the parties but who knows what the future will bring. The past though is known. BGL could play hockey at a very high level. He just chose not to so the NHL gave up on him.

      • Tony McLean says:

        He couldn’t even skate that’s why he could not hit anyone. And when he went veggie and ‘thoughtful’ his career as a pugilist/bully/enforcer was over by his own choice.
        —————————————–
        You have two choices: Break Chara’s nose and win or grab your ankles and lose.

    • pierre lapuck says:

      I agree

    • I’m not sure how it’s trolling, he doesn’t really say anything bad about Laraque, just a smart ass picture.

      I think Boone could have been much harsher, especially after reading Laraque’s article in the Globe and Mail which was, frankly, devoid of any intelligence on the matter, preachy, whiny, and written at a 9th grade level.

      http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

      • twilighthours says:

        Or he could have just linked it without the preamble and the poor photoshop job. Or he could have not linked it at all.

        We’re all smarter than that, Andrew. It’s obvious to all of us why Boone did it. Especially when Boone himself said that he his leery of transformations and tired of Laraque’s grandstanding.

        ————————————–
        If you’re sick of not being able to view the HIO comment structure from your iPhone, try downloading Mercury browser. If you have alternative suggestions, please send them along!

        • So would people be happy if HIO turned into just a site that posted links with no writing? Boone isn’t allowed to have an opinion? I think you’re being overly sensitive.

          http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

          • twilighthours says:

            Oh so boone was sharing an opinion then?

            Of course Boone is allowed to have an opinion. Boone is the shiznit, and he is why I come to HIO (and you, of course). But I can disagree with Boone, too (I.e. Boone is allowed to be wrong).

            ————————————–
            If you’re sick of not being able to view the HIO comment structure from your iPhone, try downloading Mercury browser. If you have alternative suggestions, please send them along!

          • You’re right, just sounded like you were trying to say he shouldn’t be injecting any opinion at all, which is kinda Boone’s thing on HIO.

            http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

          • clubdehockey says:

            Not to mention that this thread is posted in Boone’s blog and not in the News section. Certainly someone has the right to express (or even merely imply) an opinion in his or her own blog!

    • Duracell3 says:

      “I’m a vegetarian who also hates Laraque.”

      I’m sorry but I’ve outed you Mr. Gauthier :D


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