National Columnist

The NHL doesn't spank its children

Here comes my rare hockey post, a post I'll start with my theory on corporal punishment:

As a father, I believe in spanking. You can disagree with that, and that's fine. I'm not trying to mock or convert anyone who doesn't spank. Just saying, if one of my sons screwed up badly enough, I spanked him -- and here's why:

1. To punish him.

2. To teach him to never do that again.

3. To teach his brother to never try it in the first place.

How does this relate to the NHL's current problem with violence? Simple. The NHL doesn't believe in spanking.

And you see what happened?

NHL players went nuts. Every day brings another headline or two or five, accompanied by video evidence, of players behaving badly. Flying into a defenseless opponent at full speed, shoulder to chin. An elbow to the nose of a defenseless opponent. Ramming someone's face into the wall.

It was that latter episode -- the face into the wall -- that started this whole thing. See, Nashville's Shea Weber rammed Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg into the wall, face-first, on April 11 ... and the NHL didn't suspend him. Barely fined him, just the pocket-change amount of $2,500. That was a transgression that required a spanking, and all the NHL did was tell Weber to stand in the corner until I count to 10.

One, two, three ... oh, you're so cute there in the corner, Shea Weber! You can go out now. All is forgiven.

And you see what happened next. And what keeps happening. Professional athletes are children, and it's up to their bosses to keep them in line with a firm hand. The NHL, alas, looked at Shea Weber's misbehavior and spared the rod.

And spoiled the whole damn playoffs.


 
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