Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
As a life-long fan of the Philadelphia Flyers I would like to congratulate you for giving a team with a reputation for rough play its biggest black mark ever. The Broad Street Bullies have to be sickened to witness such cowardice. Some reports have referred to you as “Flyers' tough guy.” That is the most erroneous statement of the year. There was nothing tough in your act.
You only showed the world that a leopard never changes its spots. After pleading guilty to aggravated assault following a two-handed slash to a player’s head, you come to the NHL, and more specifically the Flyers, and pull this stunt. You have set back hockey with that attack. How many teams are going to want to give players a second chance after you seemingly proved that second chances only hurt the game – and other players. The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) suspended you for a year after your display in junior hockey, which led the American Hockey League (AHL) to rule you ineligible to play for a period of time. It needs to be made very clear that this doesn’t seem to be a one-time mistake for you.
The vision of you breaking your stick over a man’s face then getting ready to toss the gloves for a fight has to be the most ridiculous display, in my opinion, of idiocy that I have witnessed.
The 25 game suspension handed down by the NHL becomes the longest single season ban in history. Given this, many are left asking if that is enough. That says a lot in its own sense when people think the longest suspension ever may be lenient. Personally, I believe the suspension is appropriate, especially since they are not allowed to take your actions in junior hockey into account.
After Steve Downie, a rookie with the Philadelphia Flyers, was given a 20 game suspension for his hit to the head of the Ottawa Senators’ Dean McAmmond the team is taking some undeserved heat for dirty play. Two marginal players do not give the team its character.
I sincerely hope the Flyers’ organisation makes an example of you, a player that should never don a hockey jersey again.
You are the perfect example of a hockey player, using that term in the loosest sense, the league doesn’t need. Sports figures are role models whether they like it or not and to think that young (and old) fans everywhere will witness you as a supposed representation of a hockey player sickens me.