Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Boogard, Rypien, Belak

I hope that there's not a link between enforcers and dangerous habits and mental illness. I hope that this doesn't mean that a major role in this sport, taken up by dozens of players, puts them directly in danger of depression and substance abuse.

I hope that the players that come to mind when I think of "enforcers" are safe and healthy in all possible ways.

I hope that the fighting and the kind of physicality that defines this sport isn't destructive to a point that it does need to be completely overhauled. If there is a choice between fighting and keeping these young men safe and healthy, I wouldn't choose fighting; I hope that they're not mutually exclusive, but I want to know if they are.

I want answers. I know I am not entitled to them, but after three young, unnecessary deaths, I'm concerned, and the whole hockey community is concerned. I'm concerned bordering on terrified. I want someone who is in a position to make a difference to explain what's going on, and what is going to be done about it.

I want John Erskine and DJ King to be safe. I want Matt Hendricks and Matt Bradley to be safe. I want their minds to be safe, I want them to know that they are important to the team and the fans, and that they would be missed by the fanbase and by family and friends if anything was ever to happen to them.

I want summer to be over already and for nothing else bad to happen. I want those who are injured to recover; I hope to see a clean, skilled game and I hope not to see anyone take career-ending or life-threatening injuries this year. I want there to be easy answers and I know there's not, but mostly I want all of these players to be okay.

There's a month to go. October can't come soon enough.

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