Friday, March 20, 2009

Sending a mixed message? (updated)

I wasn't at Thursday's WCHA Final Five banquet, but here's an interesting note from Grand Forks Herald hockey writer Brad Schlossman's blog:

Every year, there is a highlight video looking back on the year. There were a few plays included in the video that made everyone look around at each other -- like Brian Schack's punches to the back of the head of Mankato's Channing Boe. There also were a few checking-from-behinds in there.

The WCHA obviously made a big deal about rough play at the end of the season when it suspended Minnesota State's Trevor Bruess twice for a series of "dangerous" hits in games against Minnesota, North Dakota and St. Cloud State. The game against MSU and Minnesota in which the above "highlight" took place sparked an interesting post-game discussion by Gophers coach Don Lucia about protecting players and enforcing rules. (If you'll recall, Schack threw some punches at Bruess after Bruess' hard hit on Tony Lucia, too.)

So what kind of message does it send to the league's players, coaches, media and supporters when you include those types of plays in an official video showing off what's supposed to be the best of the 2008-09 season, especially one of a guy punching someone who, everyone now knows, was helpless lying on the ice with a broken leg?

UPDATE: I just read Wisconsin State Journal hockey writer Andy Baggot's take on the video, which you can read here. According to his account, the footage also showed Boe being taken off the ice on a stretcher. Here's a sampling from Baggot's blog:
Coaches and representatives from multiple schools expressed dismay at the video.

"Embarrassing,'' said one.

"A total joke,'' said another.

1 comment:

Bale said...

Nothing surprises me from this conference anymore. They are so much talk and not a whole lot of action. They dont' seem to change anything unless people start making a lot of noise and then only stick to their guns until the noise quiets down.