If you're easily offended, skip this post and go here instead.
If you don't care about hockey and would rather read about home renos, skip this post and go here instead.
But for the rest of you...
Regarding the recent hit by Boston Bruin Zdeno Chara on Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens. If you missed it, it's here. Be warned you'll need a strong stomach. I felt sick when I watched it live, and when Max did a nosedive on the ice, I thought he was either paralyzed or dead.
He ended up with a severe concussion and a fracture to the fourth vertebra in his neck. According to doctors, if it had been displaced, he would have been paralyzed or dead. As it is, the injury may still end his career before it's even launched properly. He's 22, the same age as my son.
Understand that here in Canada, we are rabid hockey fans. Rabid. We plan our weekends and weekdays around watching or playing the game. It's the main discussion at the water cooler at any office after a game, and the conversation opener at a party.
My husband plays weekly, year round, my son grew up playing hockey, at a fairly elite level, my nephews and even one of my daughters and one of my nieces have all played the great game of hockey. While I acknowledge and accept there is hitting in this sport, I know (when my son reached the age when checking was allowed) they are coached to check other players properly, responsibly. They also learn how to take hits to minimize the chance of serious injuries. Every kid who has played hockey knows this.
Chara is not going to be suspended. Gary Bettman, the NHL Commissioner, says there is no need to "over-legislate" head hits. He had the opportunity to make things right and he blew it. Air Canada, one of the major sponsors, is threatening to withdraw their sponsorship. Bettman says so what, we'll find other carriers. Come on, Air Canada. Do it. Other big sponsors are threatening to do the same. I hope they have the balls to follow through. If the owners and the commissioner aren't going to put the pressure on and push for change, then maybe this will make a difference. Players need to be protected. Dirty hits are not part of hockey.
I'll post some pretty flower photos or put up a kitten video when I'm calmer.