Dear NHL Owners, Do You Know Kids Are Watching?

One dad points out there's a difference between tough play and savage play
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2012 12:41 PM CDT
Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa leaves the game on a stretcher Tuesday after a crushing hit. He's out of the hospital but probably done for the playoffs.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

(Newser) – Dave Banks is thrilled that his 10-year-old son started playing hockey this year, absorbing all the great lessons that team sports can bring to a kid. Too bad the adults playing the game are such lousy role models, he writes for the GeekDad blog at Wired. In an open letter to NHL owners, Banks complains about the sheer brutality that has marked the first round of this year's playoffs: head-to-head hits, plus fights and cheap shots galore.

Yeah, yeah, he knows all the usual rejoinders: It's part of the game, it's the playoffs, etc. But hockey can still be physical without being savage. "If you take a stand over these thuggish hits, whose sole purpose is to injure players and remove them from play, the effect will be seen on ponds and indoor rinks everywhere," he writes. Hockey is—or should be—a great game of power and grace. "It doesn’t need the grisly spectacle of a car wreck to succeed." Or has everyone forgotten about Derek Boogard already? Click for Banks' full column.

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