Possible New Jerseys for the Sabres; Ralph Nader Takes on NHL; Jousting to Compete for NHL’s Ratings Dominance of the Lowest Common Denominator

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Sabres/Bruins tonight.

Lucic is the star of hundreds of headlines out there, so I decided to spare you one and instead throw Nader in ours. “Buckle your seat belt,” Ralph has thrown himself head first into the NHL’s concussion debate.

The former presidential candidate and long time champion of Consumer Reports posted an open letter to Gary Bettman, challenging the NHL Commissioner to ban fighting and all head shots from the game.

Your league has created a department of player safety.  That’s well and good.   But a quick question:  How can you continue to allow fighting, in which the primary target is the head of your opponent, and seriously make the argument that you’re doing all you can to make player safety a priority?

You don’t have to be a pioneer in this area Mr. Bettman.  The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) already bans fighting and all blows to the head.  So does the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), the NCAA, and other hockey organizations.  The Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center Ice Hockey Summit recommended prohibiting fighting and all contact to the head at every level of the game, including theNHL, a little more than a year ago.

…According to an analysis of hockey-related concussions written by Dr. Syd Johnson of Dalhousie University, and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal last year, one study found that up to 25% of all players in junior hockey leagues sustain concussions in any given season.

Nader’s message is of a very serious nature – but it remains to be seen how seriously the NHL will take it. They’ve never shown a desire to become the last of the Big Four US pro sports leagues to ban fighting, but public attention continues to grow and Nader’s letter will only bring more eyes and ears to the discussion.

Meanwhile, the History Channel, not to be out-done by the NHL’s gains through the promotion of blunt force head trauma, has launched a new series – “Full Metal Jousting.” A link to a video describing the “dangers of jousting” can be seen here. In short, some guys are “unconscious in the saddle” before they hit the ground. Worst reality television idea of the year? Yes, especially considering the fact that the UK’s version of this show left one man dead – from his use of “an unsuitable helmet.”

We can be pretty sure that the show is going to be a bloody mess, but is it unfair to compare this show to the NHL? It’s not like anyone ever went “unconscious before hitting the ice,” right? Oh. Wait

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This may be why we left jousting behind in the Middle Ages.

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Blood does sell tickets.

Eventually, it won’t be up to Nader if the NHL dumps fighting or not. It’s up to what fans are willing to pay money to see. The same thing applies to the History Channel’s new jousting idiot-fest. If the ratings are good, the show will go on.

Just remind your kids to keep their gloves on. And to remove all long poles from the house. No matter how much we seem to enjoy watching ourselves brain each other, we never want the kids to grow up to brain each other.

Oh yea, the whole new jersey thing.

It seems the Sabres might be returning to the color black for a new alternate jersey. In a season full of head injuries, losses, and broken coaches, this at least gives us something fun to argue about.

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The Islanders current black 3rds. Truly awful.

Go Sabres.

 

 

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