It’s growing increasingly difficult to get through an evening of NHL hockey without a call to grab the daggers and pitchforks, and head to the keyboards. Zdeno Chara’s hit on Max Pacioretty was clearly the worst–at least in terms of the resulting injury–but nearly every night now there are calls for player X to be either banned from the league, or left completely alone after the latest even remotely questionable hit.
Think that’s a massive load of hyperbole? Cruise through Twitter or the comments section of any major blog in the hours after the latest possible suspension. When Sean Avery hit Michael Haley from behind on Tuesday, rulings from the court of hockey opinion in our comments section ranged from a suspension for the rest of the season, to people actually defending Avery. Yes, the Apocalypse is here, and the divide is that wide.
Between Brad Marchand and Dany Heatley, there’s been two suspensions this week, with Patric Hornqvist’s $2,000 fine adding a little extra mustard. Combine those hits with other incidents like Avery’s and Vincent Lecavailer’s slash on PK Subban, and it’s becoming impossible for bloggers and beat writers to keep up.
Here at HOTH, we can see when desperate times have hit the hockey writing community, and we hear the cries for help. Never fear, fellow scribes, because our head shot story template will have you cutting and pasting your way to a better relationship with your local bartender.
Just insert the appropriate names and actions, and you’ll be ready to generically summarize the latest bell ringing in seconds.
We’ve already placed a patent on this, and it’ll be appearing on The Shopping Channel.
Head shot post/story template
Another (idiotic/accidental/absolutely on purpose) incident tonight has resulted in a (concussion/shoulder injury/two missed shifts).
For the (third/fourth/eighth) time in the past (month/week/several days), the NHL has a head shot to debate. Mere minutes after (Sean Avery/Matt Cooke/any Boston Bruin) nailed (any player) with a (hit from behind/knee/elbow/leaping pile-drive) popular social media sites like Twitter and Facebook were ransacked with (intelligent discussion/illiterate gibberish).
Colin Campbell’s (inconsistent/incomprehensible) history of rulings has led many to dub the NHL’s disciplinary system the “Wheel of Justice,” and to (lose all faith/put more trust in a blind monkey swinging wildly around a dark room) when it comes to Campbell’s ability to harness the growing violence in the game.
There have already been calls for Campbell to (do nothing/throw a book/issue a fine that’s roughly equivalent to the value of a 1995 Jeep Cherokee). Those siding with a suspension can’t reach a consensus on a preferred length, and they likely never will. Some think the hit deserves a minimal punishment like (one game/two games) in the press box, while others seek a far more strict sentence in the neighbourhood of (10 games/15/the rest of the season/lifetime banishment/preventing the player from ever seeing his family again). Only one thing is clear: the NHL needs to (swiftly establish stronger legislation against dangerous hits/hope for another batch of head shots tomorrow night because Gary Bettman needs to prove hockey works in the Sun Belt, and the Ninja Professional Blender is doing a marathon infomercial).
To gauge the possible length of further punishment, we can look at recent rulings by Campbell for (guidance/confusion/utter delusion). In the past we’ve learned that insulting the girlfriend of a fellow player is grounds for an indefinite suspension, and imitating crude sexual acts leads to a two-game sit down. Meanwhile, a dangerous hit resulting in a concussion and fractured vertebrae receives nothing.
We can, however, be confident of just one outcome: people will (yell/speak in incoherent profanities/rant on message boards in all caps/ask bloggers who disagree with their views if they ever “PLAYED TEH GAME!”/organize protests/make creative shirts/ call the cops), and (no one/everyone) will be happy.