Ever since Game 1 of the Cup Final and Bitegate, the topic of conversation has been as much about extracurricular activities as its been about the actual play on the ice. Instead of talking about thrilling last second victories or shocking overtime game-winning goals during the off days, we’ve seen plenty of stories talking about Burrows biting Patrice Bergeron or Maxim Lapierre trying to get Bergeron to bite him back. All of this on the sport’s biggest stage.
Plenty of fans have expressed their disgust since the series started. When the officials and league refused to penalize or fine Lapierre for his taunting in Game 2, it opened up a can of worms no one wanted to see. In Game 3, both Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic stuck their fingers in Lapierre’s face in response to his actions in Game 2. The problem is this: as ridiculous as everyone’s actions have been, nothing really breaks any rules. An official could have issued an unsportsmanlike minor—but the taunt itself didn’t break any written rules.
“I can’t stand watching #40 and not even playing the game. I don’t know if he has an ounce of man in him. I’d be embarrassed to be his father.”
After sharing his thoughts, Barch appeared on TSN Radio 1050 to further explain his viewpoint:
“I would not allow my son to do the same. It’s absolutely embarrassing. It’s too bad right now that the rules in place protect this class of player, [one] that pretty much has no class.
“I had a few personal text messages from players throughout the league that pretty much said ‘I wish I could say it, but I can’t. But, I absolutely agree with you’.”
Whether you agree or disagree with his viewpoint, it’s good to see an athlete standing behind his comments after his tweets made waves. He didn’t delete the comment and he didn’t say they were taken out of context. That alone is precedent that all athletes could follow.
We always hear about the unwritten rules of sports and how each sport usually will police itself. In baseball, if a guy steals signs from the catcher, he’ll catch a fastball in the middle of his back next at bat. The most obvious example in hockey is when a star player is hit, the opponent knows there will be a price to pay. It sounds like Lapierre may have a little answering to do next season—and not just against the Bruins.
What do you think of Krys Barch’s comments? Are you glad that an NHL player had the guts to openly speak his mind? Or would you rather he just shut up and watched the Cup Final like the rest of us?