After hearing from Raffi Torres yesterday through the NHLPA about how Torres hopes for the best for Marian Hossa and he’s still pondering an appeal, some wondered what the players’ union’s role should be in matters like this. After all, it’s one member of the union going out of their way to harm another.
The New York Post’s Larry Brooks finds out from key players’ union member and Rangers forward Brad Richards that the NHLPA would like a bigger role in handling punishment matters in an effort to help clean things up.
“We’re definitely going to want to have more of a role in the supplementary discipline process going forward in the next [collective bargaining] agreement, but when it comes to it, the league can police it all it wants but we have a responsibility to each other as hockey players to stop this head-hunting.
“And just because it’s April 15 isn’t a reason to allow players to behave that way at this time of year or for the league to be lenient when they do. Players are still at risk.”
Should the players get this worked out in the next CBA, this is a big step. The players haven’t had a hands-on attitude when it’s come to matters. After seeing teammates, friends, and fellow union members felled at the hands of other guys they could describe similarly, seeing the players take a much more active role would be a huge step towards improving the game.
After all, it’s not just the league that looks bad when players go rogue and start taking each other out, the players look reckless and cold-hearted when not giving a second thought to their fellow man.