PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Remember Jamie Storr, Roman Chechmanek, Mathieu Garon, and Dan Cloutier? Kings fans would like to forget them all and Jonathan Quick made that a lot easier. (OC Register)
Kings GM Dean Lombardi learned a lot of his skills from Devils GM Lou Lamoriello. The Stanley Cup finals won’t be too weird now, will it? (Fire & Ice)
Story line you’ll hear a lot of: Ilya Kovalchuk and the Kings getting awkwardly re-acquainted. (LA Kings Insider)
Marty McSorley is getting a lot of press about his illegal stick in the 1993 Stanley Cup finals that helped swing the series in Montreal’s favor and he’s hoping the Kings now can end his “curse.” (NHL.com)
Know what’s fun? Hockey. Know what columnist Roy MacGregor finds not fun? A lot of the hockey we’ve seen in the playoffs. (Globe And Mail)
Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill is a big fan of prospect winger Tomas Jurco. (Detroit Free Press)
The fighting debate rages on and the macho aspect of it plays a big part. (Globe And Mail)
In a vacuum, In the Game’s “Enforcers” series of trading cards is a pretty bright way to shake up a rather stagnant industry. After all, it’s difficult to top the love that NHL tough guys tend to receive. Of course, when you consider the context of a tragic summer of enforcer deaths, a creative idea becomes a divisive matter of taste, as venues such as 680 News and Puck Daddy discussed.
To give you the rundown, ITG is releasing the “Enforcers” set in mid-January 2012. Many of the cards feature a “bloodstained” effect, there are game-worn jerseys from fights (aping an industry standard that goes back many years) and historic fights are trumpeted with images and sometimes memorabilia from both enforcers. Take a look at some of the most provocative cards, via ITG’s blog.
(Here’s one video of Worrell vs. Chara, if fight videos are you thing.)
Perhaps the most controversial inclusion will be Wade Belak, one of the enforcers who died last summer. Click here for the card that includes Belak (H/T to Greg Wyshynski.)
ITG’s owner Brian Price responded to some of the criticisms, including a 680 News caller who believes it is “completely appropriate” and that the cards promote violence.
“I guess it’s just a timing issue right now, with the unfortunate deaths of a couple of players, maybe some related to injuries on the ice but others related to other things,” Price said. “We are not glorifying violence whatsoever. We are playing tribute to a group of hockey payers who have a specific role in the sport.”
(It’s kind of hard to believe that blood-splattered effects aren’t an example of glorifying violence, but that’s just me.)
What do you think about the enforcer cards? Do you think it’s a brilliant campaign, an example of bad timing and taste or maybe some combination of both? Let us know in the comments.