Si Miller arena was in the spotlight last week and if you care, take a drive by the arena grounds, the old history maker is coming down. The parking lot behind the arena offers a pretty good view of the demolition process and even though it was a long time in the works, it’s still sad to see the building being gouged and hacked apart.
The famous "rush" end is gone and the gaping hole in the buildings north end has surely allowed every last ghost to escape. Depending on who buys the property and what they put there, it would be nice to build something around where center ice once was.
Whether it’s a driveway entrance or a new condo’s front lobby, a symbolic center ice circle would be a nice touch. Creative history minded people would see the merit in paying tribute to the past.
The head hit debate has taken on a new life these last few weeks. With
changes to minor hockey and the NHL being policed by the strong arm of
Brendan Shanahan, I can’t help but wonder what happened to the old rule called Intent to Injure. That rule seemed pretty clear, try and injure an opponent with something other than a hockey hit and out you go suspended for as long as deemed necessary. Going back to this simple explanation may take away all these, did he hit the head, did he not hit the head debates.
As much as Dion Phaneuf’s hit was a beauty against Montreal Canadien Stephane Da Costa, it was an inadvertent hit to the head and that becomes the problem too. The hit was the old school, catch him with their head down cutting through the middle classic, yet when a player lines someone up in that manner, he knows he is likely going to injure his opponent, the old hit to hurt mentality. If that’s the case, did Dion Phaneuf intend to injure DaCosta. In the process of the game he did, however deliberate and wanton disregard, might be hard to prove. Brian Burke might be right, don’t want to get hit, join the swimming team.
I have to say, Don Cherry was way off base with his "puke" comments and I see he regretted calling the players pukes in a half hearted apology during his Saturday night Coaches Corner. I also get the sense that guys like Don Cherry and the very few old guard left are realizing that the "games a changin’" and its likely time to accept the changes and move on. The interesting point Cherry made the other night is one I have been making for years and it centers around baseball.
Cherry showed a dozen head hits in baseball during some home plate collisions with catchers. In almost everyone the base runner
targets the catchers head before deliberately charging into the stationary or often time vulnerable backstop. Cherry did not show the part of the game that allows pitchers to throw 100 mph heat at the heads of batters to send a message or the numerous "Base Brawls" that result from these tactics.
Either way, as for hockey, the debate certainly has become a genuine sidebar to the game at this point.