I’m a huge fan of Mario Lemeiux, at least of what he has done on the ice, he was never the spokesperson that Wayne Gretzky was for the game, but, man, what a player. Earlier this week, a rout of the Pittsburgh Penguins by of all teams, the New York Islanders made more headlines for the number of fights and brawls than anything else. Check out a pretty unbiased compilation of clips from that game, highlighted by a Pens player leaving the bench, an attempted cheap shot, and some serious goons in Islanders uniforms. The suspensions and fines that followed set off Mr. Lemeiux, calling the game a travesty, and that the NHL failed to set a message to the trouble makers of the league. He then promptly signed a cheque for Matt Cooke.
I’m not justifying what the Islanders did, they really do seem to have a couple of real douches on that team, but how can you critique the league, when you have a guy like Matt Cooke on your payroll? There are plenty of guys on both sides that are willing to drop the gloves in a normal ‘hockey fight’, but guys like Cooke, who don’t fight, but instead provoke players, and put their teammates in harms way, suck too. Hell, they’re the guys that Mario used to complain about when he was playing. Mario had a point that ‘play’ of that kind has no place in the league, but the fact that he ensures Cooke does, should have him looking in the mirror.