Everyone keeps throwing around the term “hypocrite” when talking about Mario Lemieux and his comments towards the New York Islanders. The line of reasoning, as it were, goes like this:
Lemieux employees Matt Cooke >
Islanders did a bunch of Cooke-like things >
Lemieux complains about said actions >
Lemieux is a hypocrite.
Whether those fans calling out Super Mario are right in their assessment and rationale, well, that’s a different story completely.
But around here we were thinking about hypocrisy and its place in the NHL. Like every sport, there are some things that don’t necessarily add up that we’re more than willing to turn a blind-eye towards. We’re talking about a place where they’ll say they’re trying to clean up the game, yet it’s still a sport that accepts people throwing their fists into other’s faces.
With that in mind, we thought this would be a great opportunity to point out some of the other hypocritical things that have been going on in the NHL over the last few years. You’ll quickly see that Mario isn’t alone.
Brian Burke keeps saying that he wants to ice a competitive team. Yet he still employs Brett Lebda. Red-faced hypocrite.
Dean Lombardi wants the Kings to be the “Philadelphia Flyers West.” Yet there are still one or two people in the organization who don’t have Flyers ties. Fine-receiving hypocrite.
The New Jersey Devils said they wanted to compete for the Stanley Cup this year, but took an 8 month summer vacation. Overspending hypocrites.
Fans in Calgary said they’d be sellers at the deadline, yet their team won’t stop winning. Schizophrenic hypocrites.
Management in Buffalo insists that they want to win in both the regular season and in the playoffs, yet they expect their goaltender to start 95 games in an 82-game season. Obviously, that’s not possible. Parka-wearing hypocrites.
The Flyers say they want to win the Stanley Cup, yet they refuse to sign one single goaltender in their entire organization. Bullies and hypocrites.
Avalanche fans told us that last year was not an aberration, yet their recent play on the ice says they might not win game in February. Rocky Mountain hypocrites.
Fans in Chicago insist that the 5 guys left from last year are going to defend last year’s Stanley Cup, yet the NHL refuses to let 11 teams from the Western Conference into the playoffs. Hungover hypocrites.
Fans in traditional markets all over North America will say they know hockey better than any Sunbelt fans, yet two weeks ago few could name a forward on the Predators. Wannabe hockeytonk hypocrites.
Fans will say they hate the shootout, yet I’ve never seen a fan leave in the middle of a shootout because it was bad for the game. 3-point hypocrites.
Obviously this is a lighthearted attempt to show there’s a disconnect between what people say and what people mean that is prevalent all over the NHL. If anything, Lemieux’s comments brought something that made me think more of Super Mario’s role in the NHL than the appalling transgressions from Trevor Gillies and Matt Martin. Like Steve Yzerman, I’m more pleased with the fact that Lemieux spoke out—not necessarily the event that made him speak out. When a former superstar and current owner is engaged in the sport, it’s better for all parties involved.
We always want people to speak their mind. So when they do, why is it that we bash them in the event there are inconsistencies? Obviously Lemieux, and more importantly in this case, Ray Shero feel that Matt Cooke is a valuable member of their team that gives them a better chance to win more games. Does that mean he forfeits the right to speak out whenever another team crosses the line? Clearly, there’s a sizable portion of the hockey-loving community that says he does. But that’s missing the point.
If people forfeited the right to disagree with actions because of their own transgressions, we wouldn’t have any political discourse in this county. Sports talk radio would be silent, Twitter streams would slow to a crawl, and hockey message boards would be non-existent. So if fans can speak their mind when there are obviously inconsistencies, then an owner who has millions of dollars should have the same right.