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About FirstStar

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  1. As you know RDS, I read a lot. I read a book last year (don't ask me which one) in which they touched on this. It's much better than it use to be, but it's no where near the states. Since American born players play at the college and university level, they are forced to take classes and pass if they want to continue to play hockey. Hockey Canada has made strides to do something similar. Those kids who never make it to the NHL, do have a certain amount of money they receive to pay for schooling if they don't go into the NHL. This part is a lil foggy, but I also believe there's a players fund that will pay an x-NHLer some schooling if they choose to do so after their NHL careers, but I believe they are required to play a certain amount of games/seasons to be eligible for this. Present day hockey players have it much better than those who grew up playing prior to the 90's. They're still miles behind the states, at least there is something for them after hockey. Hockey players in the 7o's and 80's often became salesmen. The company who hired them figured their hockey fame could help boost sales. Hockey Canada is now forcing young players (in jr such as the Q, WHL, OHL, etc...) to do some schooling. I believe they are required to go to school until they are drafted by an NHL team. I don't know the specifics (can't remember), but from what I remember, jr players have a pretty full schedule with hockey and school. Even though they are doing this, this is still a gray area. Those who are drafted by NHL and for one reason or another their careers are cut short (either they don't pan out or due to injury), fall into another group. They cut their educations short since and NHL team drafted them, but if they don't play a certain number of games they don't qualify for the players fund and since they no longer play jr, they can benefit from the jr payment plan. Imo that's why we see so many career AHLers. May not be NHL salaries, but it's still a living. Young Canadian hockey players have it better than those who played prior to the 90's. But still have a ways to go before they catch up to the states. Many Canadian players are going to school in the states to have something to fall back on. It's unfortunate cos we're losing a lot of young Canadian kids to the states due to their mandatory education. And yes I agree with you, I'm sure a lot of hockey players who didn't make it and didn't take their education seriously (cos they thought they would be the next Gretzky) turn to drugs and alcohol. I don't for one second believe substance abuse is only a problem x-NHL enforcers have to deal with. I think we'd be very surprised to know how many NHLers, x-NHLers, former jr stars (who didn;t pan out) and career AHLers have substance abuse problems.
  2. Cherry is an old school hockey coach who never played in the NHL or had to fight NHL enforcers. I thought he made a good point, then totally made a fool out of himself. The focus is on enforcers, but I'd like to see how many x-nhlers (non-enforcers) had substances abuse problems. I'm pretty sure you'd be surprised to know that probably a lot of them turned to drugs and alcohol after their careers were over and during their careers (Grant Furh was known to have a severe substance abuse problem when he played for the oilers). It's hard for any professional athlete to see their career come to an end. Why do you think we see so many of them go into coaching, broadcasting or scouting. NHLers today play about 6-7 months out of the year, but it doesn't mean they have the next 6 months off to lounge around at home. Many take a month or so to visit friends and family, then they're back in the gym getting ready for a new season. I'm sure a lot turn to drugs or alcohol just out of sheer boredom. Then there's the whole shock of not being in the media spotlight and that old mid-life crisis thing. Imo it's no coincidence that many x-NHLers get involved in coaching (even at a low level), join the NHLnetwork team or head over-seas to scout for young talent. Yes it's stressful being an enforcer, but it's just as stressful being an NHL tender. Even the great ken dryden would throw up before every game. If he had that reaction before a game, I can imagine he had many a sleepless night prior to big games. Playing hockey in the 70's I'm sure he enjoyed a few drinks on the eve of a big game. The difference for dryden was that he had a career following his hockey career. He planned for it as he played for our Habs. Going to McGill studying law, as well playing hockey. All this to say, I don;t think substance abuse following a professional sports career is something only x-enforcers face.
  3. Thanx. Maybe we should send it to Ted.
  4. I see this was brought up (I lightly glanced over previous posts), but opening night while Schenn was drilling gomez into the boards, chara was up to his old tricks. How the hell does he continue to get away with it. Ok, they're putting the blame on Giroulx(?). Yes, players have to take some responsibility, but the guys hitting also have to take responsibility. Several suspensions were handed out the other night for hitting a guy in the numbers and sending them head 1st into the boards, isn't that what chara did on opening night? The way I see it or understand it, chara is a beast of a player, so everyone around him has to take responsibility for his dirty hits? What about his responsibility, realizing that he out weighs everyone in the NHL and that he's causing serious injuries? If that's the case, why don't the habs draft the tallest player in the drafts (regardless of his skills) and use him to drill people and take dirty shots, seems to work for chara. People talk about old time hockey, how dirty and how violent it was. I won't disagree, some of those flyers games in the 70's were a brutal/bloody mess. I read a book last year called, "the code:unwritten rules to fighting and enforcers in the NHL...". The one thing that kept coming back in the book was the respect that players had for each other. Yes, there was tiger williams, bobby clarke and Dave the hammer schultz. For the most part there was respect. One enforcer talks about a young kid skating with head down, completely vulnerable. Instead of taking advantage of the situation and drilling him, he hits the kid but holds back. After hitting the kid, he tells him, "keep your head up kid, I could've drilled you... I won't show restraint next time...". It's funny cos in the book "the code", you hear that over and over again from enforcers and tough guys. Vets instead of teaching a kid a lesson, will now see a kid in a vulnerable position and make sure they knock his head off. The code was not about taking advantage of young, vulnerable kids/players, it was about protecting stars and making players accountable for their actions.. Anyone who played JR hockey or even bantam was taught the code. I'm not saying bring back the code, but some aspects of the code did teach kids about respect. With players coming from all over the world now, it's impossible to teach the code. But we can start teaching respect at a young age. These young kids aren't going to learn from a serious concussion, but they will learn from a scare, like mentioned above. Young players may be green, but they're not stupid. If a big tough guy like Phaneuf who's known for his punishing hit, give a young kid a tap when he's in a vulnerable position that kids going to remember that. He's going to be sitting on the bench thinking, "wow, he could've taken my head off there... I'll be much more careful next time...", sending a kid to hospital and cutting his 1st season short doesn't do the NHL any favours. I'm not saying that 20/30 years ago the league was without it's dirty players. C'mon, there was messier, williams, stevens, etc... But they stood out cos they were the minority. Today they call it "teaching a kid a lesson" or "welcoming him to the NHL", well imo, you're teaching a kid a lesson when you hold back and say something afterwards. Instead of laying the kid out and possibly cutting his career short like with boston's savard, florida's booth and St louis' Perron. I love good hits and hockey fights, but what we've been witnessing for the past decade is NOT old time hockey. Montreal had a punishing blueline in the mid 70's with Robinson (who once hit a guy so hard that he broke the boards), Lapointe and savard who constantly dished out punishing hits. Why did their hits rarely result in season ending injuries? Imo, I believe it's cos they knew when to dish out a punishing hit and when to hold back. Players today take advantage when ever they can, instead of picking their moments. And the leagues disciplinarians aren't doing the NHL any favours, by constantly letting stars get away with murder (guys like Ovy and chara). The only thing they're doing is sending the message, "if you're good enough, you won't be punished".
  5. He's a heart and soul player, doesn't have the skills, but gives himself for the team. A typical character player. I'm liking our lower lines now. As much as I hated Laps and his puck hogging, we took a hit on our lower lines when we lost Metro, Moore and then Laps. I'm very happy about the acquisition of Betts.
  6. Imo I'm not sure the MacArthur hit was punishable, but we're in crack down mode. And the latest player to face Shanny... Chicago's Peter Leblanc. I agree, shouldn't throw shanny under the bus. I still feel he dropped the ball on this one. Malone was clearly in head hunting mode after his run in with PK.
  7. Or if you can make it look like an accident, you won't be suspended. I thought this crack down had nothing to do with intent. I thought it was an auto suspension if you target a players head. If your sticks comes up and you clip a guy and draw blood, it's an auto 2 extra minutes (regardless of intent). Here's my post in another thread: I have to say I'm very disappointed with Shanny's decision not to suspend Malone. Some of my disappointment has to do with the fact I'm a Habs fan, the other is the fact that a message is being sent that it's open season on Habs. Seriously, it was a clear hit to the head and Malone came from Campoli's left side. Maybe not a typical blindside hit (didn't come from behind), but a mild blindside hit nonetheless(considering Campoli was clearly reaching for a loose puck)-Very similar to the hit Stastny received from Doug Weight a few years back. Shanny's reason, Malone didn't look like he was making an intentional hit to campoli's head. Given the fact that Malone was head hunting all night and his lil gesture to campoli after his fight with Gorges, makes me think his motive was pretty clear. Just about every other hit to the head over the past 2 weeks resulted in a suspension. Except for the hit on Campoli. Anyone else feel it will be open season on Habs this season? Btw, kudos to Gorges for standing up for a teammate. Almost forgot about Gorges last season, seeing him in pre-season makes me happy he's back. I feel Shanny dropped the ball on this one. Like previously mentioned, Malone's actions leading up to the hit and his gesture afterwards leads me to believe it was intentional. He ran our goalie, slashed our Habs, took a run at PK and then tried to take Campoli's head off.
  8. As sad as it is to sad Ted, teams have been calling up players from the minors just to rough up a star on the the other team for decades now. Coaches and the organization need to be held accountable and not just for players jumping off the bench to scrap.
  9. Lil extreme, but it make that for teams/players/coaches to finally get the message. Anyone who's watched hockey for years or who have played it knows that an enforcer doesn't go on the ice until he's told to by his coach. Back in the 70's and 80's, enforcers sat at the end of the bench, waiting for the coach to walk by and put his hand on their shoulders. For years coaches have been getting off while the player who was sent on the ice (by his coach), gets all the discipline. Making coaches accountable imo is a good idea. Seriously, if something like this happened in real life, everyone involved would be receiving charges. If you hire someone to kill another person, you're just as guilty as the person committing the crime, in hockey you're not. I say it's about time the hold the coaches accountable.
  10. We'll know next time chara or Ovy takes a run at someone.
  11. Just heard it myself on Hockey 360 on RDS... Apparently they'll be honouring him tonight before the game.
  12. For Nine... Judging by some of the bands you listen to, if you haven't heard of this band, they're worth checking out.
  13. The hum of a tattoo machine... And the screams from the client.