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article imageOp-Ed: The NHL should suspend Milan Lucic

By Rocco Pendola     May 15, 2014 in Sports
You can get the lowdown (in words and video) on how Boston's Milan Lucic handled himself after the Montreal Canadiens eliminated the Bruins from the NHL Playoffs Wednesday night ...
RIGHT HERE, but what gives?
The National Hockey League hands out suspensions and, unfortunately, two-minute penalties in the postseason like they never have before. The suspensions are ill-advised, bandaid reactions to rule changes that have made the game more dangerous. If we had a red line and a little more clutching and grabbing, we wouldn't have quite as many suspensions or concussions. Guaranteed. And if we just "let them play" in the NHL Playoffs we would be watching even more exciting second season hockey than we've been seeing this spring.
There's no use fighting it though -- that's the situation the NHL has given us as hockey fans who will watch the game no matter what Gary Bettman and his crew do to it. But, man -- if the league doesn't come down with an iron fist on Milan Lucic for what he did in the handshake line to Dale Weise, Alexi Emelin and Lord knows who else, they're really screwing us. They're taking the one thing away from us that we can hold up as distinct from every other major professional sport.
In the aftermath of what Lucic did, I've seen some people argue that the handshake line is sports' dumbest tradition. That's pure crap. It's the best. And it should be honored. Milan Lucic disrespected it and he deserves to pay the price.
For years, hockey fans have been able to show their non-hockey fan friends the handshake line and, say, "See, now you can begin to understand how hockey's different." One of the coolest moments as a hockey-watching parent came when I explained to my young daughter how the handshake line functions after a nasty postseason playoff series. And she thinks it's cool. She tells her friends about it as they stroll through over living room with playoff hockey on the screen. Sounds corny, but it teaches her a life lesson.
The league needs to protect this tradition as aggressively as it protects anything else. If it doesn't, hockey runs the risk of vindicating the anti-fighting crowd and, slowly but surely, becoming just like every other sport where the codes and traditions aren't quite as sacred and strong.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about NHL, Nhl playoffs, milan lucic, PK Subban, dale weise
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