A loud rant on a quiet Saturday....

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/18/2007 08:08:00 AM | | |
For those who know me from Islanders-Sound Tigers or HF, you know I'm not the kind of fan who pulls punches on hockey issues. Some things will interest me while others will not.

On this kind of blog I don't really care who Mike Comrie is dating or even what just was reported about former Sound Tiger Brandon Nolan (Ted's oldest son) as he tried to cross the border into Canada. Of course I have thoughts on what happened with Nolan's son but to me it's not really a hockey issue and not what I want to discuss on this blog because it's not a political blog for me beyond our club getting a new or upgraded arena for it's long-term survival.

But today on this quiet Saturday I get a story that just is right up my alley in terms of the kind of hypocrisy that is all about hockey and the media.

Most folks know the story with Rick Tocchet. He received probation yesterday for his gambling related actions and was given two years probation according to this Globe and Mail article.

edited-was informed the Globe and Mail is more a Western Canadian Paper, not a Toronto publication. That said as a hockey fan it seems they focus more on Toronto than any team in Canada.

ERIC DUHATSCHEK of the Globe and Mail makes his points on Tocchet not being reinstated by the league and writes the following:

Given the current climate and the desperate need for integrity in the world of professional sport, it is hard to imagine any circumstances under which the NHL would accede to Tocchet's plea for reinstatement.

The NHL has enough trouble becoming a more important presence on the U.S. sporting scene. At a time when its reputation needs to remain as squeaky clean as possible, to be viewed as condoning gambling would do far more harm than good. The path of least resistance — imposing further sanctions beyond Tocchet's current indefinite leave — will almost certainly be the one it takes.

ERIC DUHATSCHEK makes his point and is entitled, but how come the writer does not feel the same way about new Maple Leafs Wing Mark Bell, who pleaded no contest to a hit and run accident this week while intoxicated here and is going to jail AFTER next season while be permitted to play?

If the integrity of the league will be questioned by allowing Tocchet to be reinstated is allowing a player who is going to jail for six months to play next season the right statement to make? More like the Globe and Mail writer wants the Toronto Maple Leafs to have a serviceable player and the hell with the integrity of the league?

To me this comes off as a blatant double-standard by Duhatschek. We all have our own concept of what's good for the integrity of the league, from my perspective if your going to claim Tocchet to stay out for integrity sake, how can Bell be allowed to play when he's headed to prison?

If Bell were still in San Jose or in New York they will be lobbying for his suspension for conduct detrimental to the league and asking how can he be allowed to play which is becoming the norm in other sports? But Bell now plays in Toronto and the Globe and Mail has a vested financial interest in promoting the club so they receive more exposure. Of course there already is a p.r feature for Bell in the Toronto Star.

This also makes Leaf management look incompetent by adding a player they had to know could be sentenced to jail time when they traded for him earlier this summer. Yes, the media in Toronto has no problem beating up Leaf management for mistakes but they are not going to lobby for a member of the club to be suspended for the league's integrity because they want the club they cover to have the best chance of winning on the ice. Even today Sundin's girlfriend/wife? is on the back or front page of a Toronto publication.

Imagine if Garth Snow traded for Mark Bell? Think the media in Toronto would have no problem with him playing this season after all the complaining about Hill from Leaf management last year?

Please don't get any impression my rant is about Bell's alcohol-related issues, that's not what this is about at all. If necessary the league can help Bell with any substance abuse program in that regard. This is of course not personal about Bell but about the double-standard of tying to keep one person out of the league for integrity issues but not another.

I'm not a fan or Rick Tocchet but where's the positive p.r for all the things Rick Tocchet has done through his career for the NHL?

I simply hate double-standards. If Tocchet were still a player and was a member of the Leafs would the Globe and Mail lobby for his re-instatement?

End of rant. Your thoughts?