ANALYSIS: Hockey world could do without constant online negativity

The hockey world is never boring, that’s for sure. Suspensions, firings, injuries, the impending trade deadline — all of these things fill the airwaves, the internet, podcasts and good old-fashioned conversation every day, particularly in Canada, where hockey seeps out of the concrete, and there are millions who claim they can run a team.

But as someone who has been around the game for all too long, I find so much of any discussion today to be negative. And I wonder why that is. This is a game that appears to eat its own.

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We all love the game, don’t we? We all feel the exhilaration of our team scoring and eventually winning. Why do we have to be so negative? It was the great Lester Patrick who said hockey is “a game of mistakes.” But does that mean we have to always be negative? It’s as if we can never do anything right in the game of hockey.

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I will say one thing: it is much easier to be negative — to say no — than it is to be positive.

But why is there space in our hockey world for people to make fun of former Winnipeg Jet Patrik Laine, who is in the NHL/NHLPA Assistance Program? That should never happen. Laine should have our support, not our disdain.

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Why should Phil Kessel feel the wrath of social media as he works his way back into shape?

The conversation around Morgan Rielly’s silliness against Ridly Greig this week was comical — but often embarrassing.

Believe it or not, I started to ask this question last Sunday night, as the Kansas City Chiefs were being awarded the Super Bowl trophy — except the men who played the game, sacrificed their bodies, to win the title didn’t receive the trophy. It went to the owner, who inherited his position from his father.

I reflected on how hockey presents its championship trophy, the Stanley Cup. Gary Bettman — who will be booed, by the way — gives the trophy to the players, the men who lay it all on the line more than 100 times in a season. Because they earned it.

So among all the criticism in our game, we do something right. I just wish we could enjoy it a bit more.

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