Some react with violence to the Vancouver Canucks’ loss in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals June 16.

Some react with violence to the Vancouver Canucks’ loss in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals June 16.

Discouraging riotous behaviour

Editor:

There has to be better way to punish people who break the law, thieve and create riots.

Editor:

There has to be better way to punish people who break the law, thieve and create riots. These are people who have no respect for decency.

There has to be some type of punishment for those who are proven guilty, as a real deterrent – not just a fine or a slap on the wrist but something those individuals will remember for the rest of their lives. It has been suggested that those convicted should receive 10 or 15 lashes.

That might do the trick and prove to be a real discouragement for future misbehaviour.

M.L. Eisner, Surrey

Brutes and consequences

Did some young people mimic the on-ice violence committed during the Stanley Cup series, thus contributing to the 2011 hockey riots?

We have to remember these people look up to athletes as mentors and heroes. Of course, this doesn’t justify their actions, but we need to understand this type of mentality has developed amongst young people.

The Canucks-Boston series could have been one of finesse and skill. Instead it became a hooligans’ blood sport of dirty hits and numerous player injuries.

I am a hockey fan – not just a Canucks fan – and I greatly admire the skill of all NHL players. It was tragic that two of my favourite young players – Mason Raymond and Nathan Horton – suffered critical injuries in the series. Neither should have occurred.

It could have been a great series to remember for years to come. Unfortunately, players on both teams acted like spoiled brats. When Canucks were losing in Boston, Canucks players started initiating fights for no reason. And when a Boston player committed a dirty hit from behind on Daniel Sedin, his reason for doing seemed to be “because I can.” How many rioters might be saying the same thing right now to justify their inexcusable actions?

Game 7 was the biggest disgrace. The referees seemed to have forgotten the rules of the game as both teams committed atrocious acts of escalating violence.

Hockey is a great game and doesn’t need to be soiled by dirty tactics and violence. Why doesn’t the Workers Compensation Board get involved and hold league management accountable for this type of blatant violence resulting in horrible injuries. After all, the rink is still a job setting for the players. The players have families and personal lives outside that rink.

The only reason the league continues to justify minimal suspensions and not enforce rules of common sense is to sell tickets. Blood sports have been profitable since the Dark Ages. This type of play isn’t hockey, and it is a criminal way for the league to make a profit.

I don’t feel this is the players’ fault; it is league management who should be ultimately responsible for providing a safe arena for hockey play.

Yes, hockey can be a safe and fun game to watch. Bad behaviour needs to have consequences.

Colin Fletcher, White Rock

A kinder, gentler game

Re: Name of the game, June 22 letters.

I wish to commend letter-writer Andrew King for his disgust at the inherent violence and sanctioned assault that characterizes hockey. King challenges the NHL “to outlaw and penalize acts of brutality and violence.”

Excellent! But King does not go nearly far enough.

Here are new rules that will civilize this nasty game:

• The pace must be slowed to prevent injuries from accidental body contact. Players would wear wrist-speedometers to self-monitor their speed. Three pace-referees would be added to the ice. If more than three players received “speed” penalties in a single period, the game would be stopped while the entire team watched a video to correct their behaviour.

• Body contact would be outlawed. Slight contact would result in a five-minute penalty. Deliberate body contact? A game misconduct. Boarding – good heavens – a five-game suspension and 100 hours of community work.

• Fighting? Offenders should be charged with assault and held in jail without bail, the team fined $200,000.

• Slap shots must be outlawed. These 95-m.p.h. missiles are simply too fast and dangerous. Wrist shots must be under 40 m.p.h. and from a distance of no less than 20 feet from goal. The pace referees will clock all shots.

• Before the game, all players must sing their national anthem loudly and with vigor. Those who do not know the words will be provided with song sheets.

These new rules are a modest beginning to re-creating this wonderful game as a sterling example of sportsmanship and courteous behaviour for our young.

The fact the game will now be not unlike a hybrid of lawn bowling and chess is immaterial – and, it should be noted, young people have a great deal more to learn from lawn bowling and chess than they ever will from hockey!

Robert Clark Cook, Lac la Hache

Regret no compensation

Re: One-time rioter looks back on ‘94 melee, June 22.

While it is commendable the subject of the article, Ian Welch, eventually felt remorse three years later and “now fully understands the mistakes he made as a youth and wants to do what he can to keep his son from repeating them,” I wonder if Welch will also teach his 14-year-old son that it is never too late to do the right thing – fully.

Unless your reporter missed posing the question, did he ever make any effort to compensate any of the victims of his 1994 destructive rampage?

Craig Bentley, Surrey

 

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