Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thought-provoking Comment of the Day

Pulled from Puck Rakers, a perspective offered by "Evan" on Jared Boll that we may not always consider (offered in the context of Boll's starting against Pittsburgh over the scratched Nikita Filatov):
Gotta feel bad for Boll. Every time I think "maybe not, the kid's making a bunch of money to play the game he loves" I remember what might be happening to his brain every time he gets hit -- or takes a couple of head shots on a completely dirty play like Hordichuk's.
The kid is partly complicit given that he plays -- or used to be able to play -- an absurdly reckless style. As a friend once said "he checks himself into the boards more often than any opponent". But that's also how he's had to try and play to get and keep a job. He's also fought about twenty times each of the last two seasons: right near tops in the league. He used to be a decent middleweight. But trying to play heavyweight enforcer on a team without one has obviously been bad for his career. Let's hope not his long term health as well (read the recent New Yorker article on what hitting in football is doing to an increasing number of players' brains: alzheimers-type symptoms at forty). I'm actually a fan of hitting in hockey and also of some legit, fair fights. But the head shots have to stop. And unless and until the NHL seriously bans or deters fighting, it's better to leave the heavyweight role to heavyweights (which is why I voted yes in the most recent poll). Read an interview with Brad May the other day. Whatever you think of the guy, he's lasted til age thirty-eight in the league as mostly a fighter. Some of that might be luck. But he also knows what he's doing and can handle the role. Boll is in over his head. I used to think the Barch fight was an aberration and he'd bounce back. Doesn't look like it. What is he -- twenty-two or so years old?
Is Boll becoming a punch-drunk fighter?  Has he already become one?

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