The Neal, Asham, Torres, and Weber hits are all a disgrace to the game of Hockey. They are not an appropriate showing of intensity or dislike or anything constructive. It's a despicable way to play hockey. Getting rid of fighting won't do this, getting rid of the body armor won't end any of this. The only way to end it is if the players start RESPECTING each other. Without this mutual respect hockey as we know it is going to have to be turned into soccer, with no hitting, because there will be no other option for the NHL Player Safety committee to do.
The recent reckless have spurred outrage and calls for heavier suspensions and fines from pretty much everyone who was ever watched a hockey game. All good things that should help to change the nature of our game. But Shanahan and Bettman can't instill player respect with suspensions and fines. This is a genuine problem for the league, and I'm not sure how to go about fixing it.
How are the Flyers -Penguins going to shake hands after this series? Hell how can Neal even try to shake Couturier's hand after the shit he pulled? I would hope that the Flyers eliminate the Penguins tonight, just so we don't have to watch that travesty.
I think the fighting and the scrums that happen are important aspects of hockey. You don't have to like the guy your fighting, but you better respect him. That is what the old time enforcers did for the league. They commanded the other players respect each other, or at least answer the call for being a punk. Now there are very few people willing to fight to hold someone accountable. If the punks were out of the league, then I think fighting could easily fall to the way side, but as it stands now hockey needs some of this accountability back.
I think this is why I love the Red Wings. They are a team who prides themselves on playing hockey, not all this other bullshit that is happening around the league right now. They legitimately may not like someone on the other team (Weber), but that doesn't mean that they are going to go headhunting on him. Todd Bertuzzi steps in and deals with it, mutual fighting at its best. Then they are done with that punk move, and they move on, continue playing hockey. Lidstrom is going to win the Lady Bing this year, and Datsyuk has won it the past couple years. I think that boils down to they respect the other players more than anyone else in the league. I love our Red Wings for it. I am proud to be a Wings fan, because they hold themselves to a higher standard.
Premeditated head shots and leaping hits need to be gone from this league. But this will only happen the players start holding themselves accountable for respecting each other, with basic human courtesy.