Blogs

McKenzie: Lemieux losing big in court of public opinion

Bob McKenzie
2/14/2011 10:09:01 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

The NHL has no intention of fining Mario Lemieux for his critical public remarks on the league's handling of disciplinary matters following the New York Islanders-Pittsburgh Penguins gong show on Friday night.

Lemieux is, however, losing big in the court of public opinion. He's being called a hypocrite by those who feel Penguin forward Matt Cooke's style of play, questionable at best and dirty at worst, should preclude Lemieux from condemning aberrant behaviour. Also, Lemieux implying he may have to re-think his involvement with the NHL because of this has many portraying Lemieux as a spoiled kid who's thinking about taking his puck and going home because he doesn't like how the game is going.

All that said, though, the Cooke issue and Lemieux's specific criticisms are really apples and oranges.

Lemieux's comments relate to the Islander-Pens game as a whole. The fact that he feels much of what happened was pre-meditated by the Islanders as payback for past incidents, including Max Talbot's hit on Blake Comeau and Brent Johnson's knockout punch on Rick DiPietro.

Lemieux undoubtedly thought Matt Martin should have gotten more than four games for his payback sucker punch on Talbot and perhaps Michael Haley should have been suspended a game or two for chasing down Johnson to fight the goalie, but mostly he's incensed the majority of the game was a chronic and orchestrated clown show of sorts, which is not to be confused with isolated incidents of course-of-the-game player on player violence, the kind Cooke often perpetrates with questionable hits.

Lemieux's criticisms still ring hollow, though, because he could, if truly interested, back his words by actions - taking a more proactive role at the ownership or governor level to discuss NHL crime and punishment. Even before Lemieux's outburst, Penguins GM Ray Shero intended to at least discuss head hits and concussions at the next General Manager's meeting in mid-March and he's by no means alone on that count. If Lemieux is legitimately concerned for where the game is headed, he would encourage Sidney Crosby, once he's healthy, to get on the NHL-NHLPA Competition Committee, an opportunity that may be available to him.

In other words, the general sense is if Mario were truly concerned with the state of the game, not just the Penguins' place in it, there are plenty of other ways for Mario to show it.

Bob McKenzie

Podcasts

TSN 1050: Macko & Cauz: August 21 - Stephen Whyno

Canadian Press NHL Reporter Stephen Whyno joins the Thursday edition of Macko & Cauz this morning on TSN 1050 Toronto.

TSN 1050: Macko & Cauz: July 24 - Andrew Stoeten

Andrew Stoeten of DrunkJaysFans.com joins Macko & Cauz to discuss Aaron Sanchez's debut, Marcus Stroman, the Blue Jays' farm system, and more.

TSN 1050: Mike Richards In the Morning: July 16th - Hour 3

Hour 3 of Mike Richards in the morning.


More Podcasts

Follow Us!

There's a new Twitter feed that will make you a real TSN.ca insider! Follow twitter.com/TSN_Sports_Buzz to get updates on the latest blogs, best videos and more!


More about TSN on Twitter...



Cabbie on TSN.ca

Check out Cabbie's unique take on sports broadcasting and interviewing, poking fun at sports headlines, high-profile athletes and sports personalities. More...


Brendan Shanahan's niece Brenna is an 18-year-old lacrosse player from Mimico, Ontario, who has earned a scholarship to Division 1 Canisius College. More...

Podcasts

Golf Talk Canada

Mark & Jim speak to the game's most influential people in golf. Learn about the latest equipment, travel destinations and how to be a better player

The Locker Room With Abe Hefter - Special Guest Brian Wilde

Brian Wilde of CTV Sports previews the Impact vs Red Bulls game.

The Locker Room With Abe Hefter - Sean Campbell of 'The Als This Week'

Sean Campbell, host of 'The Als This Week' joined Abe to analyze and criticize the Als performance in their loss to the Bombers last night.


More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television