Brian Burke Hockey

Ottawa Toronto FightThe only game that was on TV today during day one of the ’07-’08 NHL season was the battle of Ontario: Toronto vs. Ottawa. These games are always heated and packed with emotion, especially in the last two seasons where the Leafs and Senators have had to face each other 16 times a year.

But there was something different about tonight’s game. The two teams have had four months to let bygones be bygones, but that wasn’t the case. The game was packed with huge hits, facewash-filled scrums, and a few good tilts. Even Wade Redden, who has been in three fights in the last two seasons, dropped the gloves twice, the second time leaving him bloody.

And these weren’t those little hugging matches that we’ve seen so often. These were full on scraps with some bombs landed from both sides.

Judging by tonight’s match, it seems that Brian Burke left an impression on the game of hockey last season where his Ducks won the cup, while mounting the most fighting majors in the league.

Brian BurkeIf tonight’s game is any kind of a preview as to what we’re going to see from the rest of the league this season, the flash and dash hockey that the league’s executives aimed to create with the new NHL could be evolving into rough, fight-filled, old time hockey. Brian Burke hockey.

What does this mean for advertising the league? It means that the die-hard Canadian fans, who already love the game, are going to get what they’ve wanted since the early nineties, but it also means the Americans, who don’t like the fighting, are going to keep changing the channel to an NBA or NFL game.

Who knows, maybe this will help Pierre Lebrun’s cause for an NHL Europe when teams start to stack up on gritty Canadians as Burke did, meaning less spots for Europeans over here.

It’s already happening, as only one Russian player was drafted in the first round of the 2007 NHL entry draft, and that’s the lowest number in a long, long time.

3 Responses

  1. Your analysis based on just one game turned out to be way off. What makes the NHL great now is the combination of the flash and dash hockey (which is great to watch) and the tough, hard hitting Canadian style of the game.

    Americans don’t like fighting in hockey? Where did you get that from?

    Next. Even Canadian pundits have long left behind the stereotype of Europeans being soft. There are tons of Europeans in the league now who are every bit as tough as any Canadian. You should listen a bit less to the ramblings of Don Cherry and actually watch the games with open eyes.

    Lastly, please educate yourself on why less Russians have been drafted recently or have been getting drafted in later rounds. It has absolutely nothing to do with them not being tough enough to play and everything to do with the unsigned agreement between IIHF and NHL.

    For someone who purports to know hockey and I’m sure prides themselves on that knowledge (since you’re a Canadian) your article is extremely ignorant across the board. Complete nonsense actually. You are trying to take something that you might like to happen and turn it into a fact and are supporting it with complete BS.

    Enjoy the game for what it is. I think the NHL is great now. They finally fixed it because it was terrible to watch in the 90’s. If you like unskilled hockey where a bunch of goons run into each other all night long, but can’t make any plays go watch the beer league. There is nothing wrong with hitting, but taking out all the garbage that was going on before (hooking, grabbing, etc.) is great for the game. Too bad some people who call themselves hockey fans don’t realize that.

  2. I read you About section. You are journalism students? There’s nothing wrong with stating strong opinions, but they cannot come straight out of your behind. Ever heard of research? It helps when an opinion is supported by facts. Journalism 101.

    I can give you a long list of Euros who are respected around the league as tough players starting with the Russian superstar Alex Ovechkin. If he were a good Canadian boy Don Cherry and people like you would be gushing about what an amazing player he is 24/7, but since you’re full of ridiculous, outdated xenophobia you just can’t see reality. If anything, the current best Canadian player and the current best Russian player are a reversal of the stereotypes you and idiots like Don Cherry keep promoting. Ovechkin is everything a Canadian power forward dreams to be and Crosby is a soft, finesse player – the type that fits your stereotype of a Russian or a European player.

  3. One more thing I forgot to mention. You must’ve also missed the fact that two of the Ducks best players who had a huge part to play in them winning the Stanley Cup last year are Euros. The last time I checked Selanne and Pahlsson were not from Saskatchewan or Alberta.

    So there. If you want to be taken seriously try and put some thought into what you write and if you don’t have the knowledge at least bother to do a bit of research.

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