Vulgar Opinions: Kaleta Proves Media Stupidity
If there’s one thing Patrick Kaleta’s hit on Brad Richards tonight proved, it’s that the media isn’t at all able to deal with player safety with any maturity. Look, what Kaleta did was stupid and even though he was a little further from the boards than your typical boarding and even though Richards folded like a house of cards, it was still an incredibly reckless play that never, ever, ever should be made. That’s not victim blaming, that’s refusing to ignore a part of the play like a lot of people will do. This is still a 100% stupid play by Patrick Kaleta that he should pay dearly for.
But I have to just laugh at this point at the outrage from people that are apparently paid to watch and cover hockey. The only time anyone ever gets up in arms about a boarding call is when the perpetrator is someone that is universally despised. Look for the Puck Daddy articles when Girardi boarded Ennis or when Bowman boarded Gerbe (there aren’t any). Correction: Puck Daddy did have an article on the Bowman – Gerbe hit, but mostly because of the aftermath. On the latter hit, the victim was a guy coming off a neck injury. The media should have been ready to set fire to Shanahan’s office, but no one cared because no one hates Drayson Bowman (yet).
Which is disappointing because other than tomahawking someone Chris Simon style, it’s probably the most dangerous play in hockey. If you hate these kinds of plays, then fine, but don’t selectively hate them based on who’s committing them. That’s worse than not caring at all. And it’s not like it’s all that difficult to make boarding a major. The International Ice Hockey Federation has and they seem to be doing just fine. When your options are ‘maybe Patrick Kaleta pulls up next time and we see one less hit,’ or ‘see the Rangers call someone up from the AHL because Brad Richards is hurt,’ I think you’re going to take the former every single time.