Friday, March 20, 2009

Ovechkin angers NHL by promoting sport

In a blow to Gary Bettman's effort to remake the NHL as the quiet kid in your high school class you never realized existed, Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season last night for the third year in a row. Ovechkin continued his quest for a razzie by doing some sort of celebration in which he insinuated that the ice was hot.

The celebration, as funny as it was awkward, was another example of Ovechkin doing everything he can to try and give some life to a league that continues to be a comedic punchline. And in news as unsurprising as seeing a Stanley Cup Finals game bumped for professional bowling coverage, the powers that be are pissed.

Part-time altar boy and head coach of Tampa Bay Lightning, Rick Tocchet said of Ovechkin, "He went down a notch in my books after that. It's not something I like. It's hard for me to accept, to see something like that in our building."

In related news, Tocchet, the self-appointed moral compass of the NHL, pled guilty over the summer to charges of running a gambling ring.

I could go off on a rant about how fighting in hockey allows the NHL to police itself when someone breaks an unwrittten rule. But the simple fact is this: the NHL needs all the publicity that it can get. Alex Ovechkin's antics, however lacking in classical comedic timing, get the NHL noticed. And unless Marty McSorley or Donald Brashear are involved, any publicity is good publicity for the NHL.

Rick Tocchet and those who share his opinion, needs to sit down and shut up. Send a tough guy (does Tampa have any?) after Ovechkin and make him a non-factor. After all, it was either Confucius or Shakespeare who once said the following:

"If you give a man a fish, he can eat for a day. If you knock his ass out, the fish will need to be fed through a straw."

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