As most hockey fans already know, Rick Rypien reached into the stands, grabbed and pushed a fan that he apparently thought to be heckling him. Rypien has been indefinitely suspended until the league can determine the length of his suspension.
In no way do I condone Rypien’s actions. He deserves whatever penalty the NHL decides to lay down and it is further justification of my feelings that, while fighting may have a place in hockey, players that can do nothing but fight do not. It further supports the non-fan’s idea that hockey is a league full of thugs and isn’t as sophisticated as other sports.
Now, the league has wanted for some years now to eliminate players like Rypien from the league. In the last round of coleactive bargaining, the league wanted to have stricter penalties and suspensions for what were deemed staged fights, you know, like the one that left Raitis Ivanans dazed and confused after his beating at the hands of Steve MacIntyre. Neither of these players have any business being in the NHL and the stricter punishment for staged fights would make these players obsolete.
Unfortunately, the player’s union steps in and opposes these types of penalties in fear of job losses. That argument is purely laughable. No intelligent person would believe that eliminating the no talent goons would lead to actual job losses. The goons would lose their job, yes. However, the job itself would not be gone as the roster postion would be filled by someone that might actually be able to play the game.
It’s time for the union to wise up and stop fighting these types of things just for the sake of fighting the owners. Hopefully, the next round of collective bargaining will see these changes implemented. Without goons like Rypien, Ivanans, MacIntyre, and the rest of the talentless bar room brawlers on blades, we would be less likely to see ugly incidents like the one last night.