It’s been almost a week since the events of last weekend’s warm up brawl in Laval between the Predateurs and St. Georges. Leaving a few players injured, a team out of commission and three top brass suspended for two full years, it’s time for the league to take a step back and take a look at themselves in the mirror.
Some people might not like what I have to say in this piece and quite frankly, I don’t care. The fact remains that while this league might still be the so called “toughest” in the world, when things like last weekend’s events keep happening, the world views the league as a joke.
One big joke.
Pre-meditated brawls are a mockery to the sport. It’s not the Broadstreet Bullies of the 70’s or the Quebec Senior Pro league of the 00’s anymore. The culture of hockey has changed dramatically concerning player safety and with the advent of social media, you can’t get away with things as easily as you could 10 years ago. It’s time to let go of some of the sideshow antics that put a black eye on the league. I’m serious.
This league has the potential to be very viable, thrive and become a goldmine. As leagues around the world are clamping down on fighting, the LNAH is embracing it with open arms and becoming even more of a niche then it has been. Good quality fights (whether staged or not) are always a draw to fans. They can deny that they hate staged fights to the grave but when one happens, they’re the first ones on their feet. Everyone loves a good hockey fight. There’s also not necessarily a “code”, but a show of respect between the two combatants and that to me goes a lot further then a bunch of guys on skates sucker punching each other during the warm-up.
I’m not saying do away with everything. Keep the chirping and how the players and coaches interact with the fans. That’s one of the bonuses of this league too. The atmosphere that the fans can make is second to none and I know the players appreciate that.
I’ve seen almost every major sports network show that brawl in some aspect on their respective social media sites. From the U.K. right down to Australia. The old saying of “bad publicity is good publicity” rings a bell here in the fact that now, the eyes of the world are focused on this league and what’s going to happen next.
It’s now time for the LNAH to show the world that hey, this is actually decent hockey; there are actually flashy goal scorers in this league; there are top former NHL draft picks in this league PLUS guys that can throw some haymakers. Start filming even more things than just fights.
I want this league to succeed so bad because it has so much potential. It really needs to open up the stupid rule of only allowing players who have played junior in Quebec and Ontario to play. This is the only other way to make this league a money making machine. All the enforcers that the league is banking on right now are going to retire some day and it’s going to be sooner rather than later. Wouldn’t you want a fresh group of players to draft from all frothing at the mouth for their chance? Of course you would.
I didn’t mean for this to get this long or even bounce back between ideas. I’m just frustrated with how the league is being represented. This league needs more promotion and team media presence but I realize that’s hard to do without a sizable budget. I’m also guilty of calling this league a joke because with incidents like last weekend’s and the way my hometown team was handled this season, hey, it really was a joke.
I hope some league officials end up reading this and realize some things. Maybe they’ll just laugh and shake their head at this woman from Cornwall and her crazy ideas. Either way, something is going to stick in their brain for the better.
Okay, LNAH? I’m not breaking up with you just yet.
Here’s the whole ordeal that started this article in case you haven’t seen it: