A suspension is expected to come down today in the case of QMJHL goaltender Jonathan Roy.
As you may have guessed by his last name, Jonathan is the son of Hall of Famer Patrick Roy, and his position isn’t the only thing he has in common with his famous father. Jonathan can chuck knuckles just like dad and did so with an unwilling participant on Saturday night in Chicoutimi during a game in which his team was being blown out.
After getting away from the clutches of the officials, the younger Roy skated the length of the ice in order to fight opposing goaltender Bobby Nadeau during a line brawl.
Video clearly shows that Nadeau wasn’t interested in exchanging blows, but that didn’t stop Roy from ripping off his opponent’s mask and pummeling Nadeau, who never once threw a punch. Roy then saluted the crowd with a pair of middle fingers before taking on a defenceman in a second bout.
The Quebec keeper has apologized for his gesture to the crowd, but not for the pounding he put on Nadeau. The bigger question here is why hockey is the only sport that still deems it acceptable to “send a message” when a game is quite obviously out of reach.
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The majority of fans seem to accept the behaviour as simply “part of the culture” when a late-game fracas breaks out in a lopsided affair, even though such acts would be condemned in other sports.
Can you imagine a linebacker trying to take a quarterback’s head off on a simple running play near the end of a blow out?
The NHL has taken some measure with automatic suspensions looming for those that participate in the stereotypical dustup near the end of such games, but it’s a complete mindset that needs to change. If we’re going to teach kids to lose with class when it’s just not their day, the mantra has to be consistent regardless of sport.
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