NHL Violence Spiraling Out of Control

NHL Violence Spiraling Out of Control

The tweet came in just before midnight from an intriguing source, future Hall of Famer Mike Modano.

"Really selling the game," tweeted Modano under the Twitter handle @9modano. "No wonder our TV deals suck ass."

Joining a growing list of players and former players - Jonathan Toews, David Perron, Henrik Zetterberg - disgusted or frustrated with what has transpired over the first week of NHL playoff competition, Modano's tweet appeared to be in reaction to yet another ugly incident, this time Raffi Torres - oh yes, Torres again - and his vicious hit on Chicago star winger Marian Hossa that sent Hossa to hospital.

On a night when we should have been discussing Nashville's second straight win in Detroit, Florida's comeback against the Devils or 39-year-old Ray Whitney's brillance in a 3-2 overtime win for Phoenix over the Blackhawks, once again a controversial hit and injury took centre stage.

Modano's point, of course, and he should know, is that the NHL has constantly found itself with tiny TV ratings and revenue in the U.S. below sports like bowling because it has consistently failed to produce a package in which skill is featured ahead of goons and blood. (Of course, you can now expect the CBC's second period clown to take umbrage and first insult Modano's nationality, then call him a turncoat and a "puke," blame him for the bloodshed at Vimy Ridge then throw out a series of inaccurate and misleading "stats" that he will claim proves the 1999-00 Mississauga Ice Dogs were the greatest junior team ever to play.)

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