I've read Steve Rosenbloom's blog over at the Chicago Tribune Web site a few times now, and I just can't decide whether or not the entire thing is in written in some weird form of sarcasm.
One of Rosenbloom's blogs from yesterday was entitled, "NHL: No Helmet League. Pretty please, with Adam Burish flapping mane on top?" where he bemoans the use of helmets because he appears to be enamored with Chicago Blackhawks forward Adam Burish's flowing locks:
"Here comes a rant, but I think the helmets kill the additional color and public appeal the game is missing. Get rid of them. Ban them. Suspend guys who want to wear them.
This has nothing to do with manly man stuff. This has everything to do with the game's appeal, which comes down to the players' appeal.
Look, do you think Bobby Hull would've become the Golden Jet if the guy circling behind his own net, taking the puck at the old Stadium and roaring down the left side would've brought an entire building to its feet the way he did if he had one of those black spaceships on his head like teammate Stan Mikita?
Anybody who believes that gets a two-hander across the ankles. Sorry, nope, no way. I mean, with a helmet, you might get the Jet part, but the Golden part would be lost. We had to see his shiny hair plugs bouncing joyously as he threatened the head of Jacques Plante."
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Mr. Rosenbloom must not have heard the story of Don Sanderson last week or read about the man behind the Bill Masterton Trophy. He then goes on to blame hockey parents for their over-protecting of kids who play the game and how that has given young players a false sense of security.
While there has been talk of allowing players to let their manes flow during the shootout, the potential of a catastrophic injury would pooh-pooh any sort of increased appeal from seeing players without helmets.
Like Wyshynski said back in November: "Getting the NHLPA to sign off on removing safety equipment won't be easy. And god forbid a visor-wearing player takes a puck to the eye on a sharp rebound off the post in a shootout -- all the good marketing vibes in the world couldn't overcome that literal and figurative black eye."