There are a lot of rules in hockey. Rules of play, league rules for operations, and in todays COVID environment there are new rules for player and fan safety.
In the game, its simple, when you break a rule, the referee calls a penalty and you go to the box.
League operation rules are usually pretty straight forward as well. Break a rule and there is a penalty of some kind, either financial or in some suspension.
Team rules are also usually pretty easy to understand. All players have a kangaroo court, and coaches regularly fine players or punish them in other ways for rule infractions.
All of these things are standard throughout hockey. All of them are necessary.
It should come as no surprise now that “special players” are no longer receiving “special” treatment. No longer are coaches, scouts, owners and general managers looking the other way when top players violate rules.
They simply don’t have to. In the time of COVID when so many players are sitting at home, or having seasons stopped and cut short, no one has to treat these good players any differently any more in order to maintain their high compete levels.
And that, is a benefit of COVID.
Lettering players go is never easy. Even when they deserve to be let go. Sooner or later everyone figures out why they were let go. Finally though, those same players are not being given more opportunity to screw up teams or their individual lives.
Finally, COVID has put players on notice that no matter how good they are, they can be replaced. Now maybe some humility will return to the game and replace the self entitled thinking of todays youth.
Everyone can be replaced, now more than ever. Breaking rules always comes with a penalty.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser