It was quite the battle of the wits this past week via social media. The NHL‘s traditional token of respect and camaraderie that is the post series handshake was given a black eye on Wednesday night. Emotions will always run high in sports — especially when it comes to rivalries. However, when the final horn sounds and everything is left on the ice, nothing but respect should be given. Well, that is not really how the Boston Bruins‘ Milan Lucic thought it should play out. In fact, his little temper tantrum extended off the ice and inside the locker room.
Who knows what Lucic said to Dale Weise and Alexei Emelin. There was plenty of he said, he said nonsense going on the past few days to write plenty of stories about. The only remaining question is, should Lucic have been fined for his actions?
It’s a pretty good debate. There are those who think he should have been slapped with some kind of financial punishment. I mean, his season is over now, so any kind of suspension carrying over into next season would be flat-out stupid. However, he did commit an act that most would define as unsportsmanlike conduct.
Who could forget the famous “crotch grab” that Joel Quenneville committed back on Apr. 17? Most recently, Henrik Lundqvist and Shawn Thornton were fined for squirting water at an opposing team’s player. All three acts were defined by the NHL as acts of inappropriate or unsportsmanlike conduct. So, why was Lucic let off the hook?
The NHL is already the most overlooked market of the four major professional sports. It has also been labeled as a “joke” at times for countless reasons. Lucic’s baby-like fit did nothing more than add to the league’s already hurting reputation.
Lucic had a few days to calm down and reflect on the incident. When asked if he was beyond it, it did seem as if he let the actual incident itself behind him. However, according to ESPNBoston.com‘s Joe McDonald, Lucic also added, “I’m not sorry.”
Contrary to what some may think, there are others who think well enough should be left alone. Emotions do run high and players are going to get upset. It is human nature. It is not like he went off and hooked the guy.
Whether you are a fan or foe, the post-series handshake is something that all hockey fans can agree should be a respectful act and nothing less than that. Though Lucic is not showing any apologies to Weise or Emelin, he does owe hockey fans around the world one.