Sportress of Blogitude

Maple Leafs GM’s take on suspension controversy is super groovy, man

"Somebody play me some Country Joe McDonald, man"

With a new suspension seemingly being handed down by NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan every day that passes in the 2012 NHL playoffs (with Raffi Torres being the latest and perhaps most deserving player suspended thus far, with his suspension currently set at indefinite), a discussion about what it all means has been a prevalent — and controversial — talking point in NHL circles, even arising to the level of a prevailing issue within the general sports world.

And while there is no such thing as bad publicity — or so it is argued — the NHL is finding itself on the receiving end of plenty of criticism for the goonery currently on display as the league attempts to showcase its product on its grandest stage with arguably the most compelling playoffs in professional sports. With Torres’ indefinite suspension, a whopping total of nine suspensions now have been handed down in the first round of the NHL playoffs, a shocking number considering only four suspensions were imposed during the entirety of the 2011 postseason.

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke recently addressed the evolving uproar at length, essentially coming to the NHL’s defense by arguing that despite the inflated number of suspensions, “this is a small number of incidents, and it’s unfortunate that non-hockey media is focusing on that.” But Burke, who always can be relied on to provide a good quote, summarized the whole shebang in the following groovy way:

“This is like people complaining about the rain at Woodstock. Yes, there was lots of mud, but it was the greatest music gathering in history.”

Far out, Burke. Far out, indeed. And you know what? I can really dig on what this guy is getting at. Because, man, if you look at the whole gig, it’s only a few bad cats spoiling it for everyone else. Like they’re totally harshing everybody else’s mellow, ya dig?

And one last thing, Mr. Burke: whatever you do, don’t ever — ever — take the brown acid, man. That stuff would give Burke a trip so bad it would remind him of how it felt sitting through the late season collapse just perpetrated by the Maple Leafs. Talk about harsh.