Wade Belak’s funeral held in Nashville…Another former NHL tough guy speaks out against fighting…Former NHL star Brendan Shanahan prepares to take over as league disciplinarian.
CANOE.CA (SLAM! SPORTS): reports the funeral for the late NHL enforcer Wade Belak was held Sunday in Nashville. Among those in attendance were Nashville Predators GM David Poile, head coach Barry Trotz, Predators Shea Weber, David Legwand and Mike Fisher, Belak’s former Leafs teammates Bryan McCabe and Tie Domi, and country singer Rodney Crowell. Friends and family also pointed out Belak’s death, while publicly believed to have been suicide, has not beenofficially ruled as such by the Toronto police or medical officials.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: RIP Wade Belak.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: Eric Duhatschek interviewed former Calgary Flames forward Jim Peplinski, who had dozens of fights during his pro career, claimed his distaste for fighting were part of the reason he prematurely retired, and has joined a growing list of former enforcers who are calling for fighting to be eliminated from the game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thus far it appears most former enforcers (Georges Laraque and Tie Domi among the notable exceptions) want fights abolished from the game, while most active enforcers believe otherwise. In my opinion, as long as hockey fights remain popular with the fans, the league won’t eliminate it from the game. At best, in the coming years, we might see the role of enforcer change, to where they must contribute more to the lineup than just fight.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: reports former Red Wings star Brendan Shanahan is preparing to take over as NHL disciplinarian beginning this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I found it amusing that the last four men to hold that job suspended Shanahan at various times during his playing career. “Shanny”, however, is considered a forward-thinking man, and could be the right person for the role as the NHL grapples with new rules to reduce dangerous hits to the head, and rising criticism of the role of enforcers in the game. Best of luck to Shanahan in what is considered one of the most thankless jobs in the NHL.