Leaf GM Brian Burke was both enraged and sorrowful that he was "forced" to send fighter Colton Orr to the minors. His claim was that the NHL has moved too far away from on ice player enforcement, thus making Orr an un-playable player.
I agree with Brian on many of his points about the NHL becoming a league where weasels prosper (a term I prefer over "rats"). But I think Brian may have used the wrong example in Orr to make his point. Colton Orr is with the Marlies now because he isn't a good enough hockey player to play in the NHL and his worth is nowhere close to the 1 million dollars a year that Burke pays him.
Now if there comes a time in the NHL when there is no place for guys like Chris Neil, Shawn Thornton, Travis Moen, Matt Bradley, Brandon Prust, Tim Jackman, Ben Eager, Aron Asham, Chris Thorburn, David Clarkson and many many others....then we have a problem.
The NHL will not be a lesser league without Colton Orr or Jody Shelly or Steve MacIntyre or any of the other players who simply cant play and only wear a jersey to fight.
I agree with Burke's point, just disagree with his example. There are too many weasels in the NHL now, who don't have to adequately answer for for the dangerous and sneaky things they do. Matt Cooke has proven that a weasel can change his ways, but right now why would the likes of Brad Marchand, Patrick Kalleta or Alex Burrows consider changing? The penalties against those who seek to control their weaselery on the ice are far greater than the penalties for being a weasel, thus sadly, the weasel method works.
The NHL needs some new anti-weasel rules to control this type of scourge or at the very least a more stringent use of the unsportsmanlike rule and the intent to injure rule.
see you at the rink.