Hockey Headlines

Saturday, 27 August 2011

It Has To Be Said

With all the hullabaloo surrounding texting, Facebooking, tweeting, MySpace, FourSquare, and any other social media application, there's no doubt that the personal touch of speaking to someone may be lost on future generations. "Happy Birthday" is a lot better received when someone says it to you with enthusiasm than just receiving a text message saying the same thing. When it comes to apologies, there should always be some effort made to make contact with the person you're apologizing to, especially if there's a chance that you might have ended his career.

Aaron Rome laid out Nathan Horton something fierce in the Stanley Cup Finals, and it was the last we saw of Horton this past season on the ice. Diagnosed with a concussion, Horton wasn't able to take part in any further games past Game Three while Rome was told by the NHL to take the rest of the season off. Needless to say, I'm sure that neither player was thrilled, but Horton had extra reason to be peeved as he never got to realize a lifelong dream of doing the victory lap around the rink with the Stanley Cup hoisted above his head.

Horton will get his Stanley Cup ring and his day with the Stanley Cup, but it's understandable why Horton might have been a little upset with Rome's hit. His career could have hung in the balance, but, thankfully, he'll make a return to the NHL to continue his career.

I found it strange that Rome, a concussion sufferer himself, decided to make contact with Horton via text messaging to wish him well and apologize for his hit. Apology done via text message? Seriously? Horton wasn't very impressed with Rome's choice of reaching out to him, and I don't blame him.

At "Milan Lucic's charity softball game in Lowell, Horton stated, 'If it was me, I wouldn't have thrown a text message someone's way. I'd have a little bit more respect to actually make a phone call.'"

Again, knowing Rome has himself dealt concussions, you'd think he'd take a more active approach to seeing if Horton was alright. If he can pull the phone out to text Horton, can he not dial the number? The apology, when spoken, means a heckuva lot more than just some impersonal text message. While I have no doubt that Rome was entirely sincere in sending the message with the best intentions, it just means a lot more to add that personal touch.

I'm not in charge of the NHLPA or anything, but it might be a good idea to mandate that text messaging apologies to players you've injured be discouraged. If the players are truly looking out for one another as part of the NHLPA, you would think that they would make a better effort to ensure that one man's livelihood is alright with something better than "You ok, dude?"

Horton has a point when he says he feels disrespected - one I totally agree with and think the NHLPA needs to embrace. If the players don't respect one another, possible career-ending hits like Horton took will never stop.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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