A change of heart

Yours truly had an eventful weekend, one that included some major epiphanies, altered philosophies and out-and-out revelations.

What were they? Let’s just say the answers below should tell the whole story.


There were two NHL games Monday night, and each game had one fight that occurred in it. At this crucial time of year, why are there any fights at all?

If NHLers talk about playing playoff-type games since January, and there is hardly ever any fighting in the post-season, shouldn’t there be a complete absence of fights right now?


Allison Fairbridge, New York, N.Y.


I’m going to say something here that might shock you and other regular readers of my stuff: I’m actually starting to see what fighting adds to the game.

I mean, I’ve really grown tired of pining to watch figure skating for a while now, and I think I’m finally starting to understand why two grown men punching each other in the face makes hockey a man’s game. In fact, the more I imagine somebody’s orbital bone being crushed into dust, the more excited I get.

Anyway, how else is the NHL going to police its players into doing the right thing and treating each other with respect? Obviously, the only answer is to allow players to do the policing. And clearly, repealing the instigator rule is the only way that can happen.


Did you notice a Canadian competition watchdog group just ruled that the NHL’s policies on relocation and ownership transfers don’t run counter to Canada’s anti-trust laws?

The Canadian Competition Bureau basically exonerated the league for its handling of Jim Balsillie’s attempted purchase of the Predators in the hope of moving the franchise to Hamilton or Kitchener, Ont.

So, how do you feel about Balsillie’s bid now? Still think he’ll be allowed into the ownership fraternity one day?


Aaron Friel, Nashville, Tenn.


As a general rule, I always trust government institutions to tell me and my fellow citizens the truth. Politicians and political bodies never ever allow the interests of industry leaders or monopolies to undermine what’s best for the public.

I’d imagine Balsillie will get another shot with the league. Gary Bettman and NHL owners are a very forgiving lot, and once the Blackberry magnate understands (as I’m sure he does now) that there are more important marketplaces to cultivate than Southern Ontario, he’ll be awarded an expansion franchise in a hockey-mad locale such as Santa Fe, N.M., or Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic Of The Congo.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but did USA Hockey make a major mistake in naming John Tortorella head coach of its team for the upcoming IIHF World Championship? Given the Lightning’s lackluster performance and Tortorella’s propensity for confrontations with players and the media, he seems like a very curious choice.

Amanda Farrish, Kansas City, Mo.


You’re damn right you’re wrong. How dare you question Tortorella’s decisions to tear down and belittle reporters, organizations and players whenever he sees fit? I’m sure each and every one of those people he’s slighted would admit the Lightning coach was well within his rights to do so.

Besides, the man has (a) a Stanley Cup championship to his credit, and (b) a heart of gold only those close to him get a glimpse of.

Questioning his all-knowing, all-seeing self will only make you look as awful as the, um, Bolts have looked all year.


Ever read something you had a difficult time believing, until you got to the very end of it and realized it was written on April Fools Day?


Alan Foster, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic Of The Congo


Yes. Yes I have.

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