Â• I’ve never been a major proponent of enlarging NHL nets. But when I hear Roberto Luongo threaten retirement if such a thing comes to pass, I want nothing more than to see the NHL go that route.
The audacity and petulance of Luongo’s statement truly is stunning. The game Â– and the many ways it has been tweaked and twisted since the Canucks’ star goalie was but a gleam in his father’s eye Â– has rewarded him beyond his wildest dreams. But now he’s going to draw a line in the sand because his job would be made more difficult by a move that could make the game more fan-friendly Â– and put more money in his pockets?
Awwww. Pass the hankie, Roberto. And players wonder where the disconnect between them and the real world reveals itself.
Â• My condolences to the Wirtz family on the death Tuesday of Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz.
Although the man has been a favorite target of my scorn for as long as I’ve been writing about hockey, there’s no question Wirtz was a generous donor to many charitable endeavors and deserves praise and respect for that.
Perhaps what’s saddest about Wirtz’s passing is that there are a lot of Chicago hockey fans who believe the Hawks have a better chance today at winning a Stanley Cup than they did yesterday.
Wirtz clearly was a man of principle, but his stubborn refusal to adapt to the modern realities of the game’s business and marketing will be what ultimately defines him in the minds of millions.
For a man who was a major mover and shaker for decades in a city that once ached to watch NHL hockey, that’s downright tragic.
I hope you’re paying close attention, Jeremy Jacobs.
Â• The retirement of Buffalo TV commentator Jim Lorentz is another big hit the Sabres will have to deal with this season.
As someone who grew up in Lorentz’s broadcasting region, I’ll miss his insight as much as his voice.
Â• Curious to know why I haven’t yet ranted on the rise in pointless pre-season fighting and vicious hits to the head (including Steve Downie’s deplorable sucker hit on Dean McAmmond Tuesday night)?
Well, I’m saving up my disgust for a Screen Shots column in a couple weeks. Suffice to say, Gary Bettman and Colin Campbell have a lot of Â‘splainin’ to do.