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The Hockey News

Joke – “Somebody or something that is laughably inadequate or absurd.” (slang)

Would anybody think it was a joke if Ryan Hollweg’s picture was now printed next to this definition in the dictionary? Anybody?

I will defend the pesky agitators of the game to my death – heck, I used to be one of them – but if there is one thing in this great game I have absolutely no tolerance for, it’s when someone carelessly drives an opponent into the boards face-first.

It’s not even that difficult to avoid.

Hollweg received an automatic two-game suspension Monday after he was given his third boarding and/or checking-from-behind penalty in – get this – his past 41 games.

That’s three life-threatening checks he’s thrown on others in half a season.

You know it’s bad when the sports network updating the news about your suspension has a highlight reel of all the checks from behind you’ve thrown over what has so far been an embarrassing career.

Give me Sean Avery. Give me Jarkko Ruutu. Give me Chris Neil, Dan Carcillo and George Parros, to name but a few. But get rid of this Hollweg clown because his act is old, stale and dangerous. Plus, it was never funny to begin with.

He reminds me of a minor peewee-aged kid who grew six inches over the summer, returning to the ice for his first year of bodychecking hockey. He doesn’t know his strength, isn’t used to his new-found size and so he has difficulty with balance, and, most importantly, he doesn’t know the fundamentals of what makes a good, clean, honest hit.

You’re not in minor peewee anymore, Mr. Hollweg. Learn how to lay a hit correctly or else one day you’ll be the one destiny curses with the weight of having been responsible for crushing someone’s spinal cord.

Surely, I do not jest.


Jaroslav Halak was cut on the right cheek in practice Monday by new Canadiens center Robert Lang when his stick poked through Halak’s facemask.

That one was a close call, but Josh Harding wasn’t so lucky.

The Wild backup goalie was actually the first netminder struck in the face by an errant stick blade in the pre-season when teammate Martin Skoula’s stick scratched Harding’s cornea in a pre-season game against Buffalo last Wednesday.

The incident appeared much worse at the time when Harding collapsed to the ice and tossed off his mask and gloves, but thankfully, he should be fine for the start of the season.

Rory Boylen is's web content specialist and a regular contributor to His blog appears Tuesdays.

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