A couple of weeks ago, the Montreal Canadiens hockey club tied a record set by the late 1970s edition of the same club re number of games lost (8). The only difference is that it took the 1999 edition just a bit more than a month from the season opener to accomplish this feat, whereas the 1970s edition had recorded a total of 8 losses at the end of the season!!!
Should both teams meet today, not only would the 1977 edition beat the 1999 one, they would PULVERIZE them!! In 1977, the whole 1999 edition, save perhaps a few players, would have been sent to the minors because of their mediocre performance on the ice.
Today, you have a handful of talented players throughout the League (and the same could be said to apply to many other sports). The first, the primordial consideration in the minds (even those with a modicum of talent) of the players is MONEY. The love of the game is really secondary. Nice to have but definitely not essential.
Rule number 1 when you get the puck: get rid of it immediately – shoot it at the other end of the ice or make blind passes right in front of your own goal (as if you knew what you were doing… as if your team-mates had enough brain cells to expect such a move)!
And, by all means, go on strike if you don’t get your millions come contract re-negotiating time! (Yashin is but the latest example of this). Mind boggling!!
And then there are the fans who gladly fork some $30 to $40 to watch example after example of this pitiful display of lack of talent. Thus largely contributing to those wholly unjustifiable overinflated salaries.
All the while the old gang, the players who lived for hockey, who practiced their art with a passion, who gave their 110% day in day out, are having real trouble making ends meet with their more than meagre pensions.
There’s something wrong with this picture.