Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Preseason Coinsides With Injury Season

I expected this to happen. The injury bug is a hard one to take when it infects your team even before the season starts. So, with these meaningless preseason scrimmage games being played during training camp, there is always an unnecessary risk of getting hurt.

The Stanley Cup champs in Anaheim are already hit with a tragic call when newly acquired defenceman Mathieu Schneider broke his left ankle yesterday. If I took the time to grab another additional link or two, I will find a couple more examples of players injured.

I don't have to look any farther than the scare that B.C. hockey fans got recently. {Karma? eh, Burnaby?) Sami Salo injured himself in another meaningless game for the Canucks. Salo is all they have at D, so losing him for a reported indefinite amount of time. Then there was a scare where their franchise goaltender Roberto Luongo took a puck to the throat.

Why are teams even allowing this to happen? I think these players jobs are safe. My take is that maybe 3 games should only be arranged between teams on a limited basis so that the "on the bubble" and rookie players can get some experience before assessing their role on the depth charts. That is about the only value preseason games have. Hockey has to look down the tunnel and see the bright lights of the train coming straight for them before it is too late. Other sports (football) have infused their preseason with a lot of TV money to the point where they can't reduce the number of preseason games without giving up the ridiculous money already involved. The NHL and other hockey leagues need to bear down this trend while they still can.

[Via: The Hockey News & The Hockey News]
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