Release Date: March 30, 2012
So, the NHL has a public relations problem. Two, really.
First, it ranks slightly above dogracing on the ladder of prestige sports. This is well-documented in the only source I consider suitable for establishing a cultural trend – namely, Onion headlines:
- Edmonton Oilers Visit Cancer-Stricken Girl to Feel Better About Themselves
- Calgary Flames Trying to Keep Fact That They’re a Hockey Team From Landlord
- Patrick Kane No Longer Able to Play With Blackhawks After Dad Gets New Job in Boise
- The NHL Playoffs Have Never Been This Exciting, Reports Man Reading Cuecard
- NHL Tries to Woo Fans By Increasing Scoring With Bigger Nets, 3-Point Line
- U-Haul Carrying Chicago Blackhawks Overturns on Highway
But that’s the minor PR problem. The bigger problem is that hockey is violent as hell, and may kill your brain.
Exhibit A: The acclaimed three-part NY Times piece on the death of NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard at age 28, possibly from head traumas he sustained on the ice. Exhibit B: The fact that Sidney Crosby – Sid the Kid, the Next One, the league’s biggest star since Wayne Gretzky – sat out 11 months with a concussion, came back for 8 games, and then had to sit out another 3 months. Exhibit C: More Onion headlines, of course.
- Injured Sidney Crosby Confined to Skatechair
- Penguins Coach Assures Everyone That Dazed, Vomiting Sidney Crosby is Progressing Nicely
- Sidney Crosby Dead of Intracranial Bleeding, Will Start Against Flyers
Now, where does violent comedy Goon fit into this picture? Seeing as it depicts hockey players as inarticulate brawlers, it probably won’t please the NHL quite as much as, say, Mighty Ducks did. But oh well. We can’t all be Mighty Ducks.