VIA Rail, another sponsor bullying Bettman

TAGs: Air Canada, Garry Bettman, NHL, VIA Rail, Zdeno Chara

Is every sponsor of the NHL going to start telling NHL commissioner Gary Bettman how to do his job? First, one of the most sub-par and expensive airlines, Air Canada chimes in on the now infamous Pacioretty/Chara incident, threatening to revoke their sponsorship, and now VIA Rail is following suit.

This is an excerpt taken directly from a letter sent from Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, the General Counsel and Secretary of VIA Rail to the NHL:

“I am writing today to express VIA Rail’s serious concerns about the NHL’s enforcement of the rules of the game. Hockey is a fast-paced and sometimes, a high-impact sport. It is partly what makes it one of the world’s greatest sports for fans and players, at all levels. However, it is a game with rules. And some of these rules are meant to protect its players from serious, life-threatening injury.”

Of course, nobody wants to see incidents like the Pacioretty/Chara one, but let`s face it, there`s not a rule out there that would have prevented that hit from happening.

Let me be clear on where I stand, it didn`t look to me like a dirty hit by any stretch of the imagination. That said, the NHL is still to blame, but not for the reasons that Air Canada and VIA Rail are claiming. If there’s any fault by the NHL in this it’s their failure to ensure rink safety. Why would the league ever allow it’s highly paid players to play in a rink where structural flaws could cause injury to the players? There`s no reason that the area on the boards that nearly decapitated Pacioretty shouldn’t be padded or done away with altogether.

The Montreal police are now conducting a criminal investigation on Chara, but they should be investigating the NHL for negligence leading to injury.

Since when did VIA Rail become an expert on NHL disciplinary actions? As taken from their letter:

“In VIA Rail’s opinion, the NHL’s quick and ineffective ruling on the Pacioretty/Chara incident of last Tuesday is totally unacceptable as it does nothing to try to reverse the alarming trend of vicious hits that have sidelined some of the games greatest talents.”

Is this all about Crosby?

Bettman is under the gun right now, and there`s a real chance that the NHL is on the verge making drastic rule changes that could change the game of hockey forever. The only people nervous about that are Canadians.

Bettman would have been better off if the league’s sponsors were all online gambling operators, there wouldn’t be any letters and it’s a match made in heaven for Canadians who love hockey and spend the most amount of time online in the world, it’s perfect!

Who is taking the train these days anyways? It’s not even a bullet train.


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