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GM’s Inbox with onesmugpug and Doug McKenzie

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(Ed’s note: In keeping with their trend of blowing out roughly one GM’s Inbox per month, “Doug McKenzie” from Elsinore All Stars and our own OneSmugPug felt compelled to hit us with an new edition in the wake of the Matt Cooke situation. Here is their version of how the conversation between Glen Sather and Ray Shero might have gone down. – Metz”

By onesmugpug and Doug McKenzie

From: Ray Shero [mailto:ray.shero@penguins.nhl.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2011 11:18 AM
To: Glen Sather [mailto:glen.sather@rangers.nhl.com]
Subject: Banning Contact with Heads

Glen,

As you are probably aware, the Pittsburgh Penguins organization wants to make the NHL safer for players.  In advance of the meetings in Boca Raton, I am looking to see what support exists for a full ban of contact to the heads of players – accidental or intentional.  Can I count on you to stand with me on this important issue?

Ray

From: Glen Sather [mailto:glen.sather@rangers.nhl.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2011 11:43 AM
To: Ray Shero [mailto:ray.shero@penguins.nhl.com]
Subject: RE: Banning Contact with Heads

Ray,

While I appreciate your concern for players, I think the game is fine the way it is.  I am wary of doing anything that may eliminate physicality from the game of hockey.

Glen

From: Ray Shero [mailto:ray.shero@penguins.nhl.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2011 12:26 PM
To: Glen Sather [mailto:glen.sather@rangers.nhl.com]
Subject: RE: Banning Contact with Heads

Glen,

Taking extra steps to protect players – not just their playing careers but their quality of life after retiring from the NHL – does not mean we have to eliminate physicality from the game of hockey.  All I’m looking to do is ban contact to the head.  That still leaves plenty of physicality in the game while allowing for players to be safer.

Ray

From: Glen Sather [mailto:glen.sather@rangers.nhl.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2011 1:04 PM
To: Ray Shero [mailto:ray.shero@penguins.nhl.com]
Subject: RE: Banning Contact with Heads

Ray,

I understand the position you’re in with Sid out of the lineup but hits that target the head like that are rare.  And you can’t suddenly champion a cause like this simply because it impacts your organization.  If you ask me, that’s a bit hypocritical.

Gary and Colin put together an awesome PowerPoint presentation to highlight how infrequent illegal hits to the head truly are.  It has little animation and everything.  You’re going to love it.  We’ll also be watching all sorts of footage of hits that resulted in concussions, well except for 4 hits Colin said they couldn’t find any footage for.  Actually he told me there were hits from 2 Penguins games that we won’t be watching – a game on January 1 and another on January 5.  Any idea which hits those are?

Glen

From: Ray Shero [mailto:ray.shero@penguins.nhl.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2011 1:47 PM
To: Glen Sather [mailto:glen.sather@rangers.nhl.com]
Subject: RE: Banning Contact with Heads

Glen,

I’m very sorry you feel that way.  I do think we have a responsibility to make this game safer for everyone.  I know physical hockey – my father coached the Flyers in the 70’s – but safe hockey and physical hockey don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

I hope there is enough support for a full ban on contact to the head.  If we go any longer without this, I think the NHL will miss an opportunity to prove we’re serious about the responsibility we have to keep players safe.

Ray

From: Glen Sather [mailto:glen.sather@rangers.nhl.com]
Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2011 2:03 PM
To: Ray Shero [mailto:ray.shero@penguins.nhl.com]
Subject: RE: Banning Contact with Heads

Ray,

Blah blah blah.  Preaching is for church, man.  Sid will be back in no time and the status quo is just fine right now.

Glen

From: Glen Sather [mailto:glen.sather@rangers.nhl.com]
Sent: Sunday, March 20, 2011 3:14 PM
To: Ray Shero [mailto:ray.shero@penguins.nhl.com]
Subject: RE: Banning Contact with Heads

Ray,

I think we missed out on an opportunity last week in Florida to prove we’re serious about the responsibility we have to keep players safe.  We really need to do something about banning all contact to the head from the NHL.  There is no excuse for head shots; they’re dangerous and can impact any team (or player) at any time.  I am hoping you will support me this offseason in a quest to ban all contact with the head from the NHL.

Glen

From: Ray Shero [mailto:ray.shero@penguins.nhl.com]
Sent: Sunday, March 20, 2011 6:56 PM
To: Glen Sather [mailto:glen.sather@rangers.nhl.com]
Subject: RE: Banning Contact with Heads

Glen,

I just got out of a meeting with Mario and one of our players – I don’t have time for your nonsense.

Ray

From: Glen Sather [mailto:glen.sather@rangers.nhl.com]
Sent: Sunday, March 20, 2011 7:16 PM
To: Ray Shero [mailto:ray.shero@penguins.nhl.com]
Subject: RE: Banning Contact with Heads

Ray,

I’m serious about this.  I have grown tired of all the dangerous contact with the head initiated by players in the league today and it needs to be banned.

Glen

From: Ray Shero [mailto:ray.shero@penguins.nhl.com]
Sent: Sunday, March 20, 2011 7:41 PM
To: Glen Sather [mailto:glen.sather@rangers.nhl.com]
Subject: RE: Banning Contact with Heads

Glen,

Isn’t it funny how the status quo is just fine until it impacts your team and then it just doesn’t seem so fine or funny anymore?

Ray

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About Brian Metzer

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Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Brian Metzer has been covering the Pittsburgh Penguins and National Hockey League since 2004. He is the host of Penguins Live Weekly, a show that airs Saturday mornings on 105.9 the X and iHeart Radio. He serves as the Pittsburgh Penguins correspondent for NHL Network Radio on SiriusXM, and is the NHL and Penguins correspondent for the Beaver County Times. Metzer is also a contributing writer for NHL.com and is the primary contributor for this site www.fromthepoint.com.

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