Panthers

The Florida Panthers are so fun to watch this year. In the sixteen years since we’ve been here, they’ve never been better. I was worried when Coach Q got fired that the wheels were gonna fall off, but they haven’t. In fact, interim head coach Andrew Burnette, one of my favorite MN Wild players, had done a fabulous job since taking over the reigns. In fact, he was just named as one of the head coaches for the NHL all star game. Hopefully, Viola and company will do the right thing and make him the permanent head coach.

As I started this blog, with writer’s block, Barkov scored a beauty of a short handed goal. The Panthers now have a commanding 5-1 lead over the Canucks heading into the third period. This team is just so good. Huberdeau is so good and deserves so much more recognition than he is given. He’s has multiple games over the last month with more than four points. I love the way he plays. Duclair, Gudas, Ekblad and company are so good. I hope this is their year because this squad is good.

This evening started with the Mayor’s hockey practice. For the first time in a long time, it was cold in the rink. Naturally, the cold rain and standing water in the parking lot didn’t help the situation. Thankfully, it’s always a good time at the with our Hawks 16u family. Now we’re back home enjoying the comfort of the couch and a nice warm blanket as we take in the Panther’s game.

No Surprise

No surprise here, but Coach Q resigned his role as head coach of the Florida Panthers. The Panthers are off to their best start in years and could be a serious contender for the cup. Fortunately, for all that is wrong with the Panthers, the team made the right decision on Coach Q. To keep him behind the bench would have been a mistake of disastrous proportions. The Panthers, along with the league, would have lost all credibility.

I, like many hockey fans, are still reeling from what happened in Chicago. How many other cases has hockey covered up over the years? How many other recommendation letters have they written for monsters allowing to continue their predation on vulnerable athletes. To be clear, this isn’t just a hockey problem. It’s a sports problem from the lowest level of the game to the highest level of the game.

For years USA Hockey has required participating coaches, managers, officials and hockey directors to complete Safesport training. Moreover, USA hockey built a reporting system by which Safesport violations could be reported without fear of reprisal. Or at least that’s what they say. But here’s the deal. When you report a Safesport violation, USA Hockey assigns it back to the USA Hockey affiliate for investigation and disposition.

The setup is problematic for many reasons. Perhaps the biggest problem is the close relationships between those on the affiliate board making it impossible for impartiality and discretion. If you report a SafeSport violation report, your identity is supposed to remain anonymous. Unfortunately, the victim’s identity too often becomes public inowledge or worse they’re persecuted for reporting a violation.

This is a problem that we have to solve. The days off sweeping Safesport violations and sexual abuse under the wrong have got to be over. We can no longer tolerate winning at all costs, including ignoring serious allegations like Beach’s. Kyle Beach has bravely stepped forward to tell his story. However, there are probably thousands of athletes that continue to suffer in silence. Until something changes, it can come as no surprise that the abuse of athletes will continue. I love hockey and my Florida Panthers, but I want to watch them play with a clean conscious.

As for work, I had a long but productive week. Nonetheless, I am ready to go to bed early and catch up on some rest. The morning workouts continue to go well, but its tough to get out of bed. Tomorrow Goalielocks and I are heading to see Luke Combs in concert. Its going to be epic.