Hodge: Canada’s great game marred by ugly fisticuff

Once again sports analysts and fans are shaking their head this week at a couple of asinine plays in the NHL…

As the name indicates, today’s column is a catch-can of unrelated thoughts:

I am sadly reminded how correct my old pal Howie Meeker is about the state of our favourite game.

Meeker has continuously stated over the years that, “hockey is still the greatest game in the world, despite the idiots that run it.”

Once again sports analysts and fans are shaking their head this week at a couple of asinine plays in the NHL that resulted in serious injuries—the most recent a cheap shot by Boston player Shawn Thornton on Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik.

In a scuffle Thornton tossed Orpik to the ground and after pinning him to the ice rabbit punched him on the chin twice.

While the blows were not hard the fact Orpik was flat on the ice at the time meant the punches were not cushioned in any way.

Orpik was badly injured and removed from the ice by a stretcher.

In addition, several top NHL stars are, or recently were, out for numerous games with concussions received by hits or checks to the head including Pavel Datsyuk, Rick Nash, Vincent LeCavalier, Tyler Seguin and several others. It is a trend that does not seem to be slowing down.

I continue to harp on the fact that a solution to eliminating violent or dangerous actions by players in the NHL is relatively simple.

Disciplinary head honcho Brendon Shanahan and NHL commissioner Gary ‘Pussyfoot’ Bettman simply need to adopt my cause and effect remediation.

Any time a player injures another player through an illegal or deemed dangerous hit or action (like punching a player in the face when they are down on the ice) that player should be suspended without pay for a minimum of the length of time it takes for the victim to return to play.

In other words, if you ram another player into the boards head first and he misses 20 games with a concussion—then so do you. If the player’s career is ended, then quite possibly so is yours.

That rule would eliminate any need to have a hearing or debate the length of suspension.

Certainly an appeal process would be available in mitigating situations—and injuries would have to be confirmed by an independent doctor.

The end result is that players would ultimately he held fully accountable for their actions.


The above process may seem radical but it certainly would be effective.

It makes one wonder if such a severe punishment should not be handed out to repeat drunk driving or dangerous driving offenders.

I am continually shocked and disgusted with how often I hear that someone was injured or killed by a ‘repeat’ DUI driver.

I do not understand why a second DUI conviction does not constitute automatic jail time, and on a third conviction the driver’s license is simply taken away for a minimum of 10 years or perhaps life.

As far as I am concerned, if you kill someone while driving drunk you should never see a driver’s seat again let alone get out of jail.



Nominations are now being accepted for the 39th annual Kelowna Civic Awards and you are encouraged to get involved.

This is a great event and your effort really can make a difference in deciding who receives the coveted awards.

I had the pleasure of chairing the committee for two of the three years I sat on the board, and fully understand how your nominations are greatly valued and needed by the committee members who volunteer their time.

For more information on how to nominate Kelowna residents for the award check out the information on the City of Kelowna website at www.cityofkelowna.ca.


Speaking of caring folks, this is your last reminder to send in your nominations for my annual Charlie’s Angels Christmas List.

Deadline for submissions is this Wednesday (Dec.18) at 10 p.m.

I began penning Charlie’s Angels Christmas List some 25 years ago, (give or take a few years) as a way of acknowledging the many amazing people during the previous year that had made a difference in my world.

However, it quickly dawned on me that readers likewise had such angels in their life and I opened it up to submissions.

Since then I have received hundreds of names suggested ‘angels’ from Hodge Podge readers wishing to applaud people whose kind hearts and generous actions have brought a smile to others.

The criteria are simple. All your angel has to have done is something nice, from a needed smile at the right moment to saving your life.

Over the years I have come to realize the Angels List has helped inspire more pleasure than I ever imagined.

Not only does it allow readers to express their gratitude but it is a pleasant surprise for the Angel nominee to unexpectedly see their name in print praising their kindness.

The neat catch-22 is their positive actions, done in the spirit of sharing without any expectation of thanks, comes back to them in the same spirit.

Regardless, please take a few minutes out today and jot down the name(s) of people you consider angels in your life with a brief reason why they deserve the recognition.

Most of us know at least a couple of good people who have gone above and beyond in kindness to help others in the year.

Please send your list to charliehodge333@gmail.com, and I will run them in next week’s Hodge Podge.


Kelowna Capital News

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Danny Fulton receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 27. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Drop-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic planned for Kelowna

Clinic at Kelowna Secondary School from June 22 to 24 from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read