BY ADAM DESLOGES – FAN FUEL BLOGGER
When it comes to hockey history, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone more knowledgeable than Liam Maguire. Born in Montreal and raised in the Ottawa area, it was only fitting that Liam would grow up a hard core Montreal Canadiens fan. It should come as no surprise that his all-time favourite player is Yvan Cournoyer whom he has a special friendship with.
Liam started mentally cataloguing hockey history after watching a September 1975 NHL game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Montreal Canadiens. After purchasing a program for $2 Liam took it home and the history filing began.
“I was enamoured with the old names and really began delving into who these guys were and what they accomplished. Things kind of took off from there.”
Liam has also put pen to paper with his most recent “Next Goal Wins” book published by Random House of Canada Limited which features a forward by none other than Wayne Gretzky.
Of course with Liam’s vast hockey history knowledge I couldn’t resist asking what he missed about the old NHL compared to the new NHL. Like Don Cherry, Liam held nothing back when he shared his philosophy.
“For me personally the most regrettable change in hockey in the past one to two generations has been the evolution of the ‘cheap-shot artist’, the hit from behind and the lack of accountability that now exists in the game.”
“By implementing the instigator rule coupled with the seismic shift in minor hockey regarding body checking we have grown a culture in our current players that has many of them not knowing how to protect themselves.”
It’s hard to argue with his position. Our game is fast moving and the stars need to have some level of protection like the old stars had. But this will continue to be a topic of discussion for years to come.
Being a hockey historian brings out a lot of pride in showing your colours for your country, league, team, etc., and with this current lockout, Liam voices his displeasure with the current ongoing NHL labor woes.
“I think the main difference in this lockout and the last one is the fans and the media were fully convinced that cost certainty was the way to go in 2005 with the salary cap. If only we knew seven years later the ‘cap’ in 2012 was to be exactly that, for all 30 teams, $70 million. Otherwise the root or the basis of this lockout is more or less the same; greed, misrepresentation (Goodenow-Fehr) hypocrisy (Bettman-owners) rhetoric, posturing, sense of entitlement of vast amounts of money in what is still primarily a gate driven league.”
If you’re an avid follower of lockout talks you and your beer league teammates have no doubt discussed ways of ending this lockout which as of this writing has reached day 88 with 526 games lost. Liam sees the lockout ending in four different scenarios. Brace yourself it’s quite the scenario:
1. Middle ground is found on all key discussion points. Chance of happening 50 per cent.
2. Decertification or any other legal process that basically terminates the NHLPA. Chance of happening 15 per cent.
3. Stale mate continues we lose the season, no exit strategy, PA capitulates on major points, 50-50, accept 24 per cent roll backs but win small concessions on other points, length of contracts, free agency, arbitration, etc. Chance of happening 30 per cent.
4. Lockout continues through the year and through the summer. Through legal channels a new league is formed eventually leading to the dissolving of the NHL. Chance of happening five per cent.
However this ongoing saga ends, you have to respect a hockey expert like Liam’s point of view.
CAUTION: Hockey is addictive and may cause excited delirium.
You can also follow Adam on twitter @AdamOnHockey
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