Montreal Gazette Update
Personally, I can't see one third of NHL players using illegal performance enhancing drugs. It's not that I think NHL players are all that clean-cut, or are above using 'roids. Look at the Sudafed epidemic, or the brief nose-strip breathing aid fad (by the way, is Peter Bondra still wearing one of those?). Maybe performance-enhancing drugs just don't benefit hockey players much. Look at the sports where doping is a problem: sprinting, football, weightlifting, swimming, cycling, cross-country skiing... sports that seem to emphasize explosive power, or strength/endurance of a single motion. Hockey, basketball, tennis have not had doping problems. Perhaps the combination of physical abilities - dexterity, strength, and endurance - does not lend itself to doping.
Like everyone else, Todd also weighs in on the "Team Quebec" topic by criticizing their potential defense. I'll just say this: Yes, a Quebec team would be weaker than a "Rest Of Canada" team, but a Quebec victory over Canada would surprise me much less than the Belarus victory over Sweden.
In a more interesting article, Pat Hickey wrote a very interesting piece on the visor debate. It includes the thoughts of many Montreal Canadiens on the subject. Craig Rivet comes clean:
"If you want the truth, it's the macho thing," Rivet admitted. "Guys are trying to show how tough they are. It's part of the image."
There you have it. A visor-wearing player couldn't exactly come out and say this. I presume Rivet goes shield-less because of his occasional need to drop the gloves. Check out the hockeyfights.com description of his tilt with Bryan Marchment - the '03-04 Fight Of The Year.
Now this is a surprise:
"There are still some NHL teams which discourage the use of visors. The Canadiens aren't one of them and, surprisingly, neither are the Philadelphia Flyers. While the Flyers have a reputation for toughness, general manager Bob Clarke requires rookies to wear visors."
For all his flaws, Bobby Clarke is not the idiot many make him out to be.