Found December 09, 2013 on
The Code is more broken now than ever. “The Code”. It sounds so mysterious and honorable when you say it like that, as if it was dreamt up by some secrecy society as a way of holding it’s members to the utmost sincerity and integrity. No, “The Code” is, in this context, being the supposed unwritten set of rules for conduct that all hockey players swear to uphold the day they are first drafted into the NHL. It’s a beautiful concept, really.  The idea that an entire league of elite athletes, tougher than any other, can rely on it’s own players to police themselves as soon as one guy steps out of line and besmirches the good name of ice hockey is a refreshing concept in the world on modern sports.  There only one problem: it doesn’t exist. And further to that point, it never has existed. If you talk to any fan of “old time hockey”, they’ll probably feed you some line about how there’s no honor in the game today, and that the good ol’ day are behind us.  Legends like Eddie Shore and Toe Blake would never stand for some of the cheap shots in today’s game, right? Wrong. If anything, hockey has gotten less violent as time has progressed.  Gordie Howe is considered to be one of the two or three greatest hockey players of all time, as well as one of the toughest.  And what was Mr. Hockey’s defining feature? His proclivity to elbow guys in the head every time he battled for  a puck in the corner.  If Gordie played in today’s NHL, he’d make Pat Kaleta look like Theodore Cleaver. And yet people embrace Howe’s career, not only because he scored loads of goals, but because he wasn’t afraid to take liberties with other players when he felt slighted or simply wanted to impose his dominance.  He is held up in the pantheon of hockey history in large part due to the fact that he liked to elbow guys when they weren’t looking. Still don’t believe me? Let’s take a look back at some highlights from the days when hockey was still “honorable”.   That was Hockey Hall-of-Famer Chris Chelios in that clip, by the way.  Brawls like that used to be so common that the NHL had to implement about half-dozen different rule changes to stop every games from turning into a full out cage match every puck drop. How about this one, courtesy of Zac Rinaldo less than a week ago.  It’s supposed to be an unwritten rule that you don’t jump a guy and punch a player once he’s already down, right?  Where was “The Code” in this one? Where is the honor amongst tough guys? Honoring “The Code” and “keeping guys in line” is the main reason that pro-fighting advocates hold the views that they do, however if Shawn Thornton showed us anything on Saturday, it was that the cause worth fighting for could not be more dead.  Actions like that by Thornton, as well as many of his peers in recent months only prove that there will always be guys that do dirty things, and no amount of fighting will ever curb that.  Slashes, spears, and other cheap shots are (sadly) as much a part of the game as the forward pass or the red line. Before I go any further, let me preface by saying that this is not an anti-fighting piece.  Full disclosure, I like a good hockey fight every now and again.  When they’re spur of the moment and genuine, I think a hockey fight can add greatly to the intensity of a game.  However, if fighting went away tomorrow, I wouldn’t, and I don’t think hockey would be worse off for it.  What I am simply trying to say is that if you like hockey fights, fine.  Just admit that you like the visceral rush you get from seeing two grown men pounding on each other for 45 seconds. But please, don’t trying to argue for them by saying that they keep players safe from dirty plays and that’s it’s necessary for the game to survive on an internal level, because as Saturday night showcased, it isn’t.  Fighting and dirty hit’s have co-existed with each other for almost a hundred years.  If they haven’t stopped them by now, maybe it’s time to try a different method of punishment. And by that, I mean the league and the Department of Player Safety must start cracking down with more severe penalties for head shots and other illegal checks. James Neal has a history of nefarious play, and was just given a five game suspension for intentionally kneeing a downed player in the head.  Yes he was suspended, but five games without pay for a guy that makes over $5 million a year is little more than slap on the wrist. To quote Reggie Dunlop from Slapshot, “Violence is killing this sport, and it’s dragging it through the mud.” He was right then, and he will continue to be so until the NHL decides to do something serious about it.    

Flyers Having a Rough Roadtrip

The Flyers are off to a rough start on the current trip. After a big win in Detroit on Wednesday night, the team had a poor effort yesterday in Dallas. Due to wintry conditions in the area, the Flyers were not able to skate on Thursday or Friday. The 6 game road trip concludes this week with games in Ottawa on Monday and Chicago on Wednesday night in another ‘Rivalry’ game with...

Flyers' Lecavalier has fracture in back, could miss a month

Philadelphia Flyers forward Vinny Lecavalier could miss a month because of a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. Lecavalier has already missed three games because of back spasms. He leads the Flyers with five power-play goals and has scored nine times overall. He is tied for fourth on the team with 14 points in 22 games. Lecavalier signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract...

Flyers Vincent Lecavalier to miss 3-4 weeks with back injury

According to Paul Holmgren the Philadelphia Flyers GM, Vincent Lecavalier will miss the next three to four weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his back.Holmgren said Sunday night, “It was coming along yesterday when he skated and as the day went on, it tightened up a little bit. He had an X-ray in Dallas and it didn’t look great, flew back to Philadelphia this morning and...

Flyers place Lecavalier on IR; Recall McGinn

Prior to the team's morning skate in Ottawa, the Flyers announced that they have placed center Vincent Lecavalier on Injured Reserve and recalled forward Tye McGinn from their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms. It was announced on Sunday that Lecavalier returned to Philadelphia in the middle of the team's 13-day road trip to have an MRI. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren stated...

Lecavalier Out 3-4 Weeks

Earlier today it was announced that Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier was being sent back to Philadelphia for further evaluation on his back. Not it is announced that Lecavalier will miss 3-4 weeks with a nondisplaced frature in his back. According to Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, the injury occurred late in the Flyers’ 3-2 shootout win over the Nashville Predators on November 30th...

Is extension headed Mason's way? Looks like it

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Vincent Lecavalier to miss 3-4 weeks with fracture in lower back

Philadelphia Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier has been out for the past week already but he's going to miss a lot more time. Lecavalier suffered a non-displaced fracture in his lower back and is going to miss 3-4 weeks. He was travelling with the team but the Flyers sent him back to Philadelphia on Sunday, GM Paul Holmgren announced. "Vinny Lecavalier skated yesterday...

Fake Hockey Help: Howard’s struggles, Ryan Johansen’s production, Sean Couturier’s offensive burst

As Philadelphia Flyers’ fans saw on Wednesday night, Jimmy Howard hasn’t been at the top of his game lately. Before he allowed five goals on 33 shots against to the Orange and Black, Howard was able to provide a 29-save shutout against the lowly New York Islanders. However, the candidate for the American Olympic team endured a seven-game losing streak where he allowed four goals...

Game 30 Preview: Philadelphia Flyers @ Ottawa Senators

Here is your Philadelphia Flyers Gameday FAQ for Monday, December 9, 2013.   When and where are the Flyers playing? The Philadelphia Flyers (13-14-2) look to bounce back from their thumping at the hands of the Dallas Stars in Ottawa as they take on the Senators (11-14-5) at 7:30pm in the Canadian Tire Centre.   Are you sure that the Canadian Tire Centre is an actual hockey arena...

Video- Jay Rosehill On A Roll

Jay Rosehill of the Philadelphia Flyers touches on numerous topics including fighting, the media, Scott Thornton and other topics. The video is 3 1/2 minutes long and a suggested watch. via Sportsnet,

Flight Plan: Rough Skies Ahead

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Ottawa Senators Steal A 5-4 Shootout Win On Home Ice Against The Flyers

  Talk about an emotional roller coaster. In a game that featured multiple lead changes, quick answers, and a host of blown opportunities on both sides, the Ottawa Senators emerged victorious in the shoot out against the Philadelphia Flyers thanks to a next to last shot goal by Jason Spezza. A completely up and down affair that featured a personal high for young rookie Flyers forward...

Flyers Fall to Senators in Shootout, 5-4

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Final Observations: Dallas Stars 5, Philadelphia Flyers 1

Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images O’Connor’s Observations After the Flyers were able to kill a seven-minute Dallas power play caused by a fit of temporary insanity from Zac Rinaldo, it appeared that Philadelphia had dodged a major bullet. The Flyers carried the play through the rest of the first period, and Andrej Meszaros was even able to give Philadelphia the lead...
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