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Cold Hard Rants

Spend a Dollar, Buy Some Class

One week ago was game seven of the Stanley Cup finals. In my humble estimation, what we had the pleasure to witness was the best game seven played in my (albeit short) lifetime. It was a game that captured the minds, hearts, and eyes of hockey fans the world over, even in the United States where the NHL garnered their best rating for hockey in over three decades. The two teams of warriors left their blood sweat and tears out on the ice, especially as the game culminated in the late stages with a fury of action in the Pittsburgh zone as Detroit pressed for the tying goal, and came within the width of the crossbar, and a desperation lunge from Marc Andre Fleury from tying the contest.

When the buzzer sounded after those hectic final few seconds, and the exuberance was etched all over the faces of the Penguins, and the devastation was visible for all to see on the faces of the Red Wings, the interminably long hockey season ended on a high note and everything was sunshine and rainbows in the NHL.

Unfortunately, unto every rainbow must fall a drip, and in this case the name of the drip was Kris Draper.

The Stanley Cup playoffs post series handshake is the best tradition in sports, bar none. In fact there is no competition for the title. The two teams of warriors, having spent between four and seven games battling each other, see the handshake as the culmination of that battle and for that one split second, when congratulations are exchanged bygones become bygones. It is the NHL’s equivalent of the Paris Peace Treaties. Every combatant should shake hands.

Last Friday, Sidney Crosby achieved his boyhood dream. The excitement, joy, relief, in the manifestation of his destiny was evident on his face. In that excitement, did he faux pas in not going over to shake the Red Wings hands promptly enough? Of course. Can you chalk that up to the youthful indiscretion of a twenty one year old (born August 7, 1987)? Yes. Was it a capital offense as some of the Red Wings, most notably Kris Draper, would have you believe? Of course not. Should we still be talking about this utter nonsense almost one week after the final game. Of course not, of course not, of course not, to the Nth power.

Kris Draper has made himself into a quality NHL player. One who is on the downside of his career and one who is seeing his final chances at more Stanley Cup rings spill away like sands through the hour glass. Are his gripes about Sidney Crosby sour grapes and him being a poor loser? Yes. Should he know better than to keep harping on this issue? Yes. Is he doing damage to his reputation as a hard nosed, gritty, “self made” player who just plays the game and leaves the rest of the B.S. to others? Yes.

Draper is used to being sold for a dollar. Now let’s see if he can use a dollar and acquire some class

For Illegal Curve, I am Drew Mindell.

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