Respect: An Editorial

Are people ‘put on blast’ anymore? Is that still a thing? Asking for a friend…

If it is (sadly) no longer a thing, then I am here to bring the coarse and kosher salt. Throw all of the shade. Eat all of the Tide ™ Pods. Other things I’m too old to understand.

This editorial could easily be one sentence: “SHOW SOME F#*@%ING RESPECT.”

But what fun would a one-sentence editorial be?

When Ron Duguay, former NHL journeyman, goes on MSG – one of the country’s biggest sports networks – and calls women’s hockey soft, something needs to be said.

As stated in my day-old twitter rant, it’s an old, weak take we’re sick of hearing.

“But he didn’t call them soft, he said wahwahwahwah wah wah wah wah.” Don’t come at me with another weak take to back up an already very weak take. Own it. Swim in the cesspool of utter incorrect ignorance. Really soak it in.

What he said was, “"I think these guys would have been better off doing women's hockey, the way they did the officiating – because they were kind of soft."

So, technically, he didn’t say the women were soft. He said the officials called a soft game, or the type of game you’d see women play.

He followed it up with, “I love women's hockey – I don't want the women angry with what I said.”

That last part seals it, for sure. He doesn’t want ‘The Women’ angry with what he’s said, but who does, really? Don’t we all want a pass to just say stupid things without repercussion, even if it is bigoted and untrue?


Clearly, Ron is concerned about ‘The Women.’ He was kind enough to block Toronto Furies defender Michelle Saunders for merely suggesting on twitter that gender not come into play when discussing the Rangers or the officiating. Soft game indeed, eh, Ron?

I’ve also seen uninformed, “He meant because there’s no checking wahwahwahwah wah wah wah wah…”

Stop. Stop reading this, stop talking, just stop. Go watch a women’s hockey contest, then come back here to be educated. It’s true, ‘Body Checking’ is a penalty. But here is the actual rule:

Rule 604: Body Checking: … Body Contact hockey does not mean “no contact.” There will be legal body contact (see Glossary) within the rules in Body Contact categories. Legal body contact shall not be penalized under this rule. However, deliberate physical contact with an opponent, with no effort to legally play the puck, shall be penalized.”

Stop again. Go back and read the rule again. Essentially, a player must make every effort to play the puck before delivering a solid trainwreck of a hit. Which happens dozens of times in any given game because ALL hockey is a physically crushing contact sport.

And who are all of these people who are so opposed to playing the puck? Isn’t that the point of hockey?

I get it. Things are changing. The world is changing. ‘The Women’ are playing games formerly reserved for ‘The Men’ and that’s scary. Change is scary.

Here’s the deal. I’m not going to try to convince you that women’s hockey is great, for two reasons: I hate wasting my time on ignorance and, frankly, women’s hockey doesn’t need me to defend it. It’s got leagues full of incredibly talented women that shine greatness on the world game in and game out.

I am here to demand respect for these athletes, especially from a fellow broadcast analyst, and especially from a former athlete. You, Ron, know exactly what it takes to play hockey at the highest level in the world. It would benefit you, these women, and the sport you claim to love, to show these world-class athletes the respect they deserve.

Listen in below as we sound off on this fool on the @716SportPodcast. You won't be dissapointed.

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Erik Wollschlager