Katrina’s Daily Rant: Toughness in Hockey


Apr 6, 2013; Winnipeg, MB, CAN; Philadelphia Flyers defense Luke Schenn (22) skates off the ice after taking a puck to the face during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

So I have decided to start a new series here on Too Many Men and see how it goes. This is called Katrina’s Daily Rant. If you have just stumbled upon our lovely blog here and have never read any of my opinion pieces, let me tell you I’m extremely opinionated.  I will be able to find something to complain about every day, no problem (I promise to keep posts about Phil Kessel to a minimum). Feel free to agree or disagree with me I’m always up for a good debate.

Today I want to talk about how tough hockey players are and aren’t. Let’s start off with the pretty exaggerated view of the toughness of hockey players by the mainstream media. My first example of this is the Nicklas Backstrom Geico Commercial. In this commercial Backstrom comes in to the trainer’s room with a hockey stick through his arm and says he has a splinter, if you haven’t seen it I’ve included it below. This isn’t the only time this has happened in the media there was an episode of Grey’s Anatomy where a hockey player comes into the ER with his finger looking like a squiggly line asking the doctors if they can put a splint on it so he can play in a game that afternoon. He then cuts off his finger so he can put his hand in his glove and keeps it on ice so that the doctors can reattach it after the game (Season 2 Episode 20, watch it the guy is as awesome as he sounds).

The point of mentioning these exaggerated instances of hockey player toughness is to say that as much as there are times when  hockey players are that tough, there are also time when they are not. There have been many instances where this toughness has been demonstrated. The most recent being Steven Stamkos trying to skate on his broken leg twice before having to be stretchered off the ice. Another one is when Gregory Campbell broke his leg in the playoffs on a penalty kill and finished his shift or Patrice Bergeron playing through the playoffs with multiple injuries that included a broken rib, torn cartilage and muscles, and a separated shoulder.

On the other end of the spectrum there have been multiple instances where guys have missed games with the flu. I do get that you are weakened by a cold and all that jazz but if Campbell can play with a broken leg Phil Kessel can come to practice with a cold (I know I promised to lay off Kessel but I just couldn’t resist). Mind you there have been guys who have missed games with colds who have shown incredible toughness. My favourite player Luke Schenn has missed a game with the flu however he has also taken a puck to the face, got 2 layers of stitches, and then got back on the ice without missing a shift.

In conclusion toughness is a huge part of hockey but that doesn’t mean that all hockey players will cut off their fingers to be able to play an important game. Personally I admire tough hockey players and have mad respect for them (I also find it an extremely attractive quality right up there with hockey players missing teeth). I became an even bigger fan of all the players mentioned as tough, I think I even cited Campbell and Schenn my personal heroes after each incident.

What do you think? Are all hockey players tough? What are some examples of tough and not tough hockey players? Share your thoughts in the comment box below, on facebook, or on twitter.