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It’s not fair to the teams and their fans



We are about to see the playoffs in various leagues including NHL and the KHL, and a lot of the teams are well-known for us; some happen to be new in the title race and then there is a small percent that has no chance whatsoever to reach the playoffs.

A lot can happen of course for every team, but, I have been watching one team quite closely and I as well as other eyes have noticed that in that team nothing has been as it should be.

On the contrary, a lot of things have gone wrong.

The odd thing for this development is that this particular team I have in mind is normally a playoff team and should be even this year.

But, they have been struggling since the start of the season and it is still – in this writing moment – far from sure that they will be among the top 16 who will be fighting for the title this season.

My thoughts have been on this case since the fall and recently some sort of enlightenment has come through a source who told that in this team there are one or several people who play through the season and then aim to move elsewhere.

And they are doing nothing for the team but spreading around the hogwash along the corridors inside the venue where they play and tearing down the spirit of the team.

I know by my own experience that these kinds of things happen everywhere, not only sports teams, also in other workplaces, offices and varied kinds of social convents.

But, the result is always the same: demoralization for the team and its members.

People begin to feel bad about the situation, some are tending to be sicker than usual, some afraid to go to work because they never know if they are going to be stabbed in the back, openly or in the dark.

And those who are spreading around the claptrap often complain that they are treated unfairly, especially in a hockey or a sports team in general, and most of all that they are not given enough time on the pitch or the ice.

The problem here is that this kind of players/people have to show that they are so much better than the rest of the team when the chance comes. Some might be able to back up their talking but a lot have nothing but a big mouth.

No scoring, no assists and quite a lot of time in the penalty box. That is all that those yappers have along with a too-big hole in the face.

Some teams put that kind of players on the waivers as soon as possible, but some are forced carry them throughout the seasons because of the contracts and the legalese.

Otherwise, the teams might lose too much money if they release such a yapping player sooner than planned.

But, as I see it, a team loses much more in the end than several hundred thousand dollars, Euro or whatever the currency might be if they have to pay after all, and are also stuck in a greater mess when those players finally leave.

If we are thinking closely about these kinds of situations we ask the question:

Is it fair to your team you support, if you look at the whole thing from a fan’s point of view?

From a player’s point: is it fair to the team and to all players who really try to make something good and honestly try to win every game?

And, to the coach and the GM: would it be fair to the team, to the fans and to the sponsors who support the team financially to have these yappers on the payroll?

The obvious answer would be of course: No, it wouldn’t be fair. Not under any circumstance.

A lot of things could be done to prevent these kinds of situations occurring in the first place, like signing such a contract that they must leave immediately if they’re caught destroying a team’s spirit totally.

But, I also do understand more than well that the scouting is not an exact science and no matter how deep we try to get to know another person: we never will entirely get to know their inner mind or their true nature.

However, I’ll let these words end this Sunday piece, words that every sportsman, athlete, and leader should perhaps put up on the door to the locker room:

We want people that fit in our locker room. As I said, it’s all about teamwork.

-Bob McNair
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Arto Palovaara, Sunday Chronicler for Sports Rants Europe. Previously, he contributed for the betting company Betsafe, Svenska fans, Get real hockey and Ice nation UK. He is also an educated archaeologist and life coach who loves literature and history. Not to forget: probably he is the only sportswriter that plays the banjo.