Bill Peters Scandal Could Lead To Future Change In NHL Policies
The resignation of Flames coach Bill Peters over the weekend "ought to be the latest signal that hockey's unwritten code is in the process of being reworked, if not scrapped altogether," according to Dave Feschuk of the TORONTO STAR. The NHL's "cone of silence" is being "blown apart by a generation of players who've mustered the courage to call out misconduct" (TORONTO STAR, 11/30). The GLOBE & MAIL's Cathal Kelly wrote the way in which the NHL presents itself to the paying public "must change immediately." No team can "afford a Bill Peters in its midst." Tolerating such a person "has become a sort of infection -- if you knew about it, you may also find yourself being cut out" (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/29). In Toronto, Kevin McGran wrote this is hockey's "moment to do something to weed out the bullies and racists." McGran: "Keep the sport filled with the best people with the best intentions" (TORONTO STAR, 11/28).
LOOK IN THE MIRROR: In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont wrote the NHL and the hockey community at large "must turn inward and ask why such behavior was ever tolerated, and to a degree enabled." There also is the "lingering question, does the hockey culture of 2019 allow such bigotry and hate, and abuse both verbal and physical, to linger and fester in the shadows?" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/30). In Las Vegas, Ben Gotz wrote the Peters situation is "nothing less than a horrible look for a league and sport that have tried in recent years to address glaring diversity issues" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 12/1). In L.A., Helene Elliott wrote if "any good" can come from this scandal, it will be to "launch discussions about what constitutes appropriate behavior for coaches at every level in hockey, and beyond" (L.A. TIMES, 12/1). Sportsnet’s David Amber said the situation gives the NHL and its teams an opportunity to “evaluate where they are from a cultural standpoint and where they’d like to be, and this could be a seminal moment” (“NHL Hockey Central,” NHL Network, 11/30).
THE BIGGER PICTURE: In Toronto, Damien Cox wrote, "We all need to constantly examine and re-examine how we look at sports, not just at the professional level but with our kids." Hockey can be the "opener to a much broader conversation here" (TORONTO STAR, 11/30). In Boston, Steve Conroy asked, "Is this type of behavior -- bullying, manipulative -- particular to hockey coaching? Of course not." Conroy: "But if the questioning of those attitudes has to begin with hockey, then I'm fine with that" (BOSTON HERALD, 11/30).