Andrew Ference may be interested to learn that there is a new app for the iPhone and iPad that allows sinners to confess, something that might be helpful considering the expressed outrage of the high priests of the Rock em Sock Em style of the game.
For in their eyes, Ference is a sinner, his sin that of speaking out about dangerous hits, feeling the wrath from the self ordained parish priests, over his concerns that whether it's an opponent, or a team mate, the hits that cross the line, resulting in injuries should be something that needs to be removed from the game.
From their point of view it would seem that it probably would be best that Ference express his thoughts to that iPod, or better yet keep to himself, rather than to speak out about dangerous hits.
Over the weekend, first Don Cherry on Hockey Night in Canada and then Mike Milbury (who so liked his thoughts that he repeated them on NBC the next day) took offence to the fact that Ference took his concerns public regarding the hit administered by team mate Daniel Paille, describing it as "a bad hit", the kind of thing that they are trying to get out of the game.
That bit of candour brought out the bombast in Cherry and Milbury, who both expressed their disgust over Ference violating "the code".
The code is that much explained, seldom discussed internal justice system that seems to be the mainstay of the NHL these days.
It seems to be the one thing that commentators such as Cherry and Milbury believe makes the NHL great, the cohesive nature of circling the wagons and enacting some kind of cone of silence among the players, regardless of the fact that far too many of the league's top players and main gate attractions are finding themselves sidelined, perhaps in some cases permanently.
In the world of the code, there seemingly is no room for a Sidney Crosby currently on a light work out routine, something that isn't very taxing in light of his concussion symptoms, his return date still to be determined.
And while this is Boston, a town where Both Cherry and Milbury coached Bruin's teams known for their toughness, perhaps a glance could be made over to Marc Savard, the Bruin who last year suffered a concussion at the hands of Matt Cooke that seems to be reverberating into this season.
For Savard his season it would seem would be over, a recurrence of concussion symptoms taking him out of the line up and raising concerns over his very future in the game.
You get the feeling that maybe, when Ference spoke out he was speaking out for Savard, Crosby and anyone else chopped down by a questionable hit. And it's a good thing that he is, as no one else seems to be taking up their cause.
To his credit Ference, hasn't backed down from his comments, collecting a few admirers along the way.
Boston Globe-- A real stand up defenseman
Boston Globe-- After hit, shockwaves
Boston Herald-- B's Ference strikes back at criticism
Montreal Gazette-- Head shots a headache for the league
Toronto Sun-- Flames defend former teammate
Globe and Mail-- Andrew Ference's act of courage
All of the above providing some valid concerns over the rising toll of cheap shots and dangerous play, helpful and welcome contributions to the debate to try and bring some common sense to the game
Welcome it seems except over in the tar pits, where instead the focus is on the code, with Don Cherry and Mike Milbury providing for their best imitation of Colonel Jessup.