Toronto Maple Leafs: The NHL’s Big Problem

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Toronto Maple Leafs

George Parros (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Toronto Maple Leafs fans are commonly angry online, usually justifiably.

But this isn’t just a problem with the Toronto Maple Leafs – fans of al teams, and the media, and even some players are raising concerns about the NHL’s Player Safety Department.

There has been a lot of questionable decisions recently that have shaken both the fans and players’ beliefs that the NHL is fair and just.

The NHL has been cast in a very dark shadow based on the operations run by the head of the Department of Player Safety, Geroge Parros.

In 2011 the NHL created a new department. Its purpose was to monitor the play of every game and make decisions on who and what deserved supplemental discipline. Running this new wing in the NHL would be former players in the league.

The first to head the Department of Player Safety has gone on to bigger and better things. He’s now the President and Alternate Governor for the Maple Leafs, Brendan Shanahan. He lasted three years in the position before turning it over to another retired player, Stephane Quintal.

Quintal was in the role as long as his predecessor but he transitioned into becoming the Senior Vice President of Player Safety for the NHL.

This set things up for a change in September of 2017.

That’s when a decision was made to name Parros, a former enforcer in the league, the new department head. In his playing career, he earned a total of 1092 penalty minutes. Over 77-percent of those minutes came from fighting majors. Parros had 169 bouts.

The optics of having an ex-fighter running the NHL’s safety dept. are terrible, but that’s not the only problem.   Under Parros, the NHL’s ability to make the game safer through enforcement of the rules has completely deteriorated.

There’s no consistency, there’s questions of bias, and recently, we saw a player cross-check another player in the throat with barely any consequences, while another player got a slap on the wrist for kicking someone with skates on.

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