Much like our society as a whole, the game of
ice hockey has never really addressed a glowing issue among skating players; defenseman get less developmental opportunities than forward line skaters.
It’s true, from the beginnings of the game,
there has always been more forwards than defenseman. But like other groups across the spectrum of
society, defenceman deserve the same equal opportunity as forwards.
Let’s not forget all the glory and accolades
that get showered upon wingers and centers for simply doing their job. Defenseman rarely get credit for a job well
done. Let’s face it, the goalies get all
the glory for a shutout, but the blueliners are doing a lot of the work too.
We here at JuniorHockey.com recognize the
inequality of the game and feel that the governing bodies of the sport need to
immediately take measures to equalize the opportunities.
Our suggestion is to simply remove the center
from the game. That player can easily be
transitioned into a forward’s role. We
believe this will create more opportunities for all defensemen across the
entire game. Yes, we are talking about
Some will say this idea is ludicrous, that
there is no place in our game for such drastic measures. But, like the world, the game has evolved. Head protection, goalie masks, and the
evolution of sticks have dramatically improved the game, while creating a
hostile environment for defensemen.
Fighting is gone while more and more defensemen are being penalized for
what used to be a clean check.
It’s simply not fair.
The game will be criticized if the governing
bodies do not properly address this gross injustice. I feel that hockey’s leadership should
consider stepping down to make way for those with a fresh perspective.
Defensemen across the continent, and around
the world, should be united in the effort to equalize the number of skaters on
The new organization, United Defensemen of
the World, is making several demands that could shake up the balance of the
of mandatory awareness and inclusion of developmental curriculum for both
players and coaches alike.
increase in the percentage of former defensemen as coaches to 80% by the
2017-2018 hockey season. And the
development of a 10 year plan to promote an equal and more inclusive game.
increase in funding to hire an oversight director to address all instances of
inequality within the game.
Often times the biggest perpetrator of the
inequality is the media itself.
JuniorHockey.Com is not entirely innocent. It is true that we’ve allowed the bulk of our
content to come from leagues and teams.
It’s unfortunate that this content includes a disproportionate amount of
exposure given to non defensive players.
It’s simply not fair.
What can we do as a game to help make defensemen feel equal? Let’s face
Four-on-four hockey might sound ridiculous,
but the truth is that I made you think about it. See how simple it is to influence
another? Do you see how others might
pick bits and pieces from this article and spin it to mean something entirely
I’m afraid that that’s happening across our
Most of you will read this and not be sure
that it’s a bit of a joke. It seems like
our society as a whole is entirely too caught up with the actions of a few to
realize that our response affects so many.
Just because two or three ignorant people
make ridiculous signs or use even more ignorant choices of words, it does not
mean that one segment of the population or another is racist, criminals, or
Let’s hit the nail on the head here; a small
segment of the entire population of the world is going to be evil. Within the churches, mosques, temples and
governments, the element of evil exists.
It’s up to the rest of us to find a way to separate the evil actions of
a few from the humanity of the masses.
I’m not any better than you, you are not any
better than me. We are equals. Let’s stop demonizing law enforcement, races,
religions and beliefs. Instead, why don’t
we all individually treat all others as we like to be treated ourselves?
So what about defenseman? They get more minutes away.
Really, I want to know, what do you think?
* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Stephen Heisler, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.