I’ll be transparent, I’ve never been a huge NHL follower, but the start of this season and the various storylines across the league might have me hooked. Hello Connor Bedard?
And speaking of hooked, can we take a moment to commend professional hockey for allowing players to drop their gloves and throw left and right hooks whenever they want? In any other sport, if you want to fight, you get fined, or you get kicked out, or possibly even suspended. With hockey, the refs basically just act as boxing officials and only step in when the fight gets too dirty.
The penalty box is sometimes utilized, but for the most part, they let players get their frustrations out, and then they go on with the game. It’s truly a magical game, and probably the most underrated sport that’s out there.
If you are like me, and haven’t ever been into hockey, this video might just be enough to sway you onto the side of the NHL. Last night, the LA Kings and the Colorado Avalanche were facing off on the ice, and fans in attendance might have witnessed one of the best rookie debuts the league has ever seen.
Did the rookie have a record amount of goals? No, he didn’t. Did he account for a substantial amount of assists, or maybe even make some game saving defensive plays? Possibly, but that wasn’t the best thing he did.
Alex Laferriere was making his NHL debut, and he won the fans over right off the bat my body slamming one of his opponents in the second period of the contest. Some unsportsmanlike “extra-curricular activity” led to a couple of players getting to a scrum, and things escalated from there.
Colorado’s Logan O’Connor skated into fight happening by the glass and yanked out Kings’ rookie Alex Laferriere, and they started throwing some haymakers at one another.
The announcers started doing a play-by-play on it as it unraveled with the ref standing just a couple of feet away:
“Laferriere in his NHL debut, as O’Connor pulled the rookie out of the pile, and they are having a pretty good bout.”
Right as the announcer finishes up that line, Laferriere gains some leverage on O’Connor, picks him up, and body slams him down onto the ice with a Judo-style hip toss of sorts. In any other sport, everyone would be grasping their pearls, but in hockey, everyone just got even more fired up.
Granted, the takedown is kind of considered a cheap move in a hockey fight, one you pull to eject from the fight when you’re getting your ass kicked, but it sure gets the fans fired up. Especially, his family. You would think that any relative of Laferriere would be disappointed in his actions on the ice in his rookie debut, but the reaction from his family could only be described as ecstatic joy.
Shoutout to the camera man (whoever it is deserves a raise) for quickly finding Laferriere’s family in the crowd and cutting away to them right after the rookie pulled off the body slam.
The announce continued as the refs started to break apart the two hockey players:
“The family loves it! Welcome to the National Hockey League Alex Laferriere”
And as Alex Laferriere was escorted off the ice, the other commentator came in from the top rope (pun intended) and shouted with pure happiness:
“I told you he was a good athlete, but I didn’t know he was a wrassler.”