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"We respected the other guys a lot more than they do now."

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"I guess we respected the other guys a lot more than they do now. We didn't run guys from behind. And we didn't try to cut the other guy's head off."

— Hall of Famer Henri (The Pocket Rocket) Richard, talking about the lack of respect exhibited by modern-day players toward one another.

From The Detroit News: Link

Is he right or no?

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I don't think so. There was some pretty brutal stuff done back then.

Then again I'm only 21 years old so what do I know.

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He's absolutely correct. The obvious difference between today's game and Richard's generation is the extra safety equipment. Players these days feel they can throw the elbow because the other guy has a helmet on or get their stick up high because the other guy is wearing a shield. The extra equipment gives today's players the feeling that they can go out and just plain wreck the other guy. As far as the hits from behind, it needs harsher enforcement of the rules. Some players think they are just finishing their check but that's just a poor excuse.

F.Michael likes this

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Is he right or no?

What is acceptable changes with time.

He played in a league with little protection for players. A league where fights weren't staged, and elbows were the norm. Maybe he considers it offensive, but he's not playing anymore.

People were/are always out to hurt, to try and get an edge. With advances in protection, there are changes to how people attempt to achieve this.

Edited by CaliWingsNut

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Yeah, that sounds like something an old person would say.

"Back in my day, we had RESPECT! None of these kids have RESPECT anymore!"

Doc Holliday likes this

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Yeah, that sounds like something an old person would say.

"Back in my day, we had RESPECT! None of these kids have RESPECT anymore!"

Haha... A lot of my older aunts and uncles still talk about the days when gas was a quarter a gallon. If only.

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While Richard may be right, I get tired of listening to these old players rip today's game and talk like when they played it was perfect. It's like listening to these old baseball players whine thier asses off when talking about McGwire and Sosa's padded home run totals. I think they're jealous these guys make so much money now. Granted, today's game is not perfect. But neither was it back then. It would be nice if these old guys could be happy with their careers and just keep their mouth shut.

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I'm sorry, but I refuse to acknowledge this comment as credible seeing how it's coming from a man who was suspended after attacking both a player AND offical on ice...numerous times.

EDIT: Wrong Richard. My credibility is shot.

Edited by BleedRed&White

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I've always thought this. Imagine swinging your stick around carelessly back when no one had helmets or visors. I bet it wasn't looked upon very highly. The more equipment though, the less careful players will be.

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I'm sorry, but I refuse to acknowledge this comment as credible seeing how it's coming from a man who was suspended after attacking both a player AND offical on ice...numerous times.

Wrong Richard :)

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Wrong Richard :)

Very true. :blush:

Factors involved:

a) Failure to consume first morning coffee before posting.

b) Natural infuriating reaction to seeing the name 'Richard' causing mental lapses.

Vladifan likes this

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The game used to be slower, the players didn't wear helmets, obstruction was rampant, etc. The game has changed and I don't think it is because of respect.

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Not having been around to watch him play, although my father certainly was, I can't say from personal experience if he's right but I believe he is. The same could be said for just about any other major sport, as well. My dad was telling me about going to see the Hawks at the old Chicago Stadium back when he was a kid, and the players would hang out in the parking lot and chat with the fans after the game, and sometimes their wives would be with them as well. They were beating each other up on the ice during the game, but after the game, they're smoking a cigarette or having a beer and chatting it up with people, like that never happened. I don't know if you'd see something like that today, unless it was in a controlled environment where everyone had been pre-screened for weapons first or something.

Also, as other people mentioned, they didn't have the kind of equipment/protection players do now, so players today can get away with things that Richard and his contemporaries couldn't have because they would have likely killed someone. So while there was physicality, it wasn't as brutal as it can be now. That might give the impression that it was more gentlemanly, but hockey is still hockey.

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bulls*** ... another old timer trying to throw how good the old days were in our faces ... they were out of shape and went 10 mph .. So when you have a bunch of skinny outta shape vanilla faces that weigh 150 lbs and and are 5 foot tall ofcourse there isnt going to be any brutal s*** happening.

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I remember reading something from back when the final few guys were still on the ice without helmets. It said that players watched out for those guys to be sure they didn't accidentally whack them in such a way that might injure them. It was done out of respect.

I'm sure that there are a lot of players who play with respect for the safety of their fellows on the ice, and I'm sure that there were those in the old days who didn't.

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bulls*** ... another old timer trying to throw how good the old days were in our faces ... they were out of shape and went 10 mph .. So when you have a bunch of skinny outta shape vanilla faces that weigh 150 lbs and and are 5 foot tall ofcourse there isnt going to be any brutal s*** happening.

I'm not an old-timer, I'm 28. Being born in the Reagan administration doesn't qualify one as being an "old-timer"....unless you're someone who hasn't hit puberty yet.

Edited by Electrophile
Ram likes this

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In Mr. Richard's era, it was hockey and not much else to worry about; no other distractions, no other complications. The pay wasn't that good, but that's another topic altogether. You played the game not so much to take someone out but to make sure you didn't lose your position to someone else. Remember, there were basically only 120 positions to be filled in the League. Now, you've got players worrying about their next possible product endorsement deal, their "tweets" and craning their neck to watch a replay on the scoreboard so they can relive that last "big hit". Mr. Richard is correct and Mr. DS Cherry has also echoed this feeling.

ManLuv4Clears and F.Michael like this

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Very true. :blush:

Factors involved:

a) Failure to consume first morning coffee before posting.

b) Natural infuriating reaction to seeing the name 'Richard' causing mental lapses.

Just to compound the mental lapse, the Richard you originally thought was being referenced died over 10 years ago.

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Just to compound the mental lapse, the Richard you originally thought was being referenced died over 10 years ago.

I don't follow the mortality issues surrounding ANY Hab. Toe Blake is still active right?

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I'm not an old-timer, I'm 28. Being born in the Reagan administration doesn't qualify one as being an "old-timer"....unless you're someone who hasn't hit puberty yet.

No s***? cool life story bro. Im talkin about the Pocket Rocket and players of that age not some 80's baby

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No s***? cool life story bro. Im talkin about the Pocket Rocket and players of that age not some 80's baby

One, I'm not a bro. Two, you directly referenced something I said, so that's going to make me think you're talking about me, not the subject of the thread.

So take a pill.

Ram likes this

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Did the decline of respect lead to more equipment, or did more equipment lead to the decline of respect...

think about it...

In all seriousness though, I think 55fan was right on with the train of thought - back then and now, there will be players that are clean and players that are dirty, I don't think that has any ties to generation, it's just a variable of man-kind and will always exist.

I think to some of the older players, things come across as more violent in today's game, because they happen so much faster and harder than they did back then... as another poster touched on (although in a more disrespectful way) players back then were nowhere near as well conditioned or big as they are today, combine that with a wider talent pool (world-wide), enhancements in technology (lighter and better performance enhanced equipment, sticks that allow a beer leaguer like myself to still crank it up to almost 90mph, better kept up ice surfaces, etc, etc, etc...) and other factors (other than love for the game - ie.money) driving the players to crank it up and the result is an incredibly fast, physical game...

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Gordie Howe laughs at this man.

Electrophile: He didn't quote you, and it seemed pretty obvious he was talking about the player in the OP. Just because he also used "brutal" doesn't mean he was talking about you, now.

Edited by Doc Holliday
hillbillywingsfan likes this

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This has nothing to do with the topic but I would like to share a Ted Lindsay story. Back in Henri Richard's era, the Original 6, teams used to play one another 12 times a year. So you can imagine the hatred which would form between the players. Anyway, Lindsay fought all comers and was tough as they come. He had a fierce rivalry with Rocket Richard. Anyway my story is this...Lindsay also has a fierce rivalry with Pierre Pilote of the Blackhawks. One game Pilote cut Lindsay's face open with a blatant slash which went uncalled. It was one of the last times the 2 would face each other one the ice. Fast forward about 20 years in the early 80s where there was an NHL Oldtimers league. Lindsay showed up one game, looked for Pierre Pilote and knocked him out with 1 punch during the game. When the reporters asked Lindsay why he did what he did, Lindsay responded...I OWED HIM 1 from 20 years ago. LOL

Here's an old Gordie Howe one...The Wings had a player named Larry Jeffrey who is from the same town I am. He broke his leg while playing with the Wings in the early 60s and ended up with the Leafs. He was a black ace on the 67 Leafs team which won the Cup against the Habs. Anyway when he was in the Red Wings training camp in the early 60s and trying to break into the NHL, he was playing in an exhibition game against the Wings vaunted rivals, the Habs. The Habs tough guy was John Ferguson. He was known as the league heavyweight champion back then. He could actually play the game too. Well Jeffrey, as all rookies do tried to make an impression and went for a big hit on Fergie. He got him with a clean check in the corner. Fergie got up and followed Jeffrey to the bench and cross checked him in the face. A blatant cheapshot. But hey it's exhibition right so who the hell cares?

So Jeffrey is screaming in pain and Gordie Howe sees this and says to Jeffrey...KID YOU BETTER LEARN HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF OR ELSE YOU'LL GET KILLED. LET ME SHOW YOU TO HANDLE A GUY LIKE FERGIE...So Gordie goes on the ice and sees Fergie barrelling in on him about to throw a bodycheck on him in the corner. Gordies plays the puck and Fergie has him in his bomb sights. Just as Fergie is about to unload, Gordie takes his stick and rams it right into Fergie's gut and knocks the wind out of him. Fergie crumples to the ice, Gordie takes the puck and goes in and scores the game winner. The refs saw nothing. Gordie goes back to the bench, sees Jeffrey and says KID, THAT'S HOW YOU HANDLE A GUY LIKE FERGIE.

Larry told me he never saw anyone like Gordie Howe. He could do it all. Sorry for the ramble, I just love telling that story. :)

Vladifan and Detroit # 1 Fan like this

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