Star Players

“The Paris Way”
Hockey – regular season once again, the youth movement showing dividends, injuries putting some star players on the sidelines, analysts back to work, fans excited and more! 
When we listen to some analysts making their commentaries toward different subjects, most evolving around player participation, their value to different teams.  One area, we should possibly draw a line, remain ice time. High end players receive more ice time than others, the number one goaltender will [play more games than his substitute back-up). The problem some analysts have, they seem to forget team concept, during games when star players are often involved. A star player will play maybe between 22/26 minutes in general, with one or two exceptions higher, all according to situations, varying from time of season, injuries, team positioning for a play-off spot & play-offs! They will often attribute a win or a loss to one individual, often overlooking there remain usually around 35 minutes, where the star player is not on the ice surface. However, they will talk about one player either positively or with a negative of his game performance. This at times, may somehow provide a questionable safety valve for the others. 
Fans or those listening to the eternal post game shows, hear often the following, this or another team are not spectacular, not fast or lacking size & character, does not score enough, not prepared to play and more. One group mentioned, Montreal Canadians were not as spectacular, “after Two games only played”, the response, one player was not there anymore, they were now playing a North, South game, while avoiding the turn backs etc. One former NHL player listening via internet, smiled, turned and asked? What are the other 17 players (excluding goalies& player) doing when they are on the ice, during the 35 minutes or so when he is not out there? Who controls their destiny when it is their turn? Does every player play the same way?  Can influence be so great to adult professional athletes, where their personal comprehension or thought process toward following team system of play, execution, accountability, responsibility, all performance factors which can be excused by overlooking who is truly accountable for their personal intent? We should give more respect to players than that, they are professionals.
It is early but Marchand and MacDavid will continue to roll on, Marner is simply an outstanding talent, intelligent, Matthews is well worth the ticket of entry, there will be others who will provide ohhhs… and ahhhs.. The NHL is alive and well, even though Syd the Kid nor Carey Price or Jack Eichel, were not in their team line ups due to injuries or illness!
Special shout out to one of my all time, favorites for his best Leaf player nomination, David Keon, well deserved!
Interesting and pleasant to see Ron McLean back on the saddle, he, now will have a much better grasp of why many remain active & apply, ” the right is never wrong theory “, when things are not quite going the way they would aspire, he continued to grow, result, eventually received his seat back! Bravo!
Every time we hear, Wayne Simmonds or Joel Ward (examples) as simply hockey players, just makes my day, read my blog on this issue.
 John Paris Jr. com

Politics – Don’t talk about it

Don’t talk politics, who in the name of Sam Heck decided this? If you are not concerned about who may represent you, we have a problem, this is 2016 and the USA, not Russia under Putin, actuality, or historically speaking, Hitler’s Germany.
Ridiculous, take sports as an example, many even have a thought process where athletes are not supposed to have any form of intelligence, should not care about others, are spoiled, make too much money & should never be political! What do some mean, by sports and politics, don’t mix? Many athletes are married, have children, they pay taxes, buy or rent housing, have to buy groceries, pay utilities, their children attend academic institutions. Have family members who are employed or out of work, own business ventures, travel, friends or family enrolled in Armed forces. They are not exempt from illness & are held to the same laws of the land as everyone, yes they vote or should?
All of the above most certainly are factual, therefore, yes, they have a responsibility to be involved within social issues, be a plus for society & they most certainly have a right to decision, including, having concern, interest & expression upon whom they feel should represent them in Government!
We hear all sort of excuses to not express a position, some say out of fear, this from social media bullying or shaming or physical attack, from those who may only respect freedom of speech when it is one way! We all are well aware or should be, Political Presidential candidates have a responsibility to us, our children, the present and the future, to represent the population once elected, not as party members but as a society which is made up of multiple branches, the problem we have, remain they are not held accountable by all, if you are a GOP or Dem is all that may matter for many, the attitude, “The I got mine syndrome”, who cares about the others? All athletes should have a stance and all citizens should never feel they cannot speak out if they have something pertinent to say! When we accept to say nothing, it only indicates complicity, who cares what another may think or whom they may like? As long as you are respectful, truthful and surround yourself with quality individuals, where is the problem? Why would you allow another to dictate how you feel, tell you what to say or not, to like or not like, without standing up and saying, sorry but NO! Then you immediately turn and walk away in peace, no need to argue! Right is never wrong!

Maybe it starts at home!

Canada once again standing on the podium, the World hockey tournament left the fans, experts and players all with one point in common, or it should have! Those choosing the players should simply stay with the best forward players available, none of this 4th line role player foolishness, allow the players to play & they will adjust to the circumstances! Canada did just that and you see the results! This is the difference between Canada and the USA, the Americans pick teams to try and defeat Canada instead of picking the best forwards out there and more often than not the players are over coached, this is why they do not win as much as they possibly could! You will not intimidate high end hockey Canadian talent. It is not within their genetic being! Why? Just visit a family, listen to the parental conversation, hear the explications & expectations, no entitlement, especially the, ohhh, nooo… you are going to play here and when or if, someone shows interest at a higher level, we will then address the situation, not before, until then, get to the arena and help your team be better. The desire to represent your area, your local team was and still is a Canadian institution, although changing due to demographics of the game! In USA where convenience remain the forefront, youths are told, you have to be seen and in order to be seen you have to go to another location and play on a better team. In Canada, quality primes, they understand it is the player’s potential, including performance, which is the deciding factor, not where he plays but how he plays, that primes! In short, you have two choices, earn it or try to buy it! !

Here and There


The Paris Way!

Ottawa Senators staff, what were you thinking? The hit upon MacArthur although a sad result, was not illegal, however, some may contend the player Sieloff, one may bet he did not even know who his target was? Sieloff may have lacked some thought process, however, Sieloff was applying a hit, his intentions were not to injure, hockey is a contact sport, training camp remain an opportunity to make the team, for a newcomer via an exchange, unless a star. Sending Sieloff off the ice to avoid confrontation, was wrong, why? A time out should have been called,players brought to center ice or to dressing room, where an explication of expectations should have prevailed, one player Ryan fought Sieloff, that should have sufficed. They sent exactly what kind of message here? Gang warfare! Clarke MacArthur was wearing a regular jersey, not an injured player one, maybe someone need to ask who made this decision? Especially for a player who had played only 4 games the past season? This was early training camp scrimmage game intent, he should maybe had on a injured, no touch or rub out jersey on, part of the blame falls upon hockey staff, management and their medical people, any head injury is serious and they maintained a thoughtful expert attitude, “until training camp”!

Bravo to Max Pacioretty, anyone who doubted the leadership qualities of Pacioretty, now have an answer, during world Cup he experienced some on ice problems, however, he impressed many with his handling of a couple questionable situations, one from his coach during the worlds and another concerning rumored comments from his regular team coach. Leadership may be evaluated by the attitude taken within moments where, it could be easy to allow frustration or too many words create a controversy! Pacioretty showed maturity and intelligence, how? He remembered he represented more than just himself!

Patrice Bergeron, finally receiving his due as one of the top (10) worldwide, all around players, why? His accomplishments, leadership, including entire inclusive play, all regardless of the involvement, worlds, Olympics, NHL.

Have you noticed the importance of hockey environmental comprehension, why? Has now become a must within the hockey world, due to multiple cultural diversity where everything from differences in pigmentation, language, food, music, clothing or other personal preferences remain within the forefront, it has long progressed beyond simply a Canadian game! From immigration to adherence of other Countries, Continents, to player development, all playing a major part! Inter personal people skills necessity has arrived to hockey, this includes for not only coaches, management, but players themselves.

Brad Marchand, reaching hockey maturity, thank-you Sydney Crosby, off season work-outs together has its bonuses, no one can contest the talent & skill level that Marchand always possessed, the problem was more within the emotional control avenues, experience only becomes a plus when it is applied properly, to his credit he adjusted, this to the pleasure of the hockey world in general. Marchand is still somewhat of a pest, however, he can play well above the average, he is now amongst the elite!

No surprise, Montreal must be in elation, Price the superstar is back, arguably one of the top (5) players in the world, with Price in the line-up and healthy, the Canadians are play-off bound.

World Cup, Russia’s desire to maintain a system of line play, where anything other than 1,2,3,4, may be considered wrong, has been more of hindrance, especially upon a smaller ice surface, their opportunity of success versus those who adjust their bench will always be in question. Hockey as per any team sport, has one similarity, getting their best player or plural out there as often as they can!

This brings us to, ever hear the expression, “if coach continues to play me like that, I will maybe have a shorter career”, J, they forget that careers are not eternal, however short, ask the multiple retired ones, the professional team objective is to win as many games as possible, this will never change. Strange how “some” never think of this when they verify their direct deposit, usually these players make the most $, You have to benefit while you can. Ice time = trust & need, remain the greatest reward a coach may provide a player.


Torts was wrong: Twice!

Most recent: He scratched Dustin Byfuglien versus team Europe, who in the opinion of most hockey people remain open to why? If you take a moment to look at the alignment, this makes the healthy scratch even more questionable. Most certainly this was a hockey decision although a poor one, nothing else, so please avoid the drama of searching for more! His hockey decision of preference – (R)Erik Johnson, (R)Matt Niskanen or (L) Jack Johnson, we will know after the tournament, especially if they do not come out a winner!

Previous: John Tortorella was incorrect with his manner of handling or sending a message to Max Pacioretty, concerning his implication or lack of, during preparative games for the World Hockey Tournament. Most certainly upon a personal basis, Pacioretty was frustrated with his performance as any star player would be, when the puck is not finding the back of the net. However, to his discharge, Pacioretty is not a checker, not a fourth liner but first and foremost a goal scorer of high quality. The problem many have with Tortorella’s intent, his lack of fair play explanation toward the why? What are exhibition games for? Yup, he called his player out, unless his wording is the result of another dictionary, which has not been discovered as of yet! Did he call out any other player? No! Did he mention that Max P. is known for the quality of his skating, shot & release, can play specialty teams (penalty kill and/or power play), in short Pacioretty is not a grinder, he simply requires having support both on and off the ice surface to be able to accomplish what he does best, this also, remain within the job description tasks of coaching staff with some input from the Gm. Explain it better next time coach!

The USA team selected its players according to a set mindset which included toughness, grit, combined with talent & skill, top notch goal tending, all with a mindset of defeating Canada. This is why you had the over confidence attitude, sprinkled with arrogance toward the team they should have been preparing to compete against, (team Europe) during first game of tournament, which resulted in a devastating loss. They can rebound, however, the route is just more complicated and depended upon possibilities of hoping another team helps them out! Will this push them to needed high performance? probably, but will it be enough? Only if team Canada refuses to play up to their potential. Get out your popcorn, chips, reserve your sofa or favorite chair in the living room and enjoy!

Constitutional rights exist, update yourself Coach Tortorella

“If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game”

Players are first and foremost citizens, just because their choice of employment remain entertainment, this does not provide them with a pass, especially when it comes to social issues, including, a lack of common sense! The USA National Anthem song requires change, not complicated, just make appropriate changes, where is the problem? Maybe bigotry for some? Maybe a lack of attention to wording? What do you know about whom wrote it? Whatever the reason, right is never wrong!
John Tortorella seems to have overlooked something!
“Fundamental rights” are a generally regarded set of legal protections in the context of a legal system, where such system is itself based upon this same set of basic, fundamental, or inalienable rights. Such rights thus belong without presumption or cost of privilege to all human beings under such jurisdiction.

Hum.. coach, just stick to getting your best players at the appropriate moment to fulfill a role, while changing your personal threat toward social conscious issue to”agreeing to disagree”. Why would Tortorella say something as ridiculously arrogant, insulting to not only to an entire ethnic group but educated individuals? Could this be motivated, because the coach’s awareness of, outside of Dustin Byfuglien, who is African American, there are no real issues of possible social awareness stance by the Caucasian majority line-up? He is not a racist, must admit, although not too smart on this one. Could it be just Tortorella putting his foot into his mouth again? Careful Torts, you will be in a pickle if one of your players suddenly decides to put your theory to the test! You have no authority in this regard.
” Denis Duchenes ” where are you? Unknown to most, yet in 1963, Junior hockey, Montreal Canadians farm team Maissoneuve Braves had a solid D man, he refused to stand for the National Anthem, he was never shown any lack of respect, why? Those around him understood his rights, he never tried to bring anyone else on board, his social conscious was in tune with Quebec Separation theme, the coach never benched him, never admonished him. Why?
One- He understood his role was not to discriminate.
Two – He also knew this young player who was a University student, was punctual, studious, not problematic but a plus in the room and/or upon the ice surface.
Three – Coach knew, if he had benched him, majority of teammates would have stood up for the player and the same thing would happen if Tortorella did this to any of the USA performers, these are a strong group of academically educated athletes, upon this 2016 USA hockey team.


Hope Solo:
Life suspension, wow, were her words and attitude wrong? Yes. Somehow clarity to understanding the crime/s and application of punishment remain, way beyond the pale! A convicted felon will more often than not get out of prison, a child molester returns to the streets to strike again. A sports athlete, ho! Hum! Not important, only a female we must show no mercy, she has to go. Onward flows the opposition toward the female gender, easy targets, acceptable within far too many of our society, even after centuries of abuse. Yes, this is abuse of a woman via overkill punishment. This is the devised solution to Hope Solo, not the result of performance career collapse due to physical & skill execution demise, where fans, media and management will show no pity when an athlete loses their podium of dominance and are hanging on, while thinking, maybe they have one more great season, competition or other left in the tank. Solo seemingly, is receiving a past due bill accompanied with interest and her latest action seems to have provided some kind of freedom, regarding accountability for those who applied to suspend, ban or whatever Hope Solo. Questionable, yes questionable intent to bury her as deeply as possible!

“Sitting down”

You cannot hide because you wear a sports uniform nor should you!

Shame on those who try to justify ignorance toward passive demonstration of social activism!

Yes! sports have a responsibility toward society and those performing within are first and foremost individuals issued out of a society!

Strange how sports at times, may become the catalyst for both entertainment or social issues, even more interesting are the reactions. What some may perceive as ridiculous or insulting, according to their train of thought process, often, simply provides negative provocation instead of, “maybe there is some truth to this”, maybe we do need to adjust, soften our view points while applying comprehension via research, listening with an open mind instead of immediate consternation or anger, thus, “could they be right”, if so? How can it be better addressed by society?

The Colin Kaepernick “sit down” during USA national anthem presentation, before the start of a NFL football game, remain simply another protestation toward what may be considered a lack of equality for certain individuals, ethnic cultures or gender. Kaepernick is simply taking a stance which has been often viewed as controversial at its origins, when accomplished by others, taking a stance brings consequences, awareness and sadly, tied to the time era, where mostly the fruits of the desired intent are mainly recognized by future generations. With time and more knowledge acquired we obtain compensation, for some it takes too long, while others understand everything you do or try to accomplish will be relative to the era, to the education & evolution of the society you live within!

From Jack Johnson, Robinson (Jackie), Ali, John Carlos & Tommie Smith, to name a few, all athletes, all outlandishly insulted by many for their stances, “At the beginning”, not so later! Look back upon the different enactments where violence was not amongst the midst within the protest, yet the backlash of hatred, misunderstanding and more, usually motivated by a false sense of entitlement ownership remain the first obstacle put before anyone who stands up and will say, “I have had enough” and am going to make this known!

Roy & Avalanche Home Coming!

Surprise? Not Really.
Some situations are simply doomed to failure, not because of some wicked sorcerer or spell applied to another, in this instance a hockey coach, just a normal eventuality created by circumstances! Fans, media or other should not be surprised by the resignation (polite term to fired) of Patrick Roy, now former coach of NHL Colorado Avalanche hockey club. We may look at a few scenarios, the most important remain you have to win more games than you lose, otherwise, see ya…next in line. Patrick Roy also came in with a bang which often happens due to multiple reasons, sounds good, feels good but usually is the kiss of death, why? You have standards a bar that has to be met, Roy set his standards himself by an over performance of his team pushed by him while past heroics followed him, yes, the golden boy player who became a coach returning to sacred land where success always had his name involved for years, including Stanley cups. A recipe for failure or rupture. Coaches have to be people with strong character including personality depth, this often usually sooner than later will bring conflict, thought process infection will be the disease of cause to break-up, love affair roller coaster came to a high & conclusion, the curb indirectly becomes Roy’s office. For now!
Maybe the exploration of possible scenarios may provide other answers, has the coach another agenda where his resignation provides him with a window of opportunity to a destination somehow finding its way to his person? Interesting!
How about – go back to the remark about (polite term to fired), within the employment everyday world, when not satisfied with a staff employee results or actions, many corporations will indicate “time to go” by not providing a raise, all others will receive one but not this or that one, writing on the wall! Read on;
In the sports world it will start with contestation of methods, desired intent, overlooked situations where the coach will become a third party, where the outside invitations to join will change, he will be left out of some meetings between management individuals, his actions will be under scrutiny with a difference, negativity instead of previous positive effect/affect. Player inter-action especially with potential or star ability will become more difficult as the player more so than the coach will have someone’s ear upstairs. Remember the statement made by Montreal ownership, David Molson, where he openly mentioned he would speak with players, was aware of the dressing room and more, only difference this time it was a player, not a coach or maybe both, however, one gone in a trade which is part of the hockey world or a coach remaining in place for another undetermined length of time which only provides him with a paycheck warranty for the duration of his contract, not a position behind the bench, again a part of the hockey world!
In short whatever motivated the departure, it all started with wins then moved on to losses, personality or other remain back seat news until then.
Time will tell the tale.

Head Coaches – Completing Their Staff.

Management has a responsibility when it comes to hiring.
The vast majority of our NHL head coaches are quality individuals, highly competent combined with a solid supporting cast, having mentioned this, it is important to note concern of a few exceptions where those hired as assistants are in place because of the wrong reasons/s, competency accompanied with respect should prime, especially when it comes to choices, friendship somehow swim amongst the mix, however, it should not be the first criteria, familiarity for some may cloud having a more insightful thought process.
The majority of those in charge,head coach including the Gm’s, understand the assistant choice should remain somewhat an extension of themselves. Their hockey knowledge should not be the only pre requisite within hiring process, how about social skills, with a not for sale moral intent, where the comprehension of having a stance of right is never wrong must be within the forefront at all times.

Many often wonder why would they fire this head coach or that one? It is not always evident. Often the assistant or plural was within the mix by indirect or direct influence, if the staff does not have a positive grounded approach, if they have another agenda, if they use ploys of repetition noise to benefit their personal psychological traits, ranging from misconception or a could care less attitude, masked by outward extension of being on board ego happiness. Where the assistant upon occasion wanted the position for the wrong reason.

The competition within the pro world remain ferocious, the travel, number of matches, preparation, always having a constant intent toward winning and winning again over an extended period of time, not overlooking media combined with fan pressure never lets up.
One of the worst enemies of the head coach remain, not obtaining ample rest, a poorly rested coach is due to suffer, his assistant can provide a helpful hand by noticing the mental lapses which will occur, thus bring it immediately to his attention, by intervening with a thoughtful intent when a situation may be getting out of hand. The assistant has to enjoy the extension role, understand while executing within.

One of the areas addressed before hiring should contain a few examples of perception outside of hockey ice surface or dressing room. What are his/her thoughts upon human inter action, ask them about their views upon other coaches, situations, players, diversity, gender, their thoughts of interpersonal skill necessities as they will have to decipher different mentalities, mood swings, how to allow an opinion which may differ from their own to be viewed as simply that, an opinion, a right and not always a threat.
Move on and come back to the same intent from another direction a little later to avoid the, “Person of interest saying what they may think you desire to hear”! At least make them have to use some brain cells. Rare do people forget truthfulness, false intent can lead to a fumble caused by confusion combined with hesitation.

One head coach mentioned he refused to hire an assistant coach after he made a questionable remark, this gentleman was one of his close acquaintances and he had worked with him before, the story he told was maybe worth repeating. Ever hear the mention of how some sports people form an opinion of another, according to events,there were two youth coaches involved, one coach was a disciplined individual who took his role seriously including the preparation of his youths to proper character life skills while helping them with their hockey progression on ice areas, he somehow received a negative! The other youth coach who happened to be insecure, an alcoholic, while his youths were supposed to be under watch, he would be under the influence, stumbling around, incoherent and more, his players would joke about “just coach drunk again” nothing new there & they would be out and about after hours! The aspiring assistant coach became an acquaintance of a now NHL coach, during a conversation with another it was brought to the attention, how, he openly made a statement claiming the alcoholic coach was a great person, positive role model for youths! When the interviewing coach casually during conversation, mentioned in a “ho hum manner” about this youth team, the aspiring assistant repeated the same refrain, result, he did not obtain the position, his mistake of role model, etc. ended that. When asked why in the past he had left a college team? The response was, he was not given enough responsibility by the head coach and more, instead of simply stating, maybe it was time to explore other avenues under another approach, to continue to progress within the role. His lack of comprehension left him out in the cold, yet he is now with another team alongside another acquaintance head coach, whom he previously had worked with, did he learn or was he never asked a question similar? Will he be a plus or a minus for the man who provides him his trust? The high note remain, the head coach is a person of quality and highly competent, except maybe in his choices of his entourage! Time including results will tell the tale! If fired again will his due diligence include evaluation of his entourage staffing?