This. This right here is what I love to see. I have to be honest--I've been getting a little worried about this beautiful game. Everywhere I look these days it seems like kids are just focusing on skill, skill and more skill. Especially since Svechnikov pulled off The Michigan, it's been nothing but a non-stop Sauce Factory across youth hockey. Just look at this nonsense.
Everybody wants to be the next McDavid. Everybody wants to be the next Auston Matthews. But who out there wants to be the next Dave Semenko, huh? Are there any kids out there dreaming of one day becoming the next Zack Kassian? Up until recently, I'd say the answer to that question is "shit no". Which would be a tragedy if kids today grew up without any enforcers as their heroes. The game would continue to get softer and softer until next thing you know, the NHL is no better than some Euro league where each team's top player wears some flashy golden helmet. That's not my NHL. No siree.
But luckily for all of us who love the game of hockey, the Battle of Alberta has brought back the toughness of hockey. The Battle of Alberta is now inspiring kids all across North America to drop the mitts and chuck some knucks. And it's a beautiful sight to see.
Doesn't matter if it's in the middle of a public skate or not. Someone needs to go out there and set the tone. Someone needs to go out there and fire up the boys. Does public skating need enforcers? You bet your ass it does, and these future Proberts were there to answer the bell. The game is in a great spot now for the future, and we have Zack Kassian and Matthew Tkachuk to thank for that.