Breaking curfew is a serious misdemeanor for young people. Teens are often hit with tough punishments for staying out too late. Privileges being revoked are usually the main punishment. But what about when professional hockey players stay out too late and thus break a team rule?
That is exactly the case of what happened with Nashville Predators forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn. They have both been told by Preds General Manager David Poile that they will not being playing in game 3 of their 2nd round playoff series with the Phoenix Coyotes because they stayed out too late. Already down 2-0 in the series, is it really worth going down 3-0 to teach your players a lesson? In an old school move that would make Doug Gilmour proud, Nashville is teaching its players that it is not okay to violate team rules, and I agree with the decision. After all, these two men will not be able to play hockey at the NHL level forever and they will most likely need to find jobs after their careers are over. Poile is doing a great job teaching accountability and responsibility to these players, something that they will have to learn at some point in their lives. They cannot breeze through their whole life ignoring rules, at some point it needs to stop.
This punishment will also serve its intended purpose: they will not stay out past curfew again in their tenure with Nashville. Radulov and Kostisyn now know the consequences of such actions. Additionally, the Predators have made an example of these delinquents. I doubt anyone else on the team will stay past curfew after the actions taken against the delinquents.
The only problem with this decision comes in the form of two glaring holes in the lineup the Predators will try to fill in the best way they know how, by committee. Much like their opponents, they boast no marquee forwards and the loss of Radulov and Kostitsyn, their two top scorers in the playoffs so far, will hurt Nashville’s offense. If the rest of the team cannot pick up the scoring slack and Rinne has another sub-par game, Phoenix may be able to take a 3-0 stranglehold on the series.
But even if the Preds fall in game 3, I have newfound respect for the organization of the Nashville Predators. Most team would let their players off with a warning and let them play, but Nashville has decided to take the path less traveled and go against the grain.
Thank you Mr. Poile. Demonstrating class that rivals that of the Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres, the Nashville Predators organization has impressed me.