Just a quick note on this Friday afternoon before I shoot up to Vegas for the weekend… Does anyone else find it a little shocking and childish that apparently Kings fans don’t realize that professional hockey players don’t share the same intense hatred for rival teams that the fans often exhibit?
Look, I love good rivalries as much as the next guy and as a fan it’s one aspect of the game that makes things more interesting. But I also acknowledge that NHL players are a relatively small group of people, and they’re a close-knit group. Just because they have intense on-ice rivalries doesn’t mean they’re not mature professionals off the ice. Some Kings fans, like John Hoven over at Mayor’s Manor, seem shocked by this.
When the possibility came up that Corey Perry might be partying with long-time friend (and player on a rival team) Drew Doughty and the Stanley Cup last night, Hoven penned an article in which he seems surprised that there’s not some unwritten code where in players from opposing teams aren’t allowed to hang out or be normal humans. This is completely asinine.
Players are going to form friendships regardless of team loyalty. When you take in to account how much time players (even from opposing teams) spend together, or how often many players bounce around from one team to another, why anyone would expect them to hate each other simply because we as fans like to chirp them from our seats is beyond me.
But maybe I’m in the minority here. What do you say, Ducks fans? Is Perry wrong for hanging out with Drew Doughty on the ice? Should we be expecting these millionaire professionals to act like petulant children when they see a cross-town peer off the ice? Somehow I doubt most of you feel that they should.
Jer is ready for the chirping from Kings fans. Follow him on Twitter @JerMeansWell.