February 10, 2009
In the 'ole Puck Daddy inbox, we've noticed some grave dancing by hockey fans over A-Roid's admission that he dabbled in performance-enhancing drugs. Seems as though you guys think there's a slight difference in having the biggest stars in your sport tainted by steroids and having Sean Hill as your poster boy for performance enhancement.
Puck Daddy reader Steven Kennedy is one of many e-mails we received on this subject:
Baseball's biggest stars in recent memory:
A-Rod - admitted to taking steroids.
Barry Bonds - admitted to taking the clear. Let's be honest, he took steroids.
Roger Clemens - Liar, steroid user.
Mark McGwire - Admitted to taking Andro..and that's just to start.
Slammin Sammy Sosa - Let's be real. He juiced.
Hockey's biggest stars in recent memory:
Wayne Gretzky - his wife gambled, he runs a hockey team, wins Canada a gold medal.
Mario Lemieux - he overcame cancer.
Sidney Crosby - no juice.
Alex Ovechkin - no juice
(And hockey players are tested as part of international play commitments) The truth shall set you free!
There are obviously differences in opinion about whether steroids are or are not prevalent in the NHL. Bill Daly has said that "performance-enhancing drugs have never been a material part of our culture." Dick Pound has theorized that "one-third of NHL players were likely taking performance-enhancing substances," but that those were primarily stimulants. Then there's the discussion about what, if anything, steroids would do to enhance performance in a hockey player in comparison to their revolutionary effects on baseball players.
Since the A-Rod story is inescapable right now (asking Obama? seriously?), we were curious about your thoughts on the matter. If you discovered your favorite NHL player had used steroids, how would you react? If it came out that a large percentage of the top 25 players in hockey for the last decade had been juicing, how would you react? Do hockey fans view this subject any differently than baseball fans?
Would hockey simply join football and baseball in a Steroid Era? Or would this League irrevocably change for you in the same way Major League Baseball has changed for those fans?
UPDATE: Good stuff from Jibblescribbits on the NHL/steroids issue.