Even in the EIHL There are Genuine Mistakes
Professionalism in the EIHL era has often been called into question. Sometimes rightly given the actions of professional ice hockey players at clubs and sometimes in a grey area caused by the actions of off ice club officials who offer their time either voluntarily or part time basis. But now it has become a bi-word for any action an individual does not like from a club.
A case in point is the Guildford Flames. On Saturday night during the post game man of the match award following their overtime victory over the table topping Cardiff Devils a wrong number was read and the wrong player given the award. This made worse was because that player actually didn’t take a shift.
It was a simple mistake but given the recent trends of clubs social media output becoming less serious and (attempting) to poke fun at the opposition and antics of announcers and club officials at games this mistake led to a twitter meltdown from Devils fans of cries of unprofessionalism and it was done on purpose. Such as this from Cardiff Devils fans forum The Inferno;
Instead of talking about the game that was just played, we’re now talking about the absolute guff that @flamesicehockey just pulled.
Taking a leaf from the Steelers book of nonsense isn’t such a good thing you know :/
— The Inferno (@theInfernoCoUk) January 6, 2018
Some of those antics were totally unprofessional (and the less said of Dave Simms and the kiss cam at the point the better) and some were the kind of antics that you read about from the old days and laugh at. Whilst the league as a whole has a responsibility to uphold the reputation of itself and promote itself as the most professional it can be some the latter antics can have a more positive effect by getting people talking about the league and bums on seats to watch the game. At the end of the day bums on seats is what pays for the game.
Over the years the Flames have been an example organisation. No matter what league they have played in they have not been a team associated with controversy and have put out competitive sides. This season after a slowish start they have have found their rhythm and are one of the hottest teams in the league at the moment. A very welcome and perhaps overdue addition to the top flight.
Had the Flames done this on purpose (and am sure they did not) then yes the league should take action. Any antics during the warm up, game or post game ceremonies should be cracked down. However mistakes happen and it cannot be forgotten many club officials are not professionals in the strictest sense. Many (including timekeepers, announcers, scorers) give their time voluntarily and have day jobs and without whom we would not have a game. From time to time mistakes happen and not all should be treated as a stunt or something akin to a conspiracy.