Time to End Deniskin Career

The game of hockey is a great game. Leaps and bounds heads above any other league as far as entertainment. Each season, each team and each organization will have something amazing happen and for each good thing something bad will happen. That’s just the way it is. But with the good and amazing comes the bad and ugly. First the good and amazing.

The Cincinnati cyclones of the ECHL recently announced Jason Payne as their new coach. So how is this amazing? How is this  good?  Payne is the only African American hockey coach In hockey today and only 5th person of color to hold that post.

Payne was a player mainly in the minor leagues.  He was largely a role player who would contribute with his fist as he could go with the best of them and never backed down from a good slugfest.  Although he never played for the cyclones he did play with the Cincinnati mighty ducks of the AHL in 1999-00 season.  The Toronto, Ontario native didn’t have to go far for his new coaching position as he was the cyclones assistant coach the past two seasons. Good luck coach in your new position.

Now for not just the bad but the ugly as well. Just when you thought this particular ugliness was winging down in the world some player rears his ugly head and does an unspeakable act.

Andrei Deniskin was a player not too many of us heard about before last week. Why did we hear his name mentioned? He did an a forgettable act on the ice. Where everyone saw. He didn’t try to hide it from the officials, the player targeted or the teams competing.

Deniskin made a racists gesture towards defenseman Jalen Smereck of HC Donbass. Smereck, who is black, spoke afterward saying that he tried to engage Deniskin in a fight but Deniskin denied. When the two broke apart that’s when the disturbing act happened. 
The league acted, somewhat, by suspending Deniskin a total of 13 games, or 3 games and a fine of $1,870. No action has been taken and no suspension has been appealed.

Smereck  felt this suspension did not fit the crime and has taken it upon himself to show how upset he is. Smereck, 24 and a Detroit native, said he will not play another game ilium the Ukraine Hickey League until Deniskin is removed from the league itself.

First of all, good for Smereck on sticking up for himself and taking a stand. Not only should a player of any color or sexual orientation have to out up to with this the league themselves should be able to enforce a suspension that fits the crime. People related to hockey in some way feel the suspension is a complete joke.

Second, this probably is still going on In locker rooms. The fact we don’t jar of it is because social media has not gotten a hold of it yet. John Vanbiesbrouck, the former NHL goaltender, used a racist slur against defenseman Trevor Daly when Daly was a 19 year old in 2003.

The fact this still happens, behind closed doors or not, says a lot about us as a people. People who do these kinds of things, in or sports or not, are either hateful people or love to see people get angry. These kind of actions do not belong in hockey or any other sport. I hope the Ukrainian Hockey League sees the hate the league is getting for this incident and takes the advice of people and throw Deniskin out of the league. He did this and it got attention but chances are he done this before ad will do it again. To me this should be the end of his hockey career.

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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