National Hockey League reporter for the Toronto Star Steve Simmonds has never been afraid of controversy, likely to his own detriment, and he is stirring the point once again on Saturday.
As many of our readers will know the hockey world lost one of the true titans of the sport this week when it was announced that former NHL player, NHL pioneer, and hockey hall of fame member Ted Lindsay had passed away. In spite of the fact that Lindsay had lived a full life, he passed at the age of 93, there was great sadness following his passing as not only did the hockey world lose an icon who was a trail blazer when it came to player rights and who earned respect on the ice in spite of his smaller size, but it also lost a true gentleman away from the game.
When his passing was announced major figures from the National Hockey League and around the world all united in the mourning of Lindsay and social media was veritably flooded with well wishes for his family and their loved ones. Considering the level of response from the hockey world there was an expectation that Lindsay's funeral would be a big event, but according to Simmonds there were some stunning absences from the funeral itself.
According to a breaking news report from Simmonds none of National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman, National Hockey League deputy commissioner Bill Daly or executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association Donald Fehr were present for the service. It is a situation that Simmonds has gone on to describe as the "Department of disgrace" although without more information it is impossible to know why any of the three men named by Simmonds failed to be in attendance for Lindsay's funeral.
The fact that Lindsay pioneered the first version of the National Hockey League's Players Association would have seemingly made him a figure of great importance and reverence for the modern day body that is the NHLPA, which makes Fehr's absence particularly strange here. That being said it may simply be that none of the men in question were invited to attend, although I must admit that I am trying ti play devil's advocate a little here because we do not have any more information to go on.
Needless to say the response to this revelation from Simmonds has been rather vitriolic.
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