As most of us in the hockey community know by now, Krys Barch unleashed a barrage of alcohol influenced tweets over the past weekend. It was quickly reported by various media outlets as a rare, honest look into the mind of a player struggling with the lockout. It’s not often that we hear from the little guys in these proceedings, at least not without it going through the NHLPA filter first, so to many it was a pleasant surprise and somewhat insightful look into how one player sees the ongoing lockout. Barch is receiving plenty of positive support for his actions, with one publication going so far as to anoint him “the voice of the locked-out NHL player”.
However, what hasn’t been said enough following all of this is simply how wrong Barch is on almost every issue he raises or comment he makes. The opinions that he’s spewing out there to be licked up by the hockey starved masses are mostly deplorable and do nothing to enhance our understanding of the players other than to make them appear even more Neanderthal, unsympathetic, and selfish.
I’ll begin this critique of his tirade by first going back 10 days prior to when Barch spoke out about the recent changes in the OHL.
Humiliating to say the least. The changes being implemented by the OHL will in no way impact the “tough, physical, skilled power forwards and defensemen”. As OHL Commissioner David Branch put it himself “they are designed to eradicate the one-dimensional player who serves little purpose but to drop the gloves”. We all know Barch himself falls into this one-dimensional group (he has 31 points in 304 career NHL games to go along with his 669 penalty minutes), so kudos to him for attempting to deflect the impact away from himself and his pure goon brethren No, it’s the skilled tough guys that will suffer according to Barch.
Let’s look directly at the players mentioned by Barch as being in danger to “go by the wayside” and see how these new OHL rules would have impacted them. First we have Zdeno Chara, known as one of the toughest, fiercest defensemen in the league. He’s been involved in over 50 fights during his career, only once recording 10 fights in a single season and only twice exceeding 5. The new OHL rule would deem these actions perfectly fine, as up to 10 fights per season are allowed without penalty. Next we have Milan Lucic, a prototypical power forward. While in junior Lucic did have multiple seasons of 10+ fights, however, in the NHL he has only eclipsed 10 once when he had 13 fights during his rookie season. Looking at Lucic’s progress over the years you can see that he’s become a much better and more complete player for the Bruins even though his fighting numbers have dropped considerably. Maybe it’s because he no longer focuses so much time on fighting and instead uses his available skills to produce in a more meaningful manner, something that Barch is incapable of. Is it possible Lucic may have developed his abilities quicker had fighting been limited during his days in junior? We’ll never know, but I’m sure if you ask Boston they’re perfectly happy with a Lucic that fights less than 10 times per season.
Ok, enough about Barch and his selfish goonery, time to move on to his latest tweets, starting with these gems to kick things off.
First of all Mr. Barch, you weren’t a first round pick because you don’t have the talent to be considered in such high regard. Second, you brought all those injuries upon yourself when you decided to become a pure fighter. You see, in the beginning Barch wasn’t quite the goon he is today, but once he realized he had no chance of reaching the NHL based on his talent alone he decided to become a fighter. He racked up impressive fight totals in the ECHL and AHL which lead to his eventually NHL gig and he’s done nothing but fight ever since. So sure, you worked for every second of it, but you took the cheap route due to your lack of talent and you’ll get no sympathy from me for something that goes with the territory.
Next up we have a perfect example of the Neanderthal behavior I mentioned earlier.
Yes, that’s exactly what we need, Krys. It’s bad enough you can barely skate around with fists flying so I’d shudder to think what you’re capable of while packing heat. Yup, all we need are a few gun nuts to solve this lockout. Round up the posse.
Eventually Barch gets to the lockout and commenting on the owners, but it’s simply the same diatribe we’ve heard in the past.
Ok, so the owners have a great life sure, but you’re telling me that you make almost 15 times the amount of the average North American and you can’t sit back with a cigar and some cognac every now and then? Come on now, do you seriously think we’re fools? This isn’t the rich vs. the poor; this is the rich vs. the richer. You’re lucky to have what you do have considering your talent so just be thankful for even having a job in this economy. As for the owners enduring the injuries you have, no of course they haven’t because they’re in a completely different line of work. Many of them are highly successful and educated individuals that have put in years of work to get where they are. Maybe some of them copped out like you did in taking up fighting and got there through ass kissing or inheritance, but I don’t see how that makes them any worse than you.
You’d think it couldn’t get much worse than that, but not so fast.
NHL players must all be idiots if this were true. The average NHL salary is $2.4 million per season and that’s more than the average lifetime income in North America. Do you know what that means, Barch? You made more money on your last contract than most people make their entire lives, yet somehow you’re not going to be able to support yourself once you’re finished with hockey? Your agent and accountant must be raping you daily for this to be true. I would definitely look into hiring someone else to handle your finances so that your kids don’t have to suffer for your wrongdoing.
Ok, ok, enough hating on Barch, he did have some good things to say.
I’ll give you that one, but pretty much everyone knows this already. At least you’re making sense now, oh wait, there goes that.
Wait, what? Did I misread the latest NHL offer? 80%!! That sounds too absurd to be true. Oh, right, because it’s totally not true. Actually, come to think of it I’m not sure what you even mean here so we’ll just chock this one up to the booze finally being too much for you to handle. Maybe you’ll be able to end this on a high note.
Not bad. Barch finished up quite nicely and to the point, but was it too little too late? A night of drunken tweeting ended where it should have started, with a simple plea to just get things done for the sake of all of us.