Mike Milbury Questions Whether Bruins Would Have Won Stanley Cup Under Brendan Shanahan’s Watch


October 3, 2011

Mike Milbury likes to opine about everything NHL-related. For NHL fans, that's good news, especially given Milbury's reluctance to hold anything back. He's back at it again, and this time, he's taking a stance against the "new" NHL.

Yahoo's Puck Daddy blog points out that Milbury had some pretty strong words on the conference call with the hockey media for NBC Sports Group. Specifically, Milbury voiced his concerns for the direction the game is headed with Brendan Shanahan as the league's top cop as vice president of player safety.

Shanahan has come down with vengeance on players' hits during the preseason, especially hits delivered by players with past history of questionable hits and/or hits to the head.

Milbury, though, sees the crackdown as a way of making the game soft — or turning it into "touch football" as he said.

"I think if this goes the way it's going right now, it'll do more than if they took fighting out of the game," he said. "If it's called like this ? and with all due respect to all the excellent comments by Edzo and Pierre and Doc ? if this is the way they're going to call it, it is going to turn into touch football. People don't want to lose tens of thousands of dollars, going out for 10 and 20 games for what have been, sometimes, really vicious hits and sometimes questionable calls, in my opinion.

"I think right now the way it's called sucks," he added.

Naturally, Milbury didn't end there. He went on to question whether or not the way the game is called now would have hurt the Bruins' chances to win the Stanley Cup last season given their physical style of play.

"I wonder: Would the Bruins have won the Stanley Cup had the standard had changed to what Brendan Shanahan has made it today? I wonder if that would be the case. I think we might have had a different champion, and I wouldn't have liked that. I loved the way they played. I love the way they hit everything that moved.

"I'm not talking about head shots. I don't like head shots. I don't like concussions either. But right now, there's a lot of pink hats out there. And I don't wear a pink hat. Just ties"

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