Lee Green has no excuse for what he did to Brett Arcand-Kootenay. And the University of Alaska Anchorage athletic department had a chance to send a message to all its athletes this kind of behavior is entirely unacceptable.
But they didn’t.
Green needed to be kicked off the hockey team. Not suspended for a mere four games and stripped of his title as team captain. It should have just been goodbye, Greenie.
Green is in no way green in the ways of hockey. He was a senior team captain. If anybody should have known better it was Green.
Talk about bad publicity.
The incident earned front page status in the Anchorage Daily News, with four stories in a five-day span. In one newscast, KTUU ran it as both a news story and a sports story with shots of Green in prison garb at his arraignment.
It’s not just a local story either. It’s the top off-season story at the moment on USCHO.com, Division I hockey’s flagship Web site.
To say that what Green did is embarrassing is an understatement.
One of his parents now has to accompany Green everywhere he goes as a condition of his release. His coaches’ approval of his role as team captain now looks shaky at best. Green has again cast hockey players as violent oafs with no judgment or common sense.
The timing of the event was as bad as the UAA’s abysmal 1-28-7 record two years ago. The season is only a month away. No one will be talking about the Seawolves magical post-season run when they hit the ice for the first time. Instead, the talk will focus on Green missing an exhibition game in his hometown of Soldotna.
Arcand-Kootenay’s jaw will take 6-8 weeks to heal, meaning the victim will miss more games than his attacker. Arcand-Kootenay will likely start practicing again sometime in November and the issue will get dredged up again.
Green is back, but will he ever be looked at the same way again by either the fans, his own teammates or coaches again?
Green and his teammates are hockey fans. They are aware of Todd Bertuzzi’s malicious blindside attack of Steve Moore. They saw Marty McSorley club Donald Brashear in the temple with his stick. Those attacks were violent and unconscionable.
Green took those violent acts a step further.
He attacked his own teammate. In the locker room. Without pads and helmets. Over a missed run.
It just doesn’t add up.
If he needed a lesson, Green should have dragged him to the treadmill for an hour or so and saved his aggression for UAA’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association foes.