When the National Hockey League announced on Wednesday September 6th that former enforcer George Parros was joining the Department of Player Safety as the new Senior Vice President, the reaction was mostly negative. Most media and fans alike scratched their head at Parros’ appointment and thought it was a bad idea, mostly due to his history in the league. And yes, Parros was no angel during his career spanning from 2005-14. During those 9 years, he played in 474 games and logged over 1092 penalty minutes. But what fans and media alike fail to realize that having a former “enforcer” of the game join the department charged to keeping players safe, is the best idea the NHL could ever have.
It’s simple, who better to help change the game and keep players safe than a guy who literally made a career fighting and logging penalty minutes? It’s essentially like the FBI bringing in former hackers to catch other hackers. Parros has an intimate knowledge of the game and can offer a unique perspective on how the league can better protect players, thus ensuring their careers are longer which means more money for the league.
Sure, the NHL could’ve easily put someone else in the position, someone who doesn’t have a questionable past with the game who would no doubt do an decent job ensuring the safety of players. But what Parros can offer is invaluable to the league’s most important department. Parros knows how players think in that moment when they’re about to make a gigantic hit, he can offer a different perspective into what the possible intentions of the player.
Parros also understands that the department goes above just handing out suspensions, he wants to get with the rookies of the league to ensure that they know how to safely pay the game. Which if we’re being honest, that’s the most important aspect of the department. If the players can’t learn how to play the game safer, there is no hope for the league to ever grow and prosper globally.
So while most media outlets and NHL fans alike are loudly shouting on social media about how terrible Parros is and how dumb the league is for bringing him into one of the most important roles in the league, Parros will continue to do his job and his part into making the game of hockey safer and better for players and fans alike.