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Zeitgeist: Dr. Phil's Life Strategies for Ending NHL Violence

The host of television's Number One daytime talk show says it's time for a changing day in the life of the National Hockey League.

Two guys that have probably never met
Two guys that have probably never met

(Note: the following article was originally posted this weekend at the Dr. Phil Show website under the "Life Strategies" section. It has been reposted here with permission.)

The Epidemic of NHL Violence

Right after Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ray Emery's shocking attack on Washington's Braden Holtby on Friday night, Dr. Phil's Twitter feed lit up. Emery's merciless beating of an unwilling and unprepared Holtby at the end of a 7-0 Flyers loss sent shockwaves throughout the hockey world. Dr. Phil was watching and was appalled at what he saw.

"I'm sorry, but that dog just won't hunt," Dr. Phil says. "Emery's actions were outrageous and out-of-control. The NHL can't continue to go on like this and they need to wake up and see that this isn't working for them.

"The first thing the league needs to do is want help and admit there's a problem." Dr. Phil strongly suggests. "Look, I've been at this 30 years and Gary Bettman is a good friend of mine. I don't think the NHL is a bad league. It's just made bad choices."

Dr. Phil's four steps for stopping NHL Violence:

Be flexible:

He explains the formula: "The NHL needs to first stop talking and listen. Look, my dad always used to say, 'no matter how flat you make a pancake, it's got two sides.' That means, if there are people that don't agree with fighting, don't shut them out. Don't dismiss them as 'sissies' or ignorant or people that should go watch figure skating. The NHL has to say to itself, 'If I'm so smart, why have I run this thing off into a ditch?'"

Let kids be kids:

"Next, don't involve the kids," Dr. Phil continues. "I always say, kids have two jobs. One: get a good education. Two: have fun. Nowhere in there do I say, 'punch people in the head when you're losing a game.'

"Children have an amazing ability to imitate adult behavior, even if we don't think they understand it. Believe me, they understand," he says. "If they see two professional athletes beating each other's brains in and getting pats on the back from teammates and coaches, they will learn that behavior. Don't wait until your son or daughter grabs a gym teacher by the neck and shoves their head into the school's trophy case after losing a volleyball game. Teach them that that just is not acceptable."

Don't be a "Right Fighter:"

"Finally, remember that this situation needs a hero. This family needs a hero," Dr. Phil urges. NHL players need to ask themselves what are they really fighting for? What "victory" were they hoping to achieve? Is it really that important to be "right"? "Look, you still lost the game so who cares? I mean, who really cares who you beat up at the end of a blowout?" Dr. Phil says. "Fans don't always have the ability to verbalize their thoughts. But if you could hear what they're thinking, you'd hear, 'Would you people please shut up and end this stupid game so we can all go home and forget we watched it!"

Dr. Phil also suggests that if the NHL or its players and teams are unwilling to change, it may be time for the league to immediately check into an outdoor Equine Assisted Psychotherapy treatment program.


This is satire. Dr. Phil hasn't actually weighed in on the NHL's history of violence, mainly because he's been concentrating on Catfish scams.