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01-18-2010, 03:16 PM
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A Fistful of Dollars
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Bill Meltzer has a fair analysis on Versus:


Nevertheless, the general attitude has been that it was nothing worth printing -- all one can really discern was that the Flyers players were young men behaving the way many young men do. As for the original photos that surfaced online, it may not have been something one would condone or want their own children to emulate, but it was a non-factor as far as hockey was concerned. As long as the players did not commit any crimes or be unable to practice and play as expected of them, it was a non-story.

The issue became a printable story when Holmgren acknowledged that off-ice discipline was one of the issues he and Stevens had addressed with the team. How much of a story it should have been made into is questionable. In my view, it seemed unfair to single out the Flyers and their players because a) I'm still not convinced that players' off-ice priorities had anything to do with the club's inconsistent play, b) it's hardly a revelation that hockey players and young athletes in general go out and enjoy themselves away from work, and c) the bigger issue here is not whether some hockey players enjoy the nightlife but rather the changing expectations of privacy in the modern age.

The Flyers' players are far from the only team affected by this. Every NHL team -- and teams from all major sports -- has had to become aware of the influence of the internet. There are partying photos online of players from many different teams and athletes (and celebrities in general) from a variety of sports. In the age of social network sites, Twitter and camera phones, the expectations of privacy in off-hours are gone. If a player is seen out on the town -- in any town -- the photos and tales of their activities have a way of getting online quickly. Clubs now try to warn players that anything they do very well could end up splashed across the internet but ultimately it is up to players to use their own judgment.

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