Monday, January 08, 2007

I Don't Know How to Love Him...

Allow me to convert this issue in to a personal parallel. I remember, back in my younger days when I was really into dance, I was in a company with a Seventh-Day Adventist as one of the principal dancers. On Saturdays, when we had these 12 hour rehearsals, he could only come after sunset. And the rest of us would have to stay later while he made up the time. Sometimes we'd have to come in on Sundays to make up for the missed practice. Was that fair to us? No, not really. Did it make us slowly resent him? Yes, it did. Was that resentment good for the company? No. Because we all had to work twice as hard when he wasn't there. By the 14th hour of rehearsal, nobody's pirouhettes were looking tight any more. But we needed him, because, no one was going to lifted, launched, or dipped without this dude. But it was killing the rest of us. I think that the same might happen on a hockey team.
I think Patrick Roy showed some serious balls in taking this kid on, and a lot of understanding in making concessions for him. I can only assume that Benjamin Rubin is really, really good. But I'm incredibly split on this issue.
I think ultimately this has to fall on Benjamin Rubin. Does he love hockey enough to eschew his religious traditions? Because I just don't think it's feasible that an NHL team should allow him to sit out games. I think that to do so would open up a huge can of worms. A devout Christian could make a case for sitting out on Sundays. A Muslim could bow out during Ramadan. People could ask to be excused for games played on Festivus! Plus, there is the issue of payroll. How do you pay a player who is only planning on playing in 3/4 of the games at the start of the season?
Rubin has to decide if hockey is important enough to him. I don't think the NHL should have to switch things around for him.

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