It’s probably rather hard to be popular and defend Billy Tibbetts, a player whose past has haunted and shamed him on every one of his 14 pro hockey stops the past 11 years.
But what I will say is that if you want to slam Tibbetts's latest bid for a chance to play in the NHL, at least do so with an informed opinion of how and why he went to jail for more than three years as a youngster.
It makes for an easy headline, for journalists and bloggers alike, to brand a man ‘hockey’s Mike Tyson’ — even when that’s clearly not the case.
Of course, it’s a better story that way. But there’s something to be said for evaluating subtleties and seeking the truth behind any story you hear.
Say what you will about Tibbetts’s conduct on the ice and his demeanour off of it, he deserves whatever hockey career his talents dictate. I can do without any more self-righteous — and uninformed — blithering about why he deserves less.
He’s 31 years old and has clearly moved on. It’s time we did so as well.