Chicago Blackhawks Fans Have A New Public Enemy In This Colorado Avalanche Player

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This is also not to say Bedard should be the only player getting referee protection.

MacKinnon, Crosby, Auston Matthews, and Connor McDavid should get the same treatment. These are the superstars the league needs to showcase much like the NBA did with Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Dr. J, and Michael Jordan in the 1980s.

Much like the NBA later learned, you cannot reach the highest heights of popularity if you are letting the Detroit Pistons throw them around.

If you want enforcers back like Marty McSorley protected Wayne Gretzky back, that is not going to happen. Teams want skill and speed in their top six. Yes, you want grit, but the player's special skill cannot be his haymaker anymore.

The NHL has a headliner in Connor Bedard. It is time they make sure a bit player like Mason does not try to take him out of the game.