In Defense of Zenon Konopka

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Via NHLPA

In life you are a Subject Matter Expert or a Jack of All Trades. You can go as far as you want on the effort you put in. Analyst, baker, machinist, honest hard work will pay off.

Screw ups happen sometimes. In the process to push oneself things can be overlooked. Like a banned substance. Zenon Konopka has no history of chemical usage or abuse, recreational or PED. He has a reputation as a solid citizen and teammate. In that order. Regardless, he will miss the first 20 games of the 2014-15 season due to a positive test for a banned chemical.

He is a well-liked a wine entrepreneur and rabbit lover, but he is a 4th liner who excels in fisticuffs and faceoffs. For the former he is seen as a goon and a hack and talentless, even though he’s been a top faceoff man the last few years. On many teams he’s the unofficial third ‘A’ supplying leadership in the room and on the bench. It’s why he was a New York Islander.

Still, he’s a 4th liner who “had to cheat” to stay employed. Not buying it. In his official NHLPA statement he took full and unqualified responsibility for not being thorough enough researching a nutritional supplement. With the list of chemicals professional sports deems illegal, and the future earnings at stake, I don’t doubt Konopka did the best homework he could. I also believe he is human and made a simple error. His honesty and professionalism were refreshing. He doesn’t deserve the ignorant garbage thrown at him. Hell, look at the waste of space behind him in the NHLPA article photo. Konopka is worse than that guy?

Konopka is UFA this summer. I hope his suspension is overlooked by his next employer.

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