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Does fighting belong in hockey?
Tue, February 10, 2009

By John Miner and the Canadian Press

A London anti-violence expert is applauding recommendations from a panel on concussions that call for the elimination of fighting from all levels of hockey.

Peter Jaffe said the report could be the tipping point that changes the culture of the game.

The recommendations, resulting from meetings at the London Hockey Concussion Summit on Jan. 17-18, also calls from an elimination of high hits/head hits.

Does fighting belong in hockey? Is it an integral part of the game, or can the game of hockey survive and thrive with the inclusion of fisticuffs? Have your say in our forum.

Report calls for end to fights


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Yes rod

You are also grown men who work in society. You know the risks but its illegal to fight because your too stupid to understand the risks. So you legislate it to save you from your own stupidity. Not all guys get paid millions of dollars, many including a lot of goons get league minimums and have to live off that short careeer for the rest of their lives, sounds like you don't care if its in a wheel chair or not. You don't care as long as you get what you want. hey and the owners get rich off it so its OK too.

funny thing is the guys who mess with the best are the goons who get paid to protect the best in your words.
wayne, 2009-01-21 08:03:12

I have just read through the first 2 pages of posts on this subject. For those of you who think that fighting should be banned in hockey you are on glue. We are talking about grown men getting paid millions of dollars to play a game they love. They know the risks. I've seen more fighting in baseball which always results in a bench clearing brawl than in hockey for the last 10 years.NHL players know the rules and the code, you mess with our best and we mess up.
Rod, 2009-01-20 16:37:17

The only way change will come is from the game's leaders putting in new rules that will change the mindset and to do it without dramatics and focus

on this issue only.

NHL hockey is a fast and violent game with crunching

checks in the boards, and bonejarring open ice hits.

This isn't the pee-wee leagues where the game is for learning and fun, This is the big time where competition is fierce and only 700 or so can have the prestige of being an NHL hockey player and the rewards that go along with it.

The mindset is a win at all costs attitude and even if there are players and coaches that don't like some of the things such an attitude entails, most teams usually have at least one player they can and do rely on evening the score with.

Don't get me wrong this isn't like the movie slap shot, but when you think about the broad street bully era and all the bench clearing brawls that went on for so long after that era - the NHL came close at one point to parodying the movie - or was that vice-versa?

Today the great debate has been fuelled by an unfortunate incident where a person died as a result from injury from a fall after removing his helmet and engaging in a fight.

So this was a senior league

player - someone who went to a day job and may never have engaged in a fight outside the rink.

This IS the example of hockey culture and IT does run strongly through most who play the game at competitive levels.

So what should be done?

I strongly believe that any league's stars MUST be protected.

The NHL has been very weak in dealing with offenders in the past, for many reasons mostly to do with the league, team, and player / union economics.

Removing fighting all together at once would definitely jeopardize the league's stars as there would be no fear of reprisal from the other team.

We would most likely see a return of excessive stickwork and dirty hits for the same reason.

David Branch has the right idea.

Ban removing helmets

when engaging in a fight.

Players are going to start

breaking their hands and fighting should decrease.

Go farther - hit hard.

The league should also look at extremely strong suspensions without pay for injuries to players from

stickwork, hits from behind,

kicking, knee on knee hits,

open ice elbows or forearms.

There should be a minimum of 5 to 10 games to a maximum of balance of season for repeat offenders.

Remove the instigator rule, but in place of it have severe suspensions to players who may engage and create conditions for a bench clearing brawl and /

or engaging in one.

This way the Avery's and Ruutu's can be dealt with on ice and the code of honour can be upheld when shit disturbers get out of line.

I agree that fighting may always be a part of the game. It is in the current hockey culture and that the culture extends to young ages because they want to be hockey players and accept that it's part of the game.

This can be changed as I mentioned above and fighting

would go the way of the dinosaur and hockey would have very strong rules in all aspects of dealing with

threatening behaviour and or


In the time it would take hockey to adjust and clean-up, the kids that are not part of fighting now will age and that generation

of hockey player will provide the best chance of eliminating fighting from the game.

Andy V., 2009-01-19 19:14:58

So in other words Capn hook. Two sets of rules for different times?

Hockey is hockey, no matter when played. Olympics, regular season, playoffs.

the reason fighting happens during the regular season is fans want to see it and its the only time that players can do it without doing damage to their team's winning chances. Most fights happen when the games over decisision wise and at the end of the game. They don't happen between the wimps who slash and the enforcer. They happen between the tough guys. They don't alter play to prevent what you have said because the game is over. They happen to keep some fans in their seats and on TV so they can sell ads and Beers.

This has nothing to do with enjoying the game. It has to do with the safety of the players. They are too stupid to know the possible end results and fans care more about their enjoyment than the players well being.

Like I said, this kind of worker exploitation is fought vigourously in all employment and by all unions and its membership in Canada. EXCEPT THE NHL.
wayne, 2009-01-19 13:45:49

Nothing wrong with fighting in the game, it's usually between 2 willing players. Sucker punches are already dealt with. However the helmets should stay on and the face shields be removed before a fight. In other words, if a player is going to be fighter then the face shield he wears MUST be a removable type.
Bob Bisson, 2009-01-19 13:22:04


Aren't the goons actually the ones that are the threat to the investments they are protecting?

Sounds more like a mafia. Buy our protection to protect your investment or we will hurt your investment.
wayne, 2009-01-19 08:47:01

Cheap shots that start fights were not properly handled by the league so duh of course a fight will occur and as far as the olympics and world juniors I saw lots of cheap shots that cost teams in the 5 minute major department, and its amazing the refs did something. thats the page the NHL needs to read.
matt, 2009-01-18 18:14:37

I've reviewed comments since I originally posted about a week ago. Still very polarized no matter which side of the fence.

The fundamental problem I have with fighting in hockey is that somehow it's associated with player entitlement. A 'code' is perpetuated in certain North American leagues, professional & amateur alike, actually sanctioned under existing regulations.

We do not know what it would be like at all ranks if this entitlement was removed(?) I was once president of a men's hockey league and going in, I decided to explore this notion of 'entitlement'. In that men's league, like so many others, fighting was virtually assured in closing stages of games when scores were > 2-goals apart. When I was elected, my instruction to team representatives prior to the season was that there may be grace for any player who finds himself in a fight; however, if happens a second time, he's gone for the season - - period. My attitude was, "What does that say for a player if more than once? What does that say for the league?" And you know, they all bought in!

For the ensuing four(4) years under my watch, there never again was a fight in that league. The moral is that once players realize that they are not entitled to fight, the attitudes change. Oh, and were we any good as a league? Yes, our league represented all zones for AAHA Men's (Alberta) non-contact as provincial champion in my final year.
Melman33, 2009-01-18 12:37:41

JJ1PlW hi! how you doin?
mike, 2009-01-18 06:32:34

Sorry about the double posting..i did'nt think the first one went through...no use arguing about this subject..everybody has an opinion but maybe we can all just agree to disagree!

Ron, 2009-01-18 00:35:07

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