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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.

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The fighting rules are simple call the team that starts extrea stuff after the whistle and I'd like to see more 5 minute major powerplays. for issues that rise in the game instead of a scrap to settle it. Maybe we need to change the suspension rule; 1 player on your team suspended 1 player less allowed on your bench, meaning you cant call someone up to fill your roster. Make the team suffer for spearing checking from behind and all the crap that starts fights in the first place.

This would eliminate the crap for fights. Yeah the helmet issue is rather intresting causeing that guys recent death, however why did they fight??? Anyone know? Its probably because of a play that went unpenalized. For those who say maybe the ref missed it, then how did something start a fight and not get seen??
matt, 2009-01-17 23:51:07

To address fighting in hockey, or any sport really, no new rules or regulations need to be created. There are rules within the civilized world, called criminal law that would address this. Get in a fight, get arrested for assault. Wind up killing another player, get arrested for manslaughter. This would apply to the NHL, AHL, OHL, even TimBits league. How about a nice game of hockey?

mgbmike, 2009-01-17 07:40:26

Peter, I grew up playing and watching hockey. I am not a violent person. I have four children that watch hockey, 2 that play. None of them show violent personality traits. My wife and I don't let TV (any of it) teach them how to deal with their problems.

Violence and bullying have been around longer than hockey fighting.

By the way, I also grew up watching show like The A-Team, and I'm still not a violent person.

Rob B., 2009-01-17 05:25:49

Over the years we have seen massive advancements in the technology world. Every single NHL game is televised and reviewed. Hard hitting is part of the game, so if you can not handle it the answer is simple don’t play. In the real world where real police patrol we have laws to protect us from us as well was from others. The laws that protect us from us are there because some people are just plain too stupid. In that case so are some pro NHL players.

The IIHF will never allow fighting. You don’t see stick swinging or spearing to the point that the only way to stop it is to allow fighting. In fact the IIHF referees have more guts to call major penalties as I personally saw at the recent WJC in Ottawa. Going short for 5 minutes really deters players from vigilantly acts. The NHL does not need to employ scrapers for their only value, to fight. Honestly what’s the point of a hockey fight when two goons go at it when the sole purpose is for entertainment? It’s for fans that have paid to see the fight, not for the guy who gets speared. The ones who don’t care much for it don’t go. Conducting a poll at a hockey game about fighting is like asking is there beer at a pub. Ask the people who don’t go to games and why they don’t go. I’ll take a wild guess and say its more than 20,000 people who don’t attend games

Colin Campbell should be more involved with players who fight than players who call their ex girlfriends "sloppy seconds." Jason Spezza should have been penalized heavily for spearing, and any other selfish acts of violence should get suspended. Often players barely get fined. I'm going to guess and say it creates drama that leads to "spectacular fights." Most fights could have been prevented if the refs would make use of their ability to hand out 5 minute penalties along with a game misconduct.

The ability to police the game properly is available on TV, infact in High Def most days. If you want a good scrap there are lots of MMA shows on TV and also the WWE. If you want to watch hockey why does so many people pay to get a fight in? Who has heard this before? Went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.

Am I the first one to point out that football, baseball, soccer, basketball, well I could list a whole pile of other sports that don’t allow fighting so why hockey and not every sport? Look into the history of hockey and you will see why it was there before, and why we don’t need it anymore. Seriously why do clean hard hits start a fight. That reminds me of grade 4 when we were cry babies. “WAAA” he hit me.

The young Whitby man who ultimately was too stupid for his own good was let down by people who value entertainment over human life. Most men are idiots when the get pissed off like Todd Bertuzzi and Marty McSorely. These three men were severely punished and why. The NHL allows fighting so the NHL should take the sole responsibility for “over board” acts that we all know what happened. Why blame the player when the line not to cross is invisible. If there was no fighting in the NHL, Todd Bertuzzi would never have done what he did that day. It is simple as to why he did it.

If we continue to allow fighting the NHL will have some poor sucker who emotionally could not handle the situation and maybe kill someone. On January 14 Carcillo who plays for the Coyotes smashed his head on the ice during a fight. Lucky for him, Right!

Matt, 2009-01-17 00:58:24

Peter - There are more fights in Baseball and Basketball! Baseball has bench clearing brawls! EVERY fight in baseball is a bench clearing brawl! The exact same in Basketball!

If you don't believe me try watching TSN, Sportsnet etc. They always show the fights and there are plenty of fights in Baseball and basketball.

Ummm Soccer??? These guys are too busy falling down with nobody around! I've seen Soccer players attack referee's!

Sorry but you're examples are not very good are they?

Capthook, 2009-01-16 20:29:52

Re: Shawn

Players don't just decide to fight someone at a faceoff circle. There is always some reason for it. A cheap shot that was thrown earlier in the game or in some game maybe a year ago even. The point of it is to remind the guy that he WILL have to pay for past actions!

Guys like Probert, Domi, McSorley would drop the gloves and scrap just for the hell of it but that's a rarity in todays NHL.

The instigator rule has allowed the little wimps of the hockey world to run players, slash them and cheap shot them with no retribution. Some of the greatest players in the history of the NHL beat the crap out of a guy if he took a cheap shot at them! I'm talking about guys like Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Ted Lindsay etc.

Fighting is required in the NHL to keep the peace! If you don't want a punch in the face, DON'T take liberties! It's very simple!

Again if you don't enjoy the NHL game - go watch figure skating!

Quick comment about no fighting in International hockey like the Olympics, World Juniors etc - These are short tournaments! Very rarely is there a player that takes cheap shots at other players in these tournaments because he doesn't want to cause his team to be short handed. In a long NHL season that see's you play the same team a number of times you will remember a cheap shot that one of that teams players gave out and you'll repay him in a different game. These are completely different types of hockey games.
Capthook, 2009-01-16 19:58:20

Yes it sells, yes people like it but what does it teach our kids. Does it tell that grownups who get ticked off or can not control their temper are allowed to attempt to beat it out on the other person? Is it ok to be a big bully on ice but not at school? Do they allow these types of fights in football, baseteball or soccer? If people want to watch a fight tune into MMA, boxing or wrestling.
Peter, 2009-01-16 18:19:00

Sorry you disagree, Shawn, but if there was more respect between players, fighters wouldn't be needed. There was a reason they came into the sport in the first place. Why else would General Managers hire players with little or no hockey skills? They had to protect their investment. They still have to. Goonery and fighting are two different items. Getting rid of the first is the only way to diminish the second! Even then, competetive spirit is going to burst a temper here and there, but you can point fingers at many sports for that.

Fighting will only be out of hockey when it is no longer needed, police it all you want. It is only a sympton of the real problem.

Rob B., 2009-01-16 17:25:43

main reasons given for fighting

1) rules don't protect players

Well change the rules

2) I like to watch it- boy thats a good reason

3) Need to vent, its a mans game. Guess they can't vent in southern climates, its only a northern issue

4) prevents injuries- ya right all the goons are the ones who do all the cheap stuff because they can't beat the hockey players at hockey. hockey players play hockey, they only have to fight the non hockey players which they don;t do because that takes them out of the game so they get a goon to do it just adding more goons and dirty play

5) only had 1 death so why change it- Guess it sucks to be that one guy who died for your viewing pleasure. at your job is it acceptable if someone dies, not anywhere in Canada is it. Oh sorry, accept in hockey

6) fines don't stop players- ya they nickle and dime to get as much as they can so that they can blow it on fines. no one likes losing money, any amount. I know a lot of millionaire and they are the cheapest guys i know and argue every penny. Thats why they are millionaires.

7) its always been a part of hockey- well know it hasn't, just in your recent memory. Its been around for over 200 years. 50 years of fighting does not make always.

You can be tough and not have a fight. Fighting just occurs because you are frustrated things aren't going your way and figure might makes right.
wayne, 2009-01-16 15:59:16

Nancy Sheppard: "I watch very little NHL just because of the fighting interruptions" Wow, that statement makes me think that there are fight after fight in the NHL, too many to count in any given game, but that is far from the truth...You are lucky if you see 1 fight per game, and that is causing too many interruptions??

There are far more injuries and career ending events due to dirty plays then there are from fighting...If fighting is banned then we will see many of the elite players loose their careers over bad plays and all we will be left with is mediocre, dirty players; the NHL would definately suck then...The instigator rule needs to be removed so players can pick up for their teammates without getting the extra penalty...

As for fines deterring players from making dirty hits, it does not work...A fine of say $50,000 to a player who is making millions just does not cut it, its like fining a normal person $20, does nothing to deter from doing it again...Now if he is going to get a black eye for doing it he will think twice before he makes that dirty hit...

I agree with Rob B., if Gretzky was playing with a no fighting rule his career would be completely different...He probably would have been beaten out of the game from dirty hits and would have never scored as much as he did...

And another thing, I have yet to see someone turn away from watching a fight when one breaks out in a game...Most people jump to their feet and watch diligently until the fight is over...The only people who are calling for a ban to fighting are people who do not watch hockey, people who like to complain about anything THEY think is wrong and idiots who do not understand the game...And most of the media seems to fall under the second category: complainers who think they know what is right and by being part of the media think they can speak out and get it banned...

Also, I think Bettman should step down, he is ruining the NHL...He thinks expansion into the US is good but they do not want hockey down there, no more than I want baseball up here...Bring a couple more franchises to Canada and let the REAL fans support them!!!
superFLINT, 2009-01-16 15:04:00

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