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
Wrong - they fight more than ever for no reason. Lined up for a faceoff - hey, you wanna fight? OK! Drop the gloves and off they go. I'm fine with one player getting mad at another for a cheap shot or protecting another player because of a cheap shot but now, more than ever players are fighting simply because that's there only role on the team. I'm not asking to ban fighting because you can't stop players from fighting, just like you can't ban drivers from speeding. You have to give bigger penalites for the offense to get the cement heads out of the league. 2 game suspension for fighting, next fight you get 4 games, next fight you get 8, keep doubling.
Shawn, 2009-01-16 14:17:06
Back in the 70's, 80's players fought because they were defending their players mostly, sometimes for pride, but there was an element of respect. Now that player respect seems to be gone, banning fighting may have worse implications than anyone can predict.
Rob B., 2009-01-16 14:07:51
"Give longer penalties, fine them for cross checking" give me a break! NHL Hockey is a rough game played by MEN! If they want to fight they'll fight. They rarely fight anymore unless there is a reason. If you (170 lb little man) want to take a cheap shot at the other teams top players the only real deterent is a smack in the mouth! Fines and penalties don't stop the dirty crap. Knowing you'll get a punch in the face or one of your stars will, is definitely a deterent!
Again these are MEN not boys! If you don't like the game then go watch figure skating! Believe me the NHL won't miss you!
Capthook, 2009-01-16 13:30:31
Are players stronger, taking boxing lessons, no doubt. A big hit, changes the momentum of the game, a big goal changes the momentum, and so does a big fight. Whether you call it tradition or the way the game is played, let's stop trying to change everything because the media has put a spin on a story, can we not let things be. I enjoy seeing the tough guys scoring goals, giving big hits and smiling with 3 teeth missing!!! Everytime an isolated dincident happens, 18 major media outlets start crying for change. Enough already, let the game be played amongst individuals who have chosen to be put in the spotlight
jayg, 2009-01-16 12:40:23
If there were two hockey leagues being run within the same city. One using the present day rules and the other with more strict rules ie auto expulsion for a shove or grapple. You would have one full to the rafters and the other practically empty staduim for the players family and other bored spectators. Do I need to say which one the majority would want?
however for safety..It is time to make them tighten up helmet wearing regs. and the precombat dance should bring on a delay of game penalty. See, we already have enough rules.
peiguy, 2009-01-16 12:29:24
We had many smaller skilled players who were very thankful for the guys on the team who could "take care" of the rough stuff if need be. I often came to the defence of my players who were abused or violated during the game by the other team. I was tossed from many games for fighting for teammates who were not capable of defending themselves. I had the ability to play the game at a high level but I could also fight well. Because of this ability I was often "recruited" to join teams in tournaments or leagues just in case something bad happened on the ice. I did not have to pay to play in these tournaments or leagues because I was insurance for my team. The other players recognized my value not only as a player but also as a fighter. I never went into a game thinking I was going to punch out this guy or that guy, I just went out to play and then I "reacted" to anything nasty that happened on the ice. I found that when I joined the "non contact men's leagues it was much worse. In these leagues you have players of many different calibers and levels all playing in the same league and this would result in many violent incidents. Often players who were much more skilled or talented were the "Targets" of the other team. Often the only way to stop these players would be to "chop them down" or cheap shot them. I have seen many of my teammates get speared, spit on, hit with sticks and verbally and physically threatened. I have been thrown out of many games "protecting" my friends in these cases. I find that many of these players in these leagues believe that because there is no fighting that they can take liberties with the other players and nothing will happen. Many time I felt bad for some of the on ice incidents but my teammates were always quick to praise me for sticking up for them.I still play hockey for fun and have not been in a hockey fight for 4 or 5 years but even now when I play in old timers (over 35) tournaments there are still guys out there who are still nasty. I have been coaching hockey and lacrosse for years and I do not teach my players how to fight. Every team has a kid or two that plays on the edge...we try to teach them discipline and respect your opponents but even still there are fights. My son is the biggest kid in the league in hockey and lacrosse and he is constantly being challenged to fight by smaller players. He does not want to fight but he has had to protect himself many times and he has done well. Now teams are looking at him for his size and toughness and it kind of bothers me because I know where this may lead to. Remember that not all players fight, but if your kid is not a fighter and some kid challenges him or punches him in the face, you hope that someone will help your kid out so he doesn't get beat up bad. it is one of those catch 22 situations that you just hope doesn't happen but it does...The Don Sanderson incident was very tragic and I feel really sorry for his family but I do believe that this was just a fluke incident. In all of my fights I never had the intent to seriously hurt or kill the other player...i was just trying to settle the score for a previous violation of the code.
I realize that not all will agree with my comment and that id fine, but I had to defend the other side. It would be nice if the game of hockey did not have fighting but I think it is a nessessary outlet when you have grown men flying around the ice with weapons in their hands. As far asd all of the people who say that the Olympics and World Juniors is the best hockey, i cannot disagree more. I was sick of watching all of the stickwork, diving, pushing and shoving after every whistle in the final of the junior game. Canada was very disaplined but man if this was a CHL game there would have been a couple of fights for sure. When Victor Hedmann grabbed Esposito in the head lock and the other time when the Swedish goalie came out after the Canadian player and a big wrestling match ensued, was that fun to watch. Because there was no fighting you had all of these guys skating around yapping and acting tough...that's hockey right?
ron Baldwin, 2009-01-16 12:00:42