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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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Many people who have never played the game of hockey at a high level seem to be experts on this discussion about hockey fighting. Even if you played in an "A" division "Men's League" in Toronto, you will have witnessed violence in hockey. What I have found was that in these men leagues you have players of various abilities and strengths and the better the player was the more abuse he will take. I have played with many guys who were not capable of protecting themselves from this abuse on the ice so I would often step in and handle the situation for them. I have seen players speared, kicked, threatened and more during these game and because of this fights have started. I have been thrown out of games many times for protecting my friends and players against goons who had no intention of playing the game fairly. I have played Junior B hockey in Toronto, Senior A hockey in Scarborough and in each of these league there was lots of fighting. Many of the smaller skilled players who played in the league were very grateful for the tough guys on their teams who would protect them from taking too much abuse. I have seen guys speared, kicked, spit on, threatened and physically abused during games and this has caused me to come to their defence and protect them. I never went to a game thinking I was going to fight that night...i usually just reacted to what ever happened on the ice. My teammates knew that they could just go out and play the game because there was always one or two guys who could "step up " if we had to.

When I was playing in these "non contact men's leagues" the abuse and assaults were endless because all of these players felt invincible because they knew if you fought you got a 3 or 5 game suspension so there was not much fighting. Instead guys were slashing and spearing and the stick work was much more intense. I hated playing in these league because there is only so much of this "toughness " one can take. You must have guys on the ice who can handle the rough stuff because there always seems to be a tough guy or goof on the other team who is just there to cause crap. I was often recruited to play in "non contact "tournaments because the teams all knew that there would always be trouble with at least one team during the tournament.

I did not always have to fight but if something happened on the ice that was stupid, then I would tell the other team that it may get out hand if this stuff continued and often the game would calm down. Sometimes I would have to fight someone who just didn't understand that this game was supposed to be fun. Many times I felt bad about what happened on the ice until my teammates would thank me or praise me for helping or protecting them.

I realized early in life that not all hockey players want to fight or even have the ability to fight , so having the "skill" to fight was a valuable commodity to have. I could play the game as well or better than many of my teammates but being able to protect my friends and players was something that they were grateful for.

Ron Baldwin, 2009-01-16 11:18:00

Fighting does not belong. The game should not be used as a forum to attack and maim another which under any other circumstance would result in criminal charges. I enjoy good, clean hockey...used to play myself but I watch very little NHL just because of the fighting interruptions; however I enjoy very much Olympic hockey where the game is played not fought.
Nancy Sheppard, 2009-01-16 11:02:01

I have been playing womens hockey for years without fighting OR hitting. Although I still think it is an unfair rule that woman cannot hit (seeing as we are hitting other women our size and not other men) , I agree with the harsher penalties added to mens for fighting. What is the point really? You guys already get to proove a point with a huge hit when their head is down, and thats more than women have ever had in this sport (aside from "rubbing someone out" on the boards. Not exactly my choice of dominance). Fighting in mens hockey should have the same punishment as womens hockey. When a fight breaks out in a mens game you often times hear the ref say "leave them", in order to let them fight more. But in women's hockey, a fight will rarely ever even get Started because the ref's jump on your back like white on rice. And then sometimes you will even get an unsportsmanlike for merely a punch or even just trying to initiate a fight. Its about Discipline Men. Its not socibly acceptable to "drop the gloves" in the street, so why is it so accepted on the ice? I don't think breaking your knuckles on someones helmet when it doesnt come off, or hanging your head when you lose a fight is cool. WE gota grow up, and accept that the game is changing, due to the people that have gotten hurt from fighting in hockey, a game that can be played without the physicality such as fighting just fine, and which also alows skilled players to showcase their talent more. The enforcers will still have a place in this game by throwing their bodies around for hits. So Don't Worry, Im sure you wont lose your jobs and your millions for fighting people. The coached probably saw more talent than just a "fighter" when they drafted you.
Megan L., 2009-01-16 10:54:52

ok this comment is for hurricane......

first thing is cheap shots get rid of... yes of course thats something that is illegal in the sport its not like they promote it its just it happens in the game... second you want them to ban finishing checks what kind of game is that, you sasying if a player dumps a puck or passes it off you cant finish your hit... there

would be a total of two hits a game if that was the case... that takes away the art of forechecking and even in the 50s and 60s they finished checks they just had a little different rules and less padding....

fighting is part of the game and no i dont agree with players being sent out just to try and start a fight but i love seeing a heat of the moment fight or a player protecting his own fight.... they can maybe do what the ohl is doing but to eliminate fighting all together it wont happen....
tyler, 2009-01-16 10:50:45

Slavery was a tradition. Tradition doesn't mean its right, just mean it hasn't progressed or changed. Things change.

Assumption- people who want fighting out of hockey don't like fighting. Not true. people who want fighting out of hockey care more for the well being of those too stupid to understand that their safety is at risk and put that above their own personal lust for blood. You can find anyone to do anything if you give them the right incentive and keep them ill informed about all the possible ramifications. How do you think suicide bombers are found?

You need fights to police the game because the refs can't do it. Ha, so improve the reffing and calls. Then people complain about all the penalties.

You need the goons to protect against the infractions on the stars. Seems that all the penalty minutes for this stuff are done by those goons and the only ones fighting are the goons. seems as though they are creating the fear they are protecting. Doesn't it make sense if you get rid of the goons that those infractions they are presumed to be preventing would actually go down a lot?
wayne, 2009-01-16 08:19:18

Some of the best hockey played has been played under the international rules which do not allow fighting. Look at the recent world junior games and see hockey played at it's best without any fighting. Time to get rid of the goons and let real hockey players play. Increase penalty times and impose hefty fines for excessive cross-checking or actions that do or could injure a player.
Bob E., 2009-01-15 20:30:32

Banning fighting in hockey can only improve the game. It will get rid of the goons. It will also reclaim my wife as a fan. Maybe others as well.
Len Dunsford, 2009-01-15 19:39:35

I guess we could have the NHL which has fighting and Canadian Hockey. Then can have a shinny league with the Maple Leafs and any other teams who wish to join with soft hits and no fighting allowed.

The TO media is getting way out of hand......
kwhunter, 2009-01-15 18:52:39

kwhunter, 2009-01-15 18:48:49

Fighting should not be a part of hockey. As a martial artist, I believe fighting should be done in a controlled and safe environment for the safety of the participants - in the ring with a canvas floor (not ice) and with proper protective gear (boxing gloves, not ice skates). It's only a matter of time before someone else dies. Probably because of a head injury or severed artery.
CMurray, 2009-01-15 18:02:04

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