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
However, that being said, it is paramount that the "cheap shots" and "finishing the check" long after the puck has moved on have got to be removed too. In spite of all of the rhetoric by the players, there is NO RESPECT for any other player on the ice. EVERY GAME features boarding that is replayed time and time again by the sports networks and many times there are no penalties called. I can't believe that the referees don't see these plays because they occur right in front of them most of the time but they refuse to make the proper calls. I saw one incident this past week where the camera followed a player from centre ice who was skating as hard as he could so he could hit an opponent into the end boards. As I recall, there used to be a limit to the number of strides that a player could take before a hit like that before it was called charging. However, no penalty was called.
These athletes are subject to enough risk to their bodies just in playing the game and having accidental injuries occur without having to put up with the insanity that currently reigns on the ice surface.
I have been a fan of hockey for over 55 years and the current game is far worse than it ever was when I first started watching. Solid body checks were something to behold in the 50's and 60's when guys such as Fernie Flamin would land a clean check in open ice that the opponent could see coming. It was nothing like the blind sided hits of Scott Stevens who rarely took on a player one-on-one for a hit. All of the concussions he caused, and many that could have been, were from hits that he gave while the opponent was carrying the puck and dealing with close checking by another player. That type of behaviour does not serve the game of hockey well and should be removed from the game. The number of players on the injury list each year is phenomenal considering their conditioning and most of them are caused by illegal or overzealous contact. Do we really pay our stars and quality players to spend most of their careers on the injury list or do we want to see them on the ice where we can appreciate their abilities?
I enjoy seeing quality hockey players making athletic moves that demonstrate their skills and what they are being paid for. I also enjoy a good clean hit in open ice. However, I fail to see how a hit from behind into the boards and other things that endanger the lives of the players are really necessary to make the game of hockey a thrilling sport.
Get rid of these incidents that are currently accepted in the league and instill some "real" respect in the players by penalizing them appropriately for the offense and not just giving them a 2-minute penalty that is no worse than a slap on the wrist. Then, there will be no need for fighting in the league at all.
Hurricane, 2009-01-15 11:43:05
Lets dig for coal. They get paid for it. Owners make money off it. They agree to do it. People want to buy it. Ya people get hurt sometimes but thats OK. WRONG
People cry bloody murder, worker abuse etc etc company gets fined, criminal charges are laid etc etc.
How come its OK to exploit a hockey player to make money with personal threat to life and limb but not any other worker in Canada?
wayne, 2009-01-15 10:48:19
So yes I like a good fight now and then if the two guys want to go at it fine. The ref's do step in when it is enough. They don't let the guys beat each other to a pulp. Address it no, monitor yes.
Address the players and coach, who intetionally go out on the ice to hurt a player......
Thesaint, 2009-01-15 09:44:03