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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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I agree Hurricane. No its not quite as simple as ban fighting but steps need to be made in all directions of safety in the sport. Lets get the players playing the game and the refs policing it. Lets make it safer to play the game. lets get away for the feel of the need for vigilante justice by the players. If plays are undesirable and unsafe as the league and players feel then make them cost a lot so players don't feel they need to add to the punishment escalating the violence and threat to safety. I feel Steve Moore wouldn't have broken his kneck if his socalled allies didn't come to rescue him by diving on Bertuzzi's back to attack him from underneath bertuzzi. If league rules were harsh enough he would have been penalized heavily for what he did in past. Then the players would have felt less need for their own justice. Also if their own justice carried a higher penalty once again they would do it less.
wayne, 2009-01-15 12:42:53

Fighting has no place in hockey at any level. Lets see fast skating, nice moves, stickhandling,great shots, and beautiful 2 way competition. Keep the fighting to the ring.
Richard Lucas, 2009-01-15 12:14:02

Fighting in hockey should be banned. In no other sport, other than boxing and wrestling, is fighting allowed with large financial penalties and suspensions levied if it does occur. Hockey is the only "sport" to condone this kind of "let's take it outside" behaviour and it's just had its day.

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

Fighting has been a part of hockey since hockey started and I do not think it should be banned. If the player who played for the Whitby Dunlops had lived this would in large part not be an issue. Yes it is a physical and sometimes dangerous sport but that is why so many people play the game, they love the thrill and the action and that is why so many people watch the game. The game today is watered down enough as it is lets not water it down any more.
LB, 2009-01-15 11:06:32

Yes a fight is all right now and then. They get paid for it. The fans want to see it. The fans pay to see it. The owners make good money off it. Ya some body gets hurt sometimes but they agreed to do it.

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

It's been a tradation of Hockey for quite sometime now to have a scrap or two during the game. It's better off that way in the long run. After all it's a selling point in NHL from EA Sports. Why stop now
A Hockey Fan, 2009-01-15 10:11:23

Yes fighting is not for eveyone, yes the players may get hurt. What we don't see are the rock hard elbow, shoulder pads. The fact that when there is a hard hit from behind and the ref didn't see it but us at home do the player is booed in the arena but noting happens to the offensive player. (a pack my have went over the line) stop the game!! check the replay. A player is creamed flat out in the boards and out cold. We'll deal with it later. The stick's players play with are not like the wood ones there was at one time. Are we going to say if they don't stop using them as axe's we want them to be made out of rubber?

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

"Heat of the moment" altercations are a given and if they are reactive to the current situation then let em go at it. However, when I see 2 blockheads dropping gear and dancing around 3 feet from each other in an attempt to get the first punch in, that is when it is ridiculous. The ref should skate up to them and send them on their way even before it starts. I'll go to the ring if I wish to see that.
Ken, 2009-01-15 08:56:52

Be interesting to know who is being polled when they say 60% want fighting in hockey banned. If it were just hockey fans, than that poll means something. Like the spring bear hunt, millions of people who aren't affected (those living in metropoliton Toronto) were those who affected change. Now we see bears on our property (North of hwy 7) 7 times in the summer. Shouldn't allow those disinterested in hockey have a say on whether fighting in hockey should be banned.
ed, 2009-01-15 08:25:00

Fighting in Hockey should be banned period, it's had it's day.Cheap shots can result in suspensions, take some money out of the players pockets and it will soon stop, a quick fast paced skilled game is much more entertaining, proof being in the Stanley Cup playoffs,I don't remember anyone fighting, a cheap shot penalty can cost you the game and a series. How many players in the NHL have ever been in a fight, the majority haven't and don't,it's just not necessary anymore.
Ed, 2009-01-15 07:43:54

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