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What do you think about the amount of fighting in the NHL?
Sun, February 13, 2011

Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux ripped the NHL Sunday for going easy on the key combatants in Friday's brawl-filled game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders.

Lemieux rips NHL for brawl fallout



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27 Comments

Who's to blame? the dirty players? the league executives that don't punish them when it is time ( and then you get players who decide to make justice themselves ). or the g.m.'s that sign the pay check for recidivists like matt cooke ? Is it cause of the blood thirsty fans like in philly ? In the end I think it's a little bit of everybody's fault, but let me not get too far away from the main subject here. Fighting was, is and always will be a part of hockey.The sport is just too physically intense, fast, emotional, whatever you wanna call it. You can't compare football or basketball or soccer or any other sport. I don't see players doing 40 second shifts in basketball or soccer or football cause they don't need to! that is what makes hockey different. every shift you just push so hard and sometimes you do get carried away with the emotions. thats why there are hard hits and there is fighting . it's a sport where you need to be tough and stand your ground. there's no two ways about it. certainly the dirty shots and the staged fights need to be eradicated from the sport but the good old passionate glove droping needs to stay. if it goes then how will players draw the limmits on the ice? refs certainly won't do it, they already have a hard time just calling the penalties adiquately.I think most people just want the dirty stuff gone without dramatically changing the sport into figure skating. (and for those who might wanna test me, yes i do play the game weekly in a beer league and even between freinds the emotions still flair up sometimes.)
dave, 2011-02-14 19:56:13

NHL hockey runs the risk of becoming a complete joke with anyone that has at least some knowledge of the game. I say this for 3 reasons:

1. Continual rule changes that are bastardizing the game - for me if games were officiated the way they're supposed to be, the only change needed was getting rid of the red line for offside passes.

2. Officiating in this league is brutal. Inconsistent - regular season vs. playoffs, and within the same game. Maybe the game's too fast for many of today's referees to keep up with - linesmen do a great job for the most part - and many times I get the sense that the refs think they're the game and not the players. The number of bad and non calls is definitely on the rise.

3. The topic of this page -fighting has no place in any sport. If Bettman's trying to appeal to the uneducated masses (i.e. much but not all of the US hockey market - not to insult the many great fans in the more traditional US hockey cities) then so be it, but I can't believe true and knowledgable hockey fans enjoy it - particularly the staged fights. Hate to keep harping on the officials but they're partly to blame - when bad calls or non calls keep happening, tempers flare up and fighting often results.

Much of today's problems with the game are due to the bonehead officials - of course if you listen to Bettman, there's nothing wrong with the game.
Jake, 2011-02-14 19:34:55

I have to agree with Patrice. I love playoff and Olympic hockey because it's about good checking and skill.

TC, you say that it's a passionate game, do you think Football and Basketball are not passionate games? They are constantly bumping up against each other and pushing each other yet, they do not fight. If they do, they face huge punishments.

If the NHL wants the game of hockey to be accepted as a safe sport, then they should get tough on the dirty players. Headshot are an automatic 35 game suspension - no pay.

I don't care if it's accidental of not and I don't care if it happens to Crosby. Make the call after the game so you can see the people who drop their heads in order to get hit in the head (aka the fakers/baiters/instigators).

If I wanted to see untrained people punching each other, I can go downtown and watch what happens when the bars let out. If I want to watch people hitting each other, I can UFC or boxing. Me, I'm a fan of skill and ability and that is what I want in my hockey game.
Slype, 2011-02-14 14:45:51

Ever play the game, Bob.Doubt it. If you did you were probably a center ice floater waiting for the real players to get you the puck.

Patrice, My IQ is probably higher than yours, but that's okay, I don't hold it against you. I don't agree with line brawls. However if you take fighting out of hockey you'll have more cheap shots like when Sidney Crosby got injured. Obviously you didn't play hockey either and don't understand it. It's a contact sport and tempers flair. You want to clean fighting in hockey, then put heavy fines on the dirty players and cheap shot artists.
tc, 2011-02-14 11:09:41

The travesty of that game wasn't so much the fighting, but what caused it. Players have no respect for each other.
Bob, 2011-02-13 17:31:42

Hockey could be such a wonderful, physical and athletic sport if played as such. The problem is that the IQ of the vast majority of fans is so low that fighting is seen as the highlight of the game. Players should take a few seconds to control themselves and stop lowering to the level of fans. They should educate their fans by showing what hockey is all about, as nobody can otherwise explain it to them
Patrice, 2011-02-13 16:01:47

Fighting in hockey is like popcorn at the movies - it goes hand in hand.
Larry, 2011-02-13 15:57:59

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