SUN Hockey Pool

Fighting words

CHRIS STEVENSON, TIM BAINES, DON BRENNAN AND BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDI

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

CHRIS STEVENSON: So you're using the Yogi Berra logic? "Nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded?"

TIM BAINES: Don is smarter than the average Berra.

BRENNAN:: The fighting topic is no debate. That's because anybody who has seriously ever played or watched the sport knows fighting should be a part of it. And if you guys don't agree, I'll punch you out.

BAINES: Don, you've already tried to punch me out ... and look where that got you. A one-way ticket to the "concussed" hotel.

BRENNAN: It's just booooooring. Let's debate (yawn) visors, too.

BRUCE GARRIOCH: I like the measures that have been taken in junior hockey. I haven't looked lately, but I think fighting is up in the NHL. I don't know if you could ever completely ban it. The guys who fight now have to able to play as well.

BAINES: The light-in-the-loafers crowd would have you believe that banning fighting would take all the danger out of hockey. Because there's no fighting in football, does it become any less dangerous? Hockey is played at such a ferocious pace, there are bound to be injuries, some of them severe. That's the nature of the game. Always was. Always will be.

BRENNAN: Nobody likes fighting. Most fans just turn their backs when there's a fight. Disgusted. Or, they all stand and cheer. I can't remember which it is. Bruce?

GARRIOCH: Maria and I watched Slapshot Monday night. The most disgraceful part was the guy stripping at the end.

BRENNAN: Hang on a second guys. Stevenson must be looking up stats. This should be interesting. Not.

STEVENSON: I suppose it's smart to have a rule to keep your helmet on for a fight. There definitely should be a rule you have to keep your pants on.

GARRIOCH: Who was the best fighter of all-time? Dave "The Hammer" Schultz.

STEVENSON: Pound for pound, I'd take John Ferguson. Ferocious. Mean. He had huge fists for a guy that wasn't that big. He once fired a puck at a teammate's head for talking to a member of the other team.

GARRIOCH: He once pounded his fist on a table I was at with him and sent my beer flying. We were watching the Sharks and they were losing. God bless his soul.

BRENNAN: An underrated fighter was Wendel Clark. You remember him, eh Tim? He had a hole-in-one that time you golfed with him. Good job on that story, too. Wendel would get a guy down and continue to pound him into the ice. He was relentlessly mean.

BAINES: I remember Ian Turnbull taking on two guys. I didn't think he was much of a fighter, till he held off one guy, while he pounded the other. Or maybe that's just my selective memory kicking in. Yeah, I love a good scrap and it's not always the heavyweights that provide the best tilts. Two guys standing toe-to-toe raining punches on each other appeals to me. Animal instinct.

GARRIOCH: Ian Turnbull? How about Dave "Tiger" Williams. I heard he even used to fight in oldtimers games.

BRENNAN: I remember years ago, when I worked at the Toronto Sun, Bobby Elliott had a quote from Rance Mulliniks (or Garth Iorg, they were one and the same) about the Jays taking 2-of-3 from the Tigers. "If you don't like 2-out-of-3, you don't like big (breasts)," Mulliniks (or Iorg) said. I think the same applies here.

STEVENSON: What I don't like now is a player just fills in somebody with a legal check and somebody almost always jumps the hitter. If it's a clean check, just take it. You try and get the guy back with a good hit later. Nobody takes a number anymore.

BAINES: Does the NHL need to put new policies in place to appease the pacifists? Polls show that the majority of Canadians would rather fighting be eliminated.

STEVENSON: Who are the Canadians they're polling? Hockey fans? I think anybody who's a casual fan would say they don't like fighting. I'd be shocked if real hockey fans were saying they don't like fighting.

BRENNAN: That's exactly right, Chris. Our company conducts a poll and asks people on the street. That's like asking me my opinions on fashion. I don't really pay attention, so I'm not the guy to comment. Ditto with the people who claim they don't like fighting.

GARRIOCH: Tim, stop with these questions. We're reminiscing. That's what guys our age do.

BRENNAN: I have an idea for the pacifists. It's called curling.

BAINES: You shouldn't be knocking a sport that allows beer drinking while you're playing.

GARRIOCH: Fighting is part of the culture of the sport. This is the part of the Digital Faceoff where nobody cares what I think anyway. No debate here because we all agree.

BRENNAN: I agree with Bruce. Another gem of a topic, Tim. Good thing we're so good at straying from your question. Which was ...? I don't think much of the timing, either. You just blew my chance to go to the gym. I'm trying to bulk up so I can kick your ass next time you hit me from behind, which you're so fond of doing.

BAINES: Don, you've been doing a pretty good job of bulking up your belly the last year. Not going to do you much good unless you want to take me on in sumo wrestling.

GARRIOCH: When do you leave for the beach for your party with guys who turned 50?

BAINES: Speaking of bellies ... That's gonna be ugly. Try waxing this time, Tim.


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