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Fighting in Hockey

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by JR, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. JR

    JR Active Member

    Since Colton "Don't Call me Bobby" Orr knocked out Todd Fedoruk and Colin Campbell's comment that "we should ask the question" about fighting, the debate is in full stride again.

    I love a good fight as much as anyone but when you see what happened to Fedoruk in this fight and the one earlier in the season he had with 6-foot-7, 270-pound Derek Boogaard, I agree with Colin--no shrinking violet in his day--you gotta ask the question. Is it time to ban fighting in hockey?

    My basic problem with the usual mantra that it's "part of the game" is that fighting virtually disappears in the most intense hockey games of the season--the playoffs and is non existent in the best hockey in the world--The Olympics.

    In hockey circles this is like the Dems/Repubs policital debate. There is no middle ground.

    If you're against fighting, you're a girlie man and if you're for it, you're a knuckle dragging mouth-breather.

    If you haven't seen the Boogard KO on Fedoruk, here you go.

  2. ondeadline

    ondeadline Active Member

    I'd be fine with all fighting being eliminated except those fights that are the product of a passionate rivalry between the two players. This dance-card crap where one guy asks the other guy if he wants to go and a fight start much like a dance at a dance club is just useless BS.

    If referees never missed a player taking liberties with another team's star, then I'd say you don't need fighting. But as long as there are Mick McGoughs among the referee corps, that's not going to happen. There has to be a recourse, and fighting is one of them.

    You make a good point about how fighting goes away in games of significance. There's a reason that Laraque was a healthy scratch for much of the Oilers' run to the Stanley Cup finals. So why did the Penguins trade for him knowing that he'll likely sit some during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Of course, to protect Sid.
  3. JR

    JR Active Member

    The other thing "it's always been part of the game" is forty years ago, the players were mostly all "normal size"--5'11, 175 lbs. A player over 6' was considered a bit of a freak. Now they're all linebackers on blades.

    So when you get a guy like Boorgard, who's 8 inches taller and perhaps 90 lbs heavier, you're going to inflict some serious damage with a full right. Just ask Fedoruk about the two titanium plates in his head.
  4. ondeadline

    ondeadline Active Member

    And 40 years ago, you had few (if any) no-talent goons who had no actual hockey skills.
  5. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Banning fighting seems like a too-scripted hey-look-at-us move for hockey. It will make news for a few days, but it's not going to drive millions of fans back. And it might push a few of the diehards away, and certainly the league can't afford that.

    I'm not a diehard, so I do probably fall in the middle. I don't need to see fights, but if one breaks out I'm not turning my back.
  6. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    I'd be interested to see just how many diehard fans would pull away if you nixed fighting. Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with banning it, although I'll admit I get a bit of a charge watching them. But I get that same charge watching a baseball brawl and I would NEVER recommend making those legal.
  7. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Neither leaving it in nor taking taking it out will add or subtract to the fan base, so personally I couldn't care less.

    If there were fewer teams in the league, there would fewer no-talent hacks whose only attribute is cheap, dirty play and fighting.

    Hockey still has so many problems this is the least of them.
  8. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Is it possible to find middle ground?

    Increasing the penalty for fighting, for example? Instead of getting a 5-minute major for it, boot the fighters for the rest of that game and the next. Don't allow the team to replace him on the roster for the next game either.
  9. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    It doesn't bother me, but on the other hand, I don't think anything would be missing from the game if it went away.
  10. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    There were no-talent hacks on rosters before the 90s expansion whose sole role was fighting, I don't think expansion has anything to do with it.
  11. JR

    JR Active Member

    I'll throw this out.

    Ban all hits to the head--like they've done in football.

    Elbow a guy in the face--a two minute or a five and a game depending on the severity of the blow.

    Fights? Same thing.
  12. JR

    JR Active Member

    I think you'd have to go back the Broadstreet Bullies days. That's when teams hired goons to protect their star players against Dave Schultz.

    Up until then, nope, the designated thug didn't exist. Players could fight (hello, Gordie Howe) but they could play.
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