Hockey Fighting: A Dinosaur’s Point Of View

To Ban Or Not To Ban Hockey Fighting?

Well here we go again!!!  After a terrible accident in the Montreal / Toronto game where Hab’s tough guy, George Parros, had his arms tied up in a tussle with Toronto tough guy, Colton Orr, while being yanked on, he fell to the ice face first.  When all was said and done he ended up with a concussion which is a surprise to nobody.  Thank goodness George Parros will be okay.  

The out-cry of BAN FIGHTING  in hockey and the NHL started on twitter almost immediately and was the main topic of conversation on every radio talk show from coast to coast.  

I’ve gone on record and even wrote an article about how I don’t like “staged fighting” in the NHL but I am nowhere even close to thinking hockey should ban fighting.  I will concede that which ever side of the debate folks are on they bring up valid points for both the pros and the cons.

Fight_in_ice_hockey_2009 

Even though I am on the “pro” side of this debate, there are aspects in fighting in todays game that really bug me.   Because we are in Winnipeg, I’ll use the Jets point of view.

In today’s NHL, when  a team wants to flex their muscle the two heavyweights on each team eventually get together and scrap.  Why?  What does that prove?  The supporters of fighting in hockey will state that fighting is a way of policing itself.  Okay?  How does tough-guy vs tough-guy justify their claim that fighting is a way of policing itself?  Huh?

Lets use the example of Tuesday’s Jet / Oiler game where Jets rookie Mark Scheifele gets run into the boards from behind by Ladislav Smid and then for good measure takes a cross-check to the back of the head.  Jets response!?!  ZERO!!!  Devin Setogucchi was the closest Jet and should have answered the bell right then and there!!!  That’s a situation where the players would be  “policing themselves”.  OR, should the Jets have waited for their tough guy on this night, Chris Thorburn, to fight Oiler tough guy, Luke Gazdic?  What the hell does that prove?  How is that holding Smid responsible for his actions?  I read somewhere today that it’s basically about extracting some sort of revenge.  Well, I have to admit that’s EXACTLY what it’s about. 

I dare one Jets fan, pro or anti fighting, to say they didn’t want somebody on the ice to “tune-up” Smid right there on the spot.  AND those same purists would be singing the praises of a team-mate coming to the aid of another not unlike last year when Bogo came in when Kane took a cheap-shot in Toronto.

The anti-fighting brigade have no idea what it’s like to to battle day in and day out and know your team-mates have your back.  Hockey is a fast paced, emotional game, and STUFF happens.

Earlier on in the game, Luke Gazdic took a run at Toby Enstrom and I was pissed off.  That happens far too often for my liking and it fascinates me how teams would run Toby with him having a 6’5 265 pound partner.  If Buff loves playing with Enstrom as much as he says he does, he should start doing a better job of looking after his little buddy.  After a little bit of twitter debate, I sent out this tweet:

 

It didn’t take long to get a response to that tweet and I wasn’t surprised by the answer. 

 

That was a response I would have expected from a guy that’s been in the trenches.  Obviously, we date ourselves as we come from the same era but that is still the mindset of a lot of hockey fans.  

I have to admit that I really do believe that fighting in hockey will become less and less as time goes on but it will be a slow process as long as this current generation is still in power positions in the NHL.  For the younger generation that can’t understand this position, keep in mind that your generation will have the opportunity to change the game.  BUT, I wouldn’t hold me breath because it is hard to shake the “Dinosaur” attitude when it’s your players that are at risk.  Would you trust that the league could properly police itself with guys like Marchand , Rinaldo, Ott, etc. roaming the ice with Carte Blanche?  

I’m going to catch a lot of flack for this stance but I don’t care because I’m not the only Dinosaur out there.

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Comments welcome below 

Comments

  1. Darryl Mills says

    You may call yourself a dinosaur, but apparently there are a lot of dinosaurs skating on NHL ice surfaces every night because players OVERWHELMINGLY believe there is still and
    should be a place for fighting in hockey.

    I understand the concerns of the anti-fighting crowd and have concerns myself but if fighting was completely removed I think the NHL game would suffer.

  2. Scott Campbell says

    Ho ho Mitch, I had forgot that my tweets were available for republication. lol But I stand by it. No broken face, but today still means an answer. The only other way of stopping some of that is having a top power play in league, and that would only stop some, not all. I agree with the staged BS totally. I fought a guy like Bilodeau because he crumpled Lukowich into the boards, or stabbed Gary Smith after smothering puck. And I got tons of ice-time, no staged bs when nothing had happened.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I always think of Jimmy Mann/Paul Gardiner. That was very very extreme but sent a real strong message. Same with SEMENKO, any player that touched Gretzky answered for it not their teams tough-guy

  3. Apparently cementhead was at the Jets game I attended. What would I have said had I run into him. OK, nothing…lol
    I can’t add anything to what you said, I agree. Guess I’m a she-dinosaur.

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