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Added Scrutiny on Hockey Fights

From Nancy Armour at Forbes.com:

It was an on-ice code of justice, and it’s proven so effective over the years that players like Probert, McCarty and Derek Boogaard built careers dishing out punishing hits.

But Boogaard’s sudden death Friday five months after a season-ending concussion, and his family’s decision to donate his brain to the Boston University project that found Probert had signs of brain trauma resulting from blows to the head, is bringing added scrutiny to fighting’s place in the NHL.

“I think the league does a good job. They’re trying to limit head shots,” Tampa Bay Lightning center Nate Thompson said Monday. “I don’t think they can (ban fighting entirely). That’s part of the game. It’s a physical sport and it always has been. If they take that out of the game that takes a part of the history out of the game.”

Like football, hockey is a game of controlled violence.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: derek+boogaard, fighting


Hank1974's avatar

I get so sick and tired when I hear people argue that fighting needs to remain because of it’s ‘history’ in the game.
That’s BS! There are so many aspects of ice hockey that were part of the game that have since been removed without any issues.
Forward passes? Not allowed in it’s inception.
Goalies leaving their feet? Not allowed.
Blue lines. Added several years after the fact.
6 skaters aside - shaved to 5.
No helmets, wooden sticks, no goalie masks,.... the list goes on and on.

People seem to think that there was nothing less than 12 fights a game in the 40’s and 50’s. A game so rough and tough, WWII seemed like a walk in the park.

For anyone with the NHL network, watch some classic games from that era. Or even in the 60’s and 70’s and you’ll see how downright docile the game looks.
If you crashed into the goalie, there wasn’t a 22-minute melee afterward.
Players simply picked themselves up and went to the face-off dot.
Goride Howe never actually recorded a Gordie Howe hattrick. But if you listen to some ignorant people, they’ll tell you how he fought 4 times every game inbetween hattricks.

This isn’t 1962 anymore where the biggest guy on the ice was 5’9” and 165lbs.
These current enforcers are HUGE! Guys are being concussed all the time from punches and some, like Todd Fedorok, had his oracle bone caved in from a Boogard punch.
The lasting effects from these punches can be devastating.

And it’s not like it used to be where heavyweights were feared by all. HW’s no longer fight anyone but fellow goons. So guys like Ovechkin, Kronwall and Cooke can continue to leave their feet when delivering hits, or crush people from behind.
They’re simply not scared of goons because they’re not expected to fight them - if at all.

It’s time the NHL realized the danger in fighting. They need to remove it for the players safety.
The only thing fighting does is entertain. That’s it. It doesn’t prevent dangerous plays from happening on the ice. If it did, then why did we read about a new ‘dangerous hit’ every single week this season.

I’m not a blood thristy teenager like I was back in the day. I don’t need to get my rocks off watching two guys bash each other anymore.
I want a clean game of hockey and it’s time the league and officials policed it properly so we had it.
Because it’s very apparent fighting doesn’t prevent the shenanigans that occur on a nighly basis. All it’s doing is putting good people like Boogard in jeopardy.

This man most likely committed suicide from depression - a well known symptom of concussions.
But what does the NHL care? 20,000 fans on their feet cheering a brewha is music to their ears. And while the poor Boogard family is mourning the loss of a loved one, another giant pugilist will be happy to take his spot on the ice.
Clark Gillies anyone?

Posted by Hank1974 on 05/17/11 at 11:00 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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