Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/21/09 at 08:38 AM ET
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
The last thing Dion Phaneuf has to prove to anybody is that he’s tough.
And the last place the Flames need him is in the penalty box or on the surgeon’s table.
So it’s laughable to hear that after establishing himself as the NHL’s hardest hitter the last four years, Phaneuf is being criticized for refusing to fight a no-name knucklehead in a meaningless exhibition game.
Phaneuf is maturing to the point he knows every team in the league would rather have him off the ice and is justified in being selective in terms of when to punctuate his hits with fights.
While this space has long embraced fighting in the game, it’s embarrassing for critics who flooded sports talk radio phone lines to be so lacking in hockey knowledge to suggest every time he lays a forward out cleanly, he needs to follow it up with his fists.
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