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Stop The Fighting But Continue To Fight

from Ken Dryden at the Globe and Mail,

It can and it is all the time. “Fight” is not “fighting” or high-speed cheap shots. Fight is never giving up. Gretzky, Orr, Richard, Lemieux, Lafleur – they were great fighters. They fought with their head, hands, legs, will, and need to be the best, and rarely with their fists. Crosby too. The toughest players aren’t those who hit but those who are willing to be hit, to fight their way to the net, to fight expectation and disappointment to score the game-changing goal.

Give up fighting and you get more stick-swinging as some remember from the past? Who were the stick-swingers? How many? A handful; almost nobody – and certainly not these players. Fight is the playoffs, the Olympics and World Cup where fighting and head shots are rare because the stakes are so high and the distractions so consequential that there’s no place on the ice for goons. It’s where concussions are rare too.

“Fight” is fighting spirit. “Playing on the edge” is about physical risk, but about creative risk too. All this is Canadian hockey at its best.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Moq's avatar

Excellent article.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 01/07/12 at 01:51 PM ET


What a stupid article. You say that the “fight” is, among other things, the strength to take a hit and that this fight is where concussions are rare. Why don’t you ask Crosby, Kariya, Mueller, and all the other guys who have concussions from taking a hit (not a punch) if they think this is accurate? For all we know, the guys I mentioned may never return to the NHL, and their injury is from taking hard hits, not from engaging in fighting. Why don’t you try doing a comparison of concussions, those that came from a hard hit, and those that came from fighting. I think you will find the latter category dismally low in comparison.

Fighting by itself doesn’t cause concussions. It CAN if, for example, a player fell and hit his head on the ice after taking a punch (and he didn’t have his helmet on). But the majority of brain injuries come from hard hits, like those that got Crosby. And notice, the hits that took him out were never deemed illegal hits. Even with rules to eliminate head hits, it still happens and will continue to happen. It would be better if the NHL had better helmets (i.e., padding that absorbed the hit rather than transferred it) but for now, this is what we’ve got.

Fighting has always been a part of ice hockey, and always will be. It is an entertaining part of the game and can even be a good way for players to vent frustrations (i.e., the head hit on Doan by Wisniewski and the fight that followed after that - and going by Doan’s interviews, he looked at it as a way for them to settle that difference and then put it behind them). But after reading this puke article, I have to wonder if you know what hockey is?

Posted by DesertDog from Arizona on 01/07/12 at 08:47 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

But after reading this puke article, I have to wonder if you know what hockey is?

Posted by DesertDog from Arizona on 01/07/12 at 05:47 PM ET

About the author of this”puke” article.

Conn Smythe Trophy winner in 1971.
Calder Memorial Trophy winner in 1972.
Vezina Trophy winner in 1973, 1976, 1977*, 1978*, 1979*.
Stanley Cup champion in 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979.

I think he knows a bit more about the game than you give him credit for.(sarcasm)

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 01/08/12 at 12:29 PM ET


Kate, Gretzky was arguably the best player to ever take to the ice. If not the best, certainly among the best of all time. But look what happened when he tried to start coaching and running a team.

I’m not doubting the author’s gaming history; that would be foolish. Obviously, my remark was sarcasm. But just because you can play the game doesn’t mean your knowledge of the game will carry over to other aspects of the game (writing/blogging included). And I completely disagree with the author on this point.

Posted by DesertDog from Arizona on 01/08/12 at 08:55 PM 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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