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Want Less Injuries? Increase Fighting.

From the Sporting News:

Philadelphia Flyers exec Bob Clarke is taking issue with the NHL’s methods for preventing concussions and reducing injuries. Clarke, notorious as a player in his team’s “Broad Street Bullies” heyday of the 1970s, favors a less subtle approach: increasing fighting to punish the offenders.

Clarke would prefer the league allow modern-day equivalents of former teammates Dave “The Hammer” Schultz, Bob “Battleship” Kelly and other notorious pugilists to police the game rather than give players who injure others a slap on the wrist with suspensions and fines.

“These players now have no fear of what they do on the ice, because their opponents can’t get even,” Clarke said, according to PhillyBurbs.com.

Clarke blames NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell.  “Campbell is the judge, jury and executioner,” Clarke said. “And it’s not working. It’s a total failure what Colie is trying to do.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+clarke, fighting

Comments

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Didn’t Bob Kelly once jump some Maple Leafs guy who was lighting them up on the scoreboard and injure him in the playoffs? Or was it the other BSB goon?

That’s the problem with dropping the instigator and the ‘letting the players police the game’ argument. They’d have us believe that enforcers function as policemen. While that’s largely true, there’s also some neanderthal idiots like Josh Gratton, Andrei Nazarov or Trevor Gillies, whose purpose is not to act as deterrents, but to injure people for no reason other than to injure them. Clark’s way would have all those criminal bums that got exiled to the goon team in Russia playing regular shifts again.

Sorry, I’m not interested in watching 600 suckerpunches per season, Clarkie.

Posted by steviesteve on 05/03/11 at 05:07 PM ET

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Spot on.  The new rules from the lockout focused on increasing the speed of the game by removing the clutching and holding.  It worked.  But the side effect has been more injuries because of that speed.  Guys also know they are overly-protected by the rules.  So there is no fear turning your back to the play near the boards or skating through the middle of the ice with your head down.  Result?  Increase injuries.  And the suspensions aren’t working.  Rats, agitators, whatever you want to call them, thrive under these rules.  The only one that has gone FAR over the edge is Cooke.  Rats hurt people.  And the tough guys, most of whom have been removed from the game because they can’t keep up, can’t go their jobs because it will result in a penalty.  Shoot, some refs are even going the extra mile to protect rats by tossing guys out of games (via misconducts) before the puck even drops.  It’s sad.  It’s pretty pathetic.  As the soccer mom mentality keeps adding the notches in its belt buckle, injuries keep piling up.  Aside from a few yuppie Canadian towns, fans love fights.  It serves a purpose.  And when the NHL didn’t have all of these rules that protect rats, we didn’t have near the number of injuries.

Posted by Sig from DC on 05/03/11 at 05:12 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Want fewer concussions?  We need more head-punching!

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/03/11 at 05:13 PM ET

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@steviesteve - The Neanderthals that needed to be removed from the game because they couldn’t keep up have been.  They’re gone.  Bye bye. Grattan, Naz, Laraque, etc. etc.  There’s really only a handful of straight enforcers left anyways.  Gilles was really given a bad wrap IMO.  He had a clean report card in the minors; and he did what so many people wanted to do to Burns.  And Burns yucked it up.  He didn’t miss a shift.  Tie Domi was a hero for what he did to Ulf Samuelson.

Posted by Sig from DC on 05/03/11 at 05:15 PM ET

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@ J.J. from Kansas—- 7% on concussions in the NHL occur from fighting.

Posted by Sig from DC on 05/03/11 at 05:19 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

Want less injuries? Call the game like it’s supposed to be called and have a strict and clearly defined system of supplemental discipline.

But key for me is putting it on the Refs to call the overly aggressive rouging,crosscheck, boarding and elbowing calls early before things have the chance to get out of hand. Take the bullshit out of the game.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 05/03/11 at 05:31 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

@ J.J. from Kansas—- 7% on concussions in the NHL occur from fighting.

Posted by Sig from DC on 05/03/11 at 03:19 PM ET

Increasing that number to 50% while not decreasing the number it’s based on isn’t going to help anything, nor does this solution lead me to believe it would.

Personally, I prefer Nate A’s solution.

Call the game like it’s supposed to be called and this bullshit doesn’t happen.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/03/11 at 05:32 PM ET

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If the league really wants to reduce injuries, make it illegal to throw a body check unless the elbows stay down and in contact with the waist before, during and after the check.  Anything else is charging.

Posted by Kel on 05/03/11 at 05:53 PM ET

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You all, especially, Kel are delusional.  Please just go ahead and remove hitting from the game so I can get on with another sport.  The game is just too fast these days to think that some sort of off-ice discipline or on-ice penalty is going to get a player to be cognizant of where their elbows are at all times while on the ice.  You’re nuts.  Football plays don’t even come close to the speeds of NHL hockey (which is played on a much smaller playing field); and they can barely change the mindset in the NFL.

Posted by Sig from DC on 05/03/11 at 06:12 PM ET

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He had a clean report card in the minors; and he did what so many people wanted to do to Burns.

Gillies? Clean report card in the minors? Are you high? Numerous suspensions in the AHL/ECHL (these leagues don’t normally suspend people, btw) and more match penalties, double-game misconducts and game misconducts in his career than any ‘professional’ I know of in North America. He has more career misconducts in the AHL than he does goals as a professional. Gillies has been tossed from more games than Chris Simon and Simon’s ten years older.

4 games for this one. Attacked a player who was minding his own business and continued beating him while unconscious.  Here’s him boarding a guy who doesn’t have the puck, then suckerpunching some scrub on the other team. There are a million incidents like this with this particular player.

Posted by steviesteve on 05/03/11 at 06:17 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

If the league really wants to reduce injuries, make it illegal to throw a body check unless the elbows stay down and in contact with the waist before, during and after the check.  Anything else is charging.
Posted by Kel on 05/03/11 at 03:53 PM ET

The Refs are calling elbowing/charging even when the elbows are down. Case in point: Chara checked a Flyer (puck carrier) in last nights game, he kept his elbows down, but went to the box for roughing (I think). It looked a clean body check to me, just a size mis-match.
If enforcement is going to come from regulation, the league should set a standard, publish the standard, and then perform a review after every game, then enforce accordingly based on set standard. Take the decision out of the hands of the on-ice officials (except for the obvious blatant transgressions) because the game can be moving too fast and they are left having to make a call based on conjecture instead of thorough observation.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 05/03/11 at 06:27 PM ET

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I am simply pointing out the vast majority of injuries come from players using their shoulders/upper arms/elbows to inflict maximum damage during a check.  If you want to reduce injuries, you have to focus on reducing those.  If you want to keep violence in the game, then sure, keep them but be prepared to see your players injured.

Posted by Kel on 05/03/11 at 06:28 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The game is just too fast these days to think that some sort of off-ice discipline or on-ice penalty is going to get a player to be cognizant of where their elbows are at all times while on the ice.

But wasting a roster spot on some half-wit goon is?

Run the rats out of the league with your own poison, don’t bring in a different threat.

Your plan reminds me of what Brooklyn tried doing with their rat problem.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/03/11 at 06:28 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

If want want to clean up the league Get F’N cementheads like Boobie Clarke Out

& there boys & Girls is the Problem with the Flyers an Incompetent buffoon Clarke is REALLY the GM

Posted by Evilpens on 05/03/11 at 06:34 PM ET

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JJ—- Like I said, the rules protect the rats.  It’s simple to say to run them out.  I don’t see you coming up with any solutions.  Bitching is easy.

Posted by Sig from DC on 05/03/11 at 06:43 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I don’t see you coming up with any solutions.  Bitching is easy.

Posted by Sig from DC on 05/03/11 at 04:43 PM ET

...

But key for me is putting it on the Refs to call the overly aggressive rouging,crosscheck, boarding and elbowing calls early before things have the chance to get out of hand. Take the bullshit out of the game.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 05/03/11 at 03:31 PM ET

...

Personally, I prefer Nate A’s solution.

Call the game like it’s supposed to be called and this bullshit doesn’t happen.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/03/11 at 03:32 PM ET


Know what else is easy?  Reading comprehension.

The rules do not protect the rats.  The broken supplemental discipline policy does.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/03/11 at 06:54 PM ET

UMFan's avatar

If the league really wants to stop the head shots, it has to get the players attention by giving the suspensions some teeth. Right now, its being treated like a ordinary speeding ticket for going 12 miles an hour over the limit. They show up in court, promise the judge they won’t do it again, pay their fine and they are right back onto the road doing the same thing. Treat head shots like a DUI and maybe you get their attention. If a player hits someone in the head, maybe 10 games is the number you start at.

Posted by UMFan from Denver, Colorado on 05/03/11 at 06:59 PM ET

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So you’d prefer a finesse style of hockey, yes?  The Euro leagues are calling your name.

And I don’t think your (I mean, cough, Nate’s) suggestion would help anything.  Oh wait, it would create more odd man play.  Yeah, that ‘s as exciting as the shootout.

Way to take the multi out of multi-dimensional you soccer mom.

Posted by Sig from DC on 05/03/11 at 07:00 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

So you’d prefer a finesse style of hockey, yes?  The Euro leagues are calling your name.

And I don’t think your (I mean, cough, Nate’s) suggestion would help anything.  Oh wait, it would create more odd man play.  Yeah, that ‘s as exciting as the shootout.

Way to take the multi out of multi-dimensional you soccer mom.

Posted by Sig from DC on 05/03/11 at 05:00 PM ET

Calling names and painting your opposition with a broad brush stroke is easy. 

I like fighting when it’s done for a good reason and comes out of natural hate.  Know what fighting I hate?  When some goon idiot drops the gloves to defend his teammate from clean hits.

Perhaps you could explain to me further how a goon picking a fight with a rat after the rat throws an elbow creates even-strength hockey?

I can’t believe that you’re talking about keeping the game more multi-dimensional by recommending that every team start an arms race consisting entirely of one-dimensional hockey players.  Good hockey is played by people who can skate, score, AND hit.  In “good” hockey, there is still plenty of physical play.  When I want to watch people simply beat one another up, I can watch UFC.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/03/11 at 07:11 PM ET

MarkK's avatar

Stupid. What he means to say is that increasing punishment will decrease injuries, he just chose to say the players should do it.  What SHOULD happen is that the NHL should stop being a bunch of pussies and start handing out suspensions like candy.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 05/03/11 at 07:18 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

Oh wait, it would create more odd man play.

The first infraction or two, yes. But once you’ve got the game under control, that bullshit ends. The players know they’re not going to get away with murder, so you wont have to call that stuff and the stuff that gets dangerous has ended. So you’ve done two things: reduced special teams play and made the ice safer. Seems like a win to me.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 05/03/11 at 07:46 PM ET

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Want to get rid of head injuries.  Shrink the pads on the body.  The reason for so many concussions are the collisions at such hi speed.  There is no fear anymore by the hitter because he is wearing full body armor.  In the old days, pads were designed to protect against falls to the ice and the stick to the shins.  You didn’t see near the devastating hits like you do now.  If you wanted to lay a guy out, you threw a hip check as this offered you the best chance at a big hit without hurting yourself.  I can’t remember that last time I saw a hip check in the NHL.  The same can be said about the NFL.    The more these guys protect themselves with pads, the more damage to internal organs and joints they are creating (to each other!)

Watch European Rugby or Australian Rules football.  Far less serious injuries in these games yet the players are wearing no pads.  Yes you are losing the big hits…..but if you want to get rid of head injuries.  That is the trade off.  NO other way around it.

Posted by Bill R from Minnesota on 05/03/11 at 08:29 PM ET

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When I want to watch people simply beat one another up, I can watch UFC.

The UFC gives life-time bans to athletes who take ‘justice’ into their own hands, so what Mr. Trevor-Gillies-Has-a-Clean-Minor-League-Record is suggesting is actually too barbaric for combat sports.

Posted by steviesteve on 05/03/11 at 08:30 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The UFC gives life-time bans to athletes who take ‘justice’ into their own hands, so what Mr. Trevor-Gillies-Has-a-Clean-Minor-League-Record is suggesting is actually too barbaric for combat sports.

Posted by steviesteve on 05/03/11 at 06:30 PM ET

Good point.

And I didn’t want to make it sound like watching UFC was barbaric or even somehow “beneath” an intelligent person.  I love the sport, it’s just not hockey.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/03/11 at 08:39 PM ET

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I didn’t think so. Just pointing out the yurpansifyingthasport-type advocate things that don’t even fly in sports where the objective is to cause deliberate injury to the opponent. For another example (from Boxing) Roger Mayweather went to jail for trying to police Zab Judah’s low-blows himself.

Posted by steviesteve on 05/03/11 at 08:57 PM ET

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I know how to stop head injuries in hockey.  Ban body checking completely.  Stick checking only.  And if they are forced to wear full cage helmets, the only way they could hurt their heads is if they trip over their skirts!

Isn’t that what Bettman and all you followers want?  Basketball on ice?

Posted by Vict3866 from Los Angeles on 05/03/11 at 09:07 PM ET

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The biggest issue is the padding. Guys run around fearing nothing because they feel nothing under their darth vader suits, so they take runs. Even a clean hit will injure someone - fighting will not stop that. But when a player could hurt themselves with a hit maybe they slow down, which also lessens the chance of the other player getting hurt.

Was anyone mad at stevens for his hit on Kariya? It was 100% clean. If he had soft shoulder pads maybe there’s no concussion on the play - but the same play occurs with space age plastic pads and the dude is unconscious.

That being said, I think not only removing the instigator rule but also the crackhead running the discipline of the league while having his son play in it is key as well. The instigator misconduct obviously detracts from letting players prevent jackasses from running around. Third man in, same way. There are plenty of situations where a third man in does not warrant an ejection - look at the Isles/Pens game for example. Engelland got tossed for trying to pull Martin off of Talbot?!? And well there’s just no justification for Campbell running any part of the league if his son is involved in any capacity other than a ref.

Posted by Tim Kosecki from DC on 05/03/11 at 10:21 PM ET

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Want to slow the game down to reduce injuries legalize ankle slashes, that will stop those damn Ruskies… er opponents from all that fancy skating and passing. Give em a Flin Flon Bomber hello!! Good Ol’ Canadian grinder hockey. If you can’t skate, shoot or pass, mug the opponent. If that doesn’t work injure him!

Clarke is a dipshit!

Posted by timbits on 05/04/11 at 01:29 AM ET

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The instigator misconduct obviously detracts from letting players prevent jackasses from running around.

Lack of instigator didn’t deter anything.

Posted by steviesteve on 05/04/11 at 01:42 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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