Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/18/05 at 12:12 PM ET
"There was no intention on our part to curb fighting," insists Stephen Walkom, the NHL's director of officiating. "If [the reduction in fighting] is a byproduct of new rules, then fine." Fighting has been a part of the NHL since its inception in 1917. It has been a vehicle to protect your own stars and intimidate your opponents. Conn Smythe, an icon in a sport in the early years when he served as a coach, general manager and team owner, explained the importance of fighting when he famously said, "If you can't beat 'em in the alley, you can't beat 'em on the ice."read on
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