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Is Hockey Fighting on the NHL’s Agenda?

From Bob McKenzie at TSN:

There is a sense, certainly in many media circles, that the window of opportunity to wage the campaign against fighting has never been more wide open than right now, especially when new NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan was doing a pre-season interview with the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge and on a question about fighting, answered something to the effect of the NHL is “looking” at it.

There were never any specifics offered at the time as to what exactly the NHL was “looking” at and there’s been nothing since. Some took it to mean the NHL is seriously considering the future of fighting. It got people a little excited.

To which I would say, they’re not really looking at anything. Not looking too hard anyway. I took it as a general response for Shanahan to get out of having to deal specifically with the incongruity of a headshot crackdown and fighting in the game.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re pro fighting or anti fighting, I would strongly suggest this “sense” that the future of fighting is front and centre on the table for discussion couldn’t be further from reality.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink



First, let me say that I dislike staged fights, between two guys who haven’t played more than 2 minutes in the game, but somehow feel obligated to drop the gloves right off the faceoff.

I also don’t like one guy dropping the gloves and wailing on another unwilling participant.

What Asham and Beagle did wasn’t a staged fight or a wailing. Asham challenged Beagle to a fight, and both were willing participants. Beagle could have skated away, turtled, or similar. But instead, he decided to take on a much more experienced fighter and lost—big time lost.

Asham was wrong to gesture like he did after the fight, but to his credit, he admitted as much afterward, and called the other team to apologize.

So, gesture aside the reason why Asham/Beagle’s fight is okay and head shots aren’t:

A guy coming across the ice delivering a head-shot is doing so to an unsuspecting, unwilling participant.

If, for example, Crosby tells Asham in practice, “take a run at me to test these marbles in my head,” and Crosby goes out with a concussion for another 10 months, well, that would be different. But, blindside, cheap-shot, hits to the head aren’t cool, and are in no way the same thing as two willing men fighting for their honor.

Posted by penguinsfan on 10/14/11 at 03:40 PM ET


But, blindside, cheap-shot, hits to the head aren’t cool, and are in no way the same thing as two willing men fighting for their honor.
Posted by penguinsfan on 10/14/11 at 02:40 PM ET

I’ve been beating this drum for a while and I really don’t understand how there can still be reality-based debate about whether or not it’s hypocritical to have fighting but not headshots - one guy attacking someone else who’s not exactly a “willing” oponent vs. two guys in agreement to attack each other face to face.

As Mckenzie’s article points out, it comes down to the players/coaches/gm’s/owners, the ones that run their own business, to decide on monumental changes to the game which they’ve played at the highest level their whole lives, not armchair athletes like all of us who don’t play the game professionally, and certainly not the media who often feel like they have the insight needed to make these decisions because they put microphones into player’s faces.

Posted by NathanBC on 10/14/11 at 05:53 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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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