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DON

Fighting in pro hockey... Good-Bad?

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Just curious and wanted to move it from injury thread.

 

Would Hockey be better if fighting called for immediate ejection of the two combatants, fines imposed and suspensions (at least for repeat offenders)?

 

Obviously would always be hotheads and occasional fights, as happens in NFL-NBA-MLB but are pretty rare and costly.

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Allow fighting

Maybe add a 20 minute penalty to the regular 5 minutes.

Also tell players to at least try to protect their face if theyve managed to piss someone off and also for refs to break it up faster if one of the players show he doesnt want to fight.

BUT REMOVE THE STAGED FIGHTS! (maybe already removed on its own because no teams carry goons anymore.)

 

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great, fantastic love them. 

 

Staged fights i can live without. 

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Two guys fight? Both ejected. 

 

One guy tries to force another guy to fight and he isn't willing and he still hits him? Ejection, 20 game suspension, referees disciplined for not stopping it sooner, coach receives $10,000 fine for playing the player.

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1 hour ago, Chris said:

great, fantastic love them. 

 

Staged fights i can live without. 

Splitting hairs, just because they skate around a bit before squaring off should be irrelevant and I think it makes it harder to officiate consistently and just muddies the waters.

 

I get you like hockey fights; but, do you think basically allowing fights to happen, with little repercussion, is good or bad for the pro-hockey game overall.

 

(thank god Habs didn't sign Lucic to a stupid contract)

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It’s easy to look at a screen in our living room and say fighting is either necessary, entertaining, futile, or atrocious but what’s transpiring on the ice is often quite different than what we perceive.

 

When I watch the 4th round of Wimbledon in tennis and one of the players isn’t playing up to their standard, it can be easy to overlook the often invisible reality that the player may be injured. We can’t see it from our living room, but the player is feeling the pain. That’s something that watching on television wouldn’t do justice.

 

The same thing happens in hockey, actually. When the year finishes, we often hear of players having dealt with and played through week long fractures, for instance. Often these same players were criticized for not playing well. 

 

This type of thing ties in with a viewer’s perception of fighting. When you’re a professional NHL player on the ice and someone is chirping personal insults immediately after having chopped your ankle with their stick, it’s easy for a viewer to say that player A didn’t want to fight so he shouldn’t have to. Maybe that same viewer doesn’t know all the details; all they see is the end result. In the real world, these situations are no different. If someone were to take a crowbar and wack you on the ankle while calling your soulmate pretty, a fight may ensue.

 

In no other sport do we have actual weapons that can be used against another player. If a player takes a slap shot at you after the whistle, a scrum will likely ensue. If a pitcher throws a ball at a batter, a fight sometime ensues. If a basketball player were to purposely elbow an opponent in the back of the head, or throw

a basketball at their opponent, a fight would probably ensue. These incidents happen more often in hockey.

 

When I was around 23 and still played hockey, my team was in the final and a player cross checked me in the back of the neck from behind right at the final buzzer. I left the ice right away and didn’t even shake hands but I’m pretty sure one of my teammates went after him and would have dropped the gloves. In this case I’m not sure the other guy was willing and they probably didn’t go beyond a wrestling match but I’m not sure how we can accept the fact that it’s fine to say that the opponent should only have to drop the gloves if he wants to in that situation. Regardless of what people say about the refs, that’s immediately when people will start taking liberties knowing they will face no repercussions. 

 

In the case of Domi, Eklbad was doing what every 13 year old is taught by their coach and smiling right in Domi’s frustrated face while “electing” not to fight. Who knows what else he was doing or saying that’s not visible from our television set and apparently Eklbad was indeed taking other liberties throughout the game. The outcome was the worst part, and Domi deserved to be suspended. Demanding that he absolutely should have been suspended for regular season games is going overboard.

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Eh, the entire jist of that is referees need to be tougher on players and call everything while DOPS needs to deliver harsher suspensions and fines. 

 

I personally would be good with people reviewing a game afterwards and delivering fines for calls that were missed. Were you hacking at a players wrist and the ref didn't see? Cool, you are still getting punished for it.

 

In my mind some of the hits from behind and headshots, I would have given full season or half season suspensions and the league thought they were being tough with a 5 game. 5 games is a vacation. I want real punishments. And until we see real punishments, people and players will have this stupid vigilante justice viewpoint. 

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Fighting is a part of the game as much as elbowing, roughing, cross checking, spearing, etc. Do we like those penalties? This is a man's sport. If you're not a man, don't play it. There are plenty of men that would love the opportunity to do so. If a guy viciously slashes me (illegal), I would punch him in the face (illegal). Why is a slash to the wrist or legs acceptable from some prick but if a guy stands up for himself with a punch he is the bad guy? 

 

Or we can just take contact out of the sport all together and skate around in tutus, either way. 

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51 minutes ago, illWill said:

Or we can just take contact out of the sport all together and skate around in tutus, either way. 

Yeah, those Gold medal games were all tutus due to the lack of fighting and slashing.

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Difference of opinion on how the game should be played, there are no right answers here so just keep that in mind while you're riding around on your high horse. 

 

 

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I enjoy this conversation.  I think everyone can agree that staged fights are stupid. i think everyone can agree that Olympic hockey is great. Everyone can also agree that the post season hockey is also far more exciting than regular.  There is no fighting in either of Olympic or playoff hockey. 

 

The other side of it is that I have always liked these vigilanty element of hockey where if a player takes a cheap shot, you get to punch them in the face.  I really like it.  I really like watching a good fight too. 

 

I like it just the way it is.  No goons. Still  fighting but less of it. 

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I’ll just say the best hockey I watch is the Olympics and no fighting is tolerated. 

 

End of discussion. 

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7 hours ago, dreegking said:

I’ll just say the best hockey I watch is the Olympics and no fighting is tolerated. 

 

End of discussion. 

 

To this day history stands that the best hockey game of all time was New Year's Eve in 1975 between the Habs and Red Army. The only game that can compare is the 2010 Gold Medal game. They both have something in common: No garbage, pure skill. 

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With all due respect to the 'libertarian' position, I oppose fighting because of what we now know about concussions ruining people's lives and the lives of those who love them. DON made a point in the other thread that older guys like myself tend to take a much dimmer view of the libertarian stance. And I think this may be because, as you become a parent, build life experience, etc., you become more deeply aware of the value of health (and life and happiness in general), the length and richness of life, and of the very real distinction between being a 20 year old who wants the thrill of fighting, and what that same person will be going through for the rest of his life. Thrills in your youth are generally not worth suffering for the rest of your days, and they *certainly* aren't worth compromising the lives of your loved ones and children (who need their dad, not a brain-damaged shadow of himself). 

 

I always enjoyed hockey fight and boxing and probably would have taken the libertarian view in my early 20s. Pushing 50, and a family man, I can no longer defend it.

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10 minutes ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

With all due respect to the 'libertarian' position, I oppose fighting because of what we now know about concussions ruining people's lives and the lives of those who love them. DON made a point in the other thread that older guys like myself tend to take a much dimmer view of the libertarian stance. And I think this may be because, as you become a parent, build life experience, etc., you become more deeply aware of the value of health (and life and happiness in general), the length and richness of life, and of the very real distinction between being a 20 year old who wants the thrill of fighting, and what that same person will be going through for the rest of his life. Thrills in your youth are generally not worth suffering for the rest of your days, and they *certainly* aren't worth compromising the lives of your loved ones and children (who need their dad, not a brain-damaged shadow of himself). 

 

I always enjoyed hockey fight and boxing and probably would have taken the libertarian view in my early 20s. Pushing 50, and a family man, I can no longer defend it.

 

Fair enough and I respect your opinion but I disagree with it.

 

Like Will pointed out earlier we all have our different point of views and perspectives on things. I’m actually going to become a father in the next week or so, so I understand that arguement but it doesn’t change my perspective on if people know the risks involved and decide to do it anyway then that is their own choice. I am thoroughly against virtue signally and telling people what they can and cannot do. Just rubs me the wrong way but again to each his own.

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7 hours ago, dreegking said:

End of discussion. 

 

Good thing we straightened that out.

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1 hour ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

With all due respect to the 'libertarian' position, I oppose fighting because of what we now know about concussions ruining people's lives and the lives of those who love them. DON made a point in the other thread that older guys like myself tend to take a much dimmer view of the libertarian stance. And I think this may be because, as you become a parent, build life experience, etc., you become more deeply aware of the value of health (and life and happiness in general), the length and richness of life, and of the very real distinction between being a 20 year old who wants the thrill of fighting, and what that same person will be going through for the rest of his life. Thrills in your youth are generally not worth suffering for the rest of your days, and they *certainly* aren't worth compromising the lives of your loved ones and children (who need their dad, not a brain-damaged shadow of himself). 

 

I always enjoyed hockey fight and boxing and probably would have taken the libertarian view in my early 20s. Pushing 50, and a family man, I can no longer defend it.

 

 

You also have guys like Boogaard and Ewen who were pressured into becoming fighters because of their size.  Look at how that worked out for them. 

 

The stories of tragedy here are too many... Rypien, Belak, Probert, Kordic, Montador. 

 

That's seven off the top of my head. There are likely many more.

 

At what point does enough become enough?

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1 hour ago, Scott462 said:

but it doesn’t change my perspective on if people know the risks involved and decide to do it anyway then that is their own choice. 

 

Okay. You're posting online. I used to have the ability to hack pretty much anyone I wanted to. So because you know the dangers of hackers on the internet, it's okay if I hack you? If I take your credit information? Browsing history? You knew the risks. You know people like me exist. You put yourself out there and didn't protect yourself properly, right?

 

That's the problem with that viewpoint. And almost any viewpoint that places the responsibility on victims. It's literally about allowing people to exploit others until someone goes too far. And when it comes to fighting in hockey, for decades it was an expectation. Fight or don't play. Fight or your teammates won't respect you. And guys got hurt. Guys hurt others when they didn't want to. And then had decades of a career to deal with the fallout. And while you think personal responsibility, Derek Boogaard downed pills to numb himself from who he was and eventually died. When they looked at his brain he had suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy at a level worse than Bob Probert when he died at 45. Derek was 28. 

 

Georges Laraque, who all things considered seems to have got out healthy, said he never liked being an enforcer. Ask any player who had expectations to fight and they will tell you they didn't goto the ice sober because the anxiety in fighting was near impossible to deal with unless intoxicated. Personal choice though. 

 

Steve Downie, a guy who I hated when he played from junior to the NHL, later expressed his resentment for hurting people and how much of hockey culture (Rock em Sock em) impresses on you the importance of hurting people to help your team. That yes, it was his choice, but that choice was wedged between a toxic hockey culture that wants players to murder each other on the ice so we can call them warriors when watching their Youtube clips and they are six feet under.

 

 

But hey. Personal responsibility. This is men stuff. Watching men beat each other up and then kill themselves after. This is what we do. 

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I'm all for allowing the spontaneous fights, and the kind of 'message has to be sent' fights that police the game in a way that referees and the threat of league discipline simply have proven incapable of doing (ie: Wilson straightening out Coburn for what he did to Backstrom in the playoffs).  I am now firmly against fights for the sake of fighting however, and am glad to see teams no longer keep a guy on the roster who is basically a boxer on skates who can't play the game.  While I found those fights highly entertaining, one simply cannot ignore the dire consequences of CTE...the game is risky enough with the jolt the brain can take on even clean hits, so the league cannot support the notion of  guys who get punched repeatedly most nights being the norm.  The league has to adapt in order to survive, as I suspect the legal fallout will continue for years to come.  Even the NFL had to adapt, drastically altering their rulebook in recent years to address the problem (defenseless receiver rule, helmet to helmet contact penalties, serious protection for quarterbacks and punters to reduce injuries, ect).  The NHL has followed suit, and rightly so...there are too many tragic cases that provide definitive evidence.

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17 hours ago, illWill said:

r we can just take contact out of the sport all together and skate around in tutus, either way. 

Is that how Football and Rugby are because there is no fighting?

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32 minutes ago, DON said:

Is that how Football and Rugby are because there is no fighting?

 

Football and rugby have contact in the game to make a play, they don't have a weapon in their hands and use it like hockey players do unnecessarily. Like I said earlier, if I get hit with a weapon on purpose, as a man I believe I have the right to defend myself and to ensure it doesn't happen again. I'm not going to cry to the ref and hope the bad man sits in the penalty box for 2 minutes to think about what he did. I do hate staged fights though and think those are what should be out of the game. Heat of the moment fights? Oh baby pass the popcorn

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Another thought on the libertarian position is that we're not talking about individual rights per se. Fighting only exists in hockey because the rules of the game are lenient towards it. Within that context, guys 'choose' to fight. (Although I definitely take Machine's point that 'choice' gets fuzzy here, when you are talking about a combination of peer pressure and fear of losing one's job). But if we change the rules, they will still be 'free' to choose to fight - it's just the incentive structure will have changed so as to make that choice even dumber than it is now, e.g., by automatic game ejection, suspension, whatever.

 

If banning fighting is an infringement upon choice, then shouldn't we also allow deliberate attempts to injure, without suspensions, on the grounds that 'these are men, they consent to that risk.?  For that matter, isn't the offside rule is an infringement upon players' 'choice' to pass the puck to a head man across two zones? A truly consistent application of the libertarian position would seem to remove any rules from the game at all, except maybe the  concept of 'most goals wins.'  Once you accept the principle of regulating behaviour on the ice, the debate turns to which kinds of regulations we want - not some inviolable 'right to choose' anything we want.

 

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1 hour ago, Machine of Loving Grace said:

Okay. You're posting online. I used to have the ability to hack pretty much anyone I wanted to. So because you know the dangers of hackers on the internet, it's okay if I hack you? If I take your credit information? Browsing history? You knew the risks. You know people like me exist. You put yourself out there and didn't protect yourself properly, right?

 

 

But of course, you wouldn't do that to anyone here, right?

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I'm with cc. It's all very political.  With libertarians and Marxists and whatnot. 

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