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Reflections on Parros-should fighting be banned?


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World Junior hockey seems to be not a bad game to watch eh? Its popularity isn't lessened with zero fights is it?

Frustrations seems a very weak argument; Sakic-Datzyuk and majority didn't/dont fight much, why don't they get as frustrated as a Parros-Orr-Probert? Or do you mean, a Sakic's frustration maybe subsides when he saw a tormenter pummelled by a Dale Hunter?

And fighting happens in rugby-football, but is not tolerated and ejection-fines-suspensions seem to work quite well. And we all know fights will always be a small part of most sports, but NHL really does live in stone ages.

Cheap shots happen in NBA, NFL, but again are not tolerated and is one purpose of officials is to penalize the Ott-Avery and Kaletas and unsportsmanlike penalites are just for that purpose.

As far as taking 30-40 goons out of NHL, you got to be kidding that more skilled players will unfairly usurp them? I will take a guy who can skate-hit or score, over a part-time hired thug who plays 2-6minutes/game.

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In hockey there may be a few people on the ice fighting. They have eliminated team brawls by rule. To this end there is some control. Fighting in other sports usually envolves the entire roster which in baseball would be greater than fifty and in football circa 100. You just can't control those numbers.

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I honestly don't care.

If fighting was removed tomorrow I wouldn't be sad or happy. I think my support for fighting comes from hearing Damien Cox cry about it because he was picked on in grade school.

What I find interesting though is that there isn't a single person who says, "Fighting should be removed from the game" when an agitator/pest like Matt Cooke gets knocked out by Evander Kane. Makes you wonder the reactions from people when there's no fighting and a guy like Matt Cooke is getting away with high elbows and slewfoots. What do you hope to happen to him now? That someone hits him with their stick? Because they surely can't punch him anymore.

I have said fighting should be penalized for years. And just chime in when topic comes up every year or so. The oddity of NHL fighting attitude/tolerance/glorification vs that of rest of world sports, seems to speak for itself and not in a flattering way.

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We have a sport that includes another sport (boxing). It's two for one. Enjoy.

P.S. Should we ban boxing and martial arts as well ? Because with your logic guys...

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We have a sport that includes another sport (boxing). It's two for one. Enjoy.

P.S. Should we ban boxing and martial arts as well ? Because with your logic guys...

Yes is true, majority who follow hockey get excited and/or enjoy when fight breaks out.

But, not quite sure how you link; one-on-one combat sports, penalizing violations in NHL and banning a sport?

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First, it's not possible to "ban" fighting. As much as the other sports are "fight free," they're actually not. The difference is in the consequences of fighting.

I had a very long talk with a few very knowledgeable hockey guys and gals last night and there were some fascinating opinions. Here's a suggestion that came up; I present it without personal comment or judgement.

**

Remove the instigator rule and the ridiculous helmet rule. Don't "ban" fighting, but punish it heavily. You fight, you're out of the game. You fight again on another night, and you miss three games. You fight again, and you miss ten. Etc. In that way you don't remove fighting, but neither do you remove the self-policing the players seem to want. Because, unfortunately, the league will not, at this time, call the game the way hockey was meant to be called, there therefore is a place for guys to take exception. As long as they understand the consequences. Until the league cracks down on *all* dirty play equally and without remorse, there will always be fights. And even then, just like every other sport, there will continue to be fights.

What the league doesn't need is the show fight or the endless brawls some games turn into. That's what's bush league and that's what needs to go.

But let's not make the mistake of thinking the other sports "ban" fighting. They just deal with it far more harshly - which is where the NHL needs to go.

**

Again, not my words, but a conglomeration of what was talked about last night.

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I think we need to deal with it less harshly. Get rid of the instigator rule, because like Colin Campbell showed us, the players care more about player safety than the league and the officials.

We go on and on about the physics of hockey (weight speed etc) but the fighter's today are a bunch of pansies. Joey Kocur, Mark Tinordi, Stu Grimson, Brashear and Peter Worell those are the cats. They would smoke guys like Parros and John Scott, and they were better players too.

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Yes is true, majority who follow hockey get excited and/or enjoy when fight breaks out.

But, not quite sure how you link; one-on-one combat sports, penalizing violations in NHL and banning a sport?

Easy. I don't get why some people want to remove or punish fighting from a sport (ie hockey) but keep on having boxing around totally legal and entertaining.

If someone's reason to remove fighting from hockey is because they believe it's boring and add nothing to the game, then ok.

But making noise about the head injuries to the goons... I don't buy it.

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The NFL is just as tough and physical, and there are a few "football fights" every game. There are fights in every sport. Hockey is a testosterone driven sport, so what's next? Banning push-ups and taking your shirt off? Hockey is a worse sport if there's no fighting, who wants to see a bunch of scrums and "chirping" every game? I don't even think it's debate worthy, there's no way any sanctions are going to be taken against fighting because of what happened to George Parros. Maybe if Crosby got a concussion in a fight, they would sanction it.

There are no fights in football. I watch the nfl every weekend, and have yet to see anyone square off in a fight. Every sport is testosterone driven, so don't kid yourself by thinking hockey is somehow different. Its not. Someday this will change in the NHL, I'm hoping it doesn't take a death or serious injury to make it happen.

If you are suggesting one size fits all, please advise major league baseball that they need a salary cap.

They do, indeed, need a salary cap.

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NFL don't have guaranteed contract either. Being suspended can cost you your job pretty easily.

That's one hell of a reason not to fight in the NFL.

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If someone's reason to remove fighting from hockey is because they believe it's boring and add nothing to the game, then ok.

But making noise about the head injuries to the goons... I don't buy it.

You don't buy it, why? Because you question its sincerity? Why should one on one combat be a part of hockey, besides the reason that it already is? If that's all you've got, then I'll point to the many changes made to the game throughout the years.

And why is the safety of NHL fighters somehow invalidated by the existence of combat sports? The purpose of those sports is to beat the opponent up, while hockey can easily do without fighting as we witness during the playoffs, Junior Championships and Olympics. People who are questioning fighting in hockey see no need for fighting in hockey, not for no fighting in boxing.

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NFL don't have guaranteed contract either. Being suspended can cost you your job pretty easily.

That's one hell of a reason not to fight in the NFL.

That's not entirely true. If you're a good player, you've got some guarantees in your contract. Tampa's QB was released today but he'll still collect his $6.25 M salary. Guaranteed contracts aren't guaranteed but can be negotiated.

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I have an idea for a rule change to end injuries like this and Crosby's last one too! Take out the ice and skates, replace the puck with a soft ball. Play on a padded floor in full armour. No contact though. Someone might get hurt.

My point really is that this was not a fighting related injury. The fight was done, he had beaten Orr. He fell post fight. I blame the fact that they play on ice. He is also too tall. Luckily our key forwards have so much less distance to fall before the hit they dang ice.

Anyone who has played even a little pickup hockey knows that in a hockey game injuries will happen. No matter how many rules the put in place, people will get badly injured playing hockey. It is a risk hockey players know they are taking ever time they skate on the ice. It is the non-playing media members who have stomach issues from the violence and blood of the game. The players live with it. I know. I played hockey.

If you want to watch a gentleman's game find a different sport, hockey is fast, hard hitting, extremely dangerous and violent. Those who play it love to play it and all know that.

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First, it's not possible to "ban" fighting. As much as the other sports are "fight free," they're actually not. The difference is in the consequences of fighting.

I had a very long talk with a few very knowledgeable hockey guys and gals last night and there were some fascinating opinions. Here's a suggestion that came up; I present it without personal comment or judgement.

**

Remove the instigator rule and the ridiculous helmet rule. Don't "ban" fighting, but punish it heavily. You fight, you're out of the game. You fight again on another night, and you miss three games. You fight again, and you miss ten. Etc. In that way you don't remove fighting, but neither do you remove the self-policing the players seem to want. Because, unfortunately, the league will not, at this time, call the game the way hockey was meant to be called, there therefore is a place for guys to take exception. As long as they understand the consequences. Until the league cracks down on *all* dirty play equally and without remorse, there will always be fights. And even then, just like every other sport, there will continue to be fights.

What the league doesn't need is the show fight or the endless brawls some games turn into. That's what's bush league and that's what needs to go.

But let's not make the mistake of thinking the other sports "ban" fighting. They just deal with it far more harshly - which is where the NHL needs to go.

**

Again, not my words, but a conglomeration of what was talked about last night.

Agree with quote, cept; In "ban", do you mean in same way as ban on steroids, drugs, unsportsmanlike conduct (e.g.attacking a fan), criminal behavior (game rigging) etc are effectively eliminated from sports?

I think all stuff not in playbook and punishable by the sports body, can be considered banned, prohibited or simply against the rules of conduct, however you want to put it. You are not allowed to do X, if you do X the punishment will be...You are not allowed to punch another player in the face, so couldnt that be considered "banned" from the game already?

And like u say, simply needs to be dealt with firmly as other sports do.

Some other sports do some interesting stuff; soccer makes a team play rest of game shorthanded for bad stuff (red card).

And NBA has basically a well respected (unwritten?) rule of being given technicals for arguing with or making any smartass comments to any ref and that player is quickly ejected from the game.

(but officiating is another pet peeve, put whistle n "back pocket" if game almost over and is close in score is as "bush-league" as it gets. In NFL a hold/interference is a penalty no matter what scoreboard says, nor whether is OT in Superbowl or just pre-season.)

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I'm sure getting weary of this "you can't prevent all injuries, so don't try to prevent any of them" logic. People seem hypnotized by this ludicrous reductio ad absurdum. You may as well say that we can't prevent death, so we shouldn't bother with medical science.

As for boxing and MMA, I think that's an open question, actually. Just because people enjoy it doesn't mean we're justified in watching two young men permanently crippling each other (if this is indeed a demonstrable and reliable consequence of those sports. You know the cliché of the "punch drunk" old fighter who can barely remember his own name? That's called brain injury). Duels with pistols were banned years ago. I guess banning them was a bad idea too.

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First, it's not possible to "ban" fighting. As much as the other sports are "fight free," they're actually not. The difference is in the consequences of fighting.

I had a very long talk with a few very knowledgeable hockey guys and gals last night and there were some fascinating opinions. Here's a suggestion that came up; I present it without personal comment or judgement.

**

Remove the instigator rule and the ridiculous helmet rule. Don't "ban" fighting, but punish it heavily. You fight, you're out of the game. You fight again on another night, and you miss three games. You fight again, and you miss ten. Etc. In that way you don't remove fighting, but neither do you remove the self-policing the players seem to want. Because, unfortunately, the league will not, at this time, call the game the way hockey was meant to be called, there therefore is a place for guys to take exception. As long as they understand the consequences. Until the league cracks down on *all* dirty play equally and without remorse, there will always be fights. And even then, just like every other sport, there will continue to be fights.

What the league doesn't need is the show fight or the endless brawls some games turn into. That's what's bush league and that's what needs to go.

But let's not make the mistake of thinking the other sports "ban" fighting. They just deal with it far more harshly - which is where the NHL needs to go.

**

Again, not my words, but a conglomeration of what was talked about last night.

If this ever became the case how excellent of a strategy would it be to get Crosby to drop the gloves?

Or any star player with your pest or some other. 4th liner.

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I won't be upset either way.

I enjoy watching hockey fights when the have "purpose".

My definition of purpose in this sense means to defend a team mate or retaliate after a cheap shot because yes the officiating, suspensions and the lack of care this league has for most players is bewildering!

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Interesting reading all of your comments, I would just guess from looking through the comments that there seems around a 70/30% split in favour of banning fighting (or at least banning the staged fighting)

I must admit to being torn on the subject. There is no doubt, I certainly perk up when a fight starts and enjoy it for what it is, however I don't think I would not watch the game if they banned it (or limited it from what it is today)

I think they inevitably will, as if they don't, sooner or later somebody is going to take the league to court over it.

What I would like to see eliminated is the situation where you have someone like John Scott going after Phil Kessel. As amusing as it is to see the leafs getting some of their own medicine, there is no way you want star players being chased around the ice by a thug like that. I don't really blame Kessel for slashing him (particularly the first one) but I don't want star players in the league to be in that situation. Don't get me wrong, if Crosby chooses to fight Giroux I'm fine with that, but when you have goons running around after star players, I'm not so fine.

Maybe player numbers should be replaced with the players salary and you're only allowed to fight someone in your salary band lol

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Donald Brashear was a sad excuse for a hockey player.

Guys like Milan Lucic blow him out of the water in terms of hockey skill.

Sure Tie Domi could score the occasional goal but without fighting he was worthless.

The days of Maurice Richard and Gordie Howe dropping the gloves have been long gone. Closest thing to it has been guys like Jarome Iginla and Eric Lindros. And every time a star fights, people ask why the hell they would risk their hands to do it.

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What I want to know, is when are the bench clearing brawls coming back?

Are you trying to help or not? You are dealing with people who loath fighting and many who would remove any kind of contact at all. When you say things like that you incite "girl's hockey"
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I think fighting does belong in the league. Players need to police themselves to prevent cheap shots. What doesnt belong in the league is the role of the enforcer. They dont serve much purpose except for the fact that they take on the other teams enforcer. I have much greater respect for a player that knows how to play but can also answer the bell if needed. I think the NHL should consider a few options:

1) Set a limit on the number of fighting majors a player can accumulate in a season. After say getting more than say 5 majors in a season, that player is suspended for the rest of the year and counts against the teams 23 man roster. This would eliminate the role of the enforcer since teams would be less likely to sign them. It would make players think twice about fighting and make sure they are doing it for a purpose.

2) Removable visors. Not sure if this would be possible but with todays technology it seems like they could make something that wouldnt come off during play but could be easily removed before a fight. This would prevent players from taking their helmets off before a fight in fear of hurting their hands. This prevents players hitting the back of their head on the ice when they fall.

3) Ejected after a fighting major. Though I dont agree with this one as much, I think this would reduce fighting in the NHL which is where I think the NHL is going.

Anyways those are my thoughts for how to prevent injuries from fighting / reduce the role of the enforcer without completely getting rid of fighting since it does still have a role in the game under the right circumstances.

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I think fighting does belong in the league. Players need to police themselves to prevent cheap shots. What doesnt belong in the league is the role of the enforcer. They dont serve much purpose except for the fact that they take on the other teams enforcer. I have much greater respect for a player that knows how to play but can also answer the bell if needed. I think the NHL should consider a few options:

1) Set a limit on the number of fighting majors a player can accumulate in a season. After say getting more than say 5 majors in a season, that player is suspended for the rest of the year and counts against the teams 23 man roster. This would eliminate the role of the enforcer since teams would be less likely to sign them. It would make players think twice about fighting and make sure they are doing it for a purpose.

2) Removable visors. Not sure if this would be possible but with todays technology it seems like they could make something that wouldnt come off during play but could be easily removed before a fight. This would prevent players from taking their helmets off before a fight in fear of hurting their hands. This prevents players hitting the back of their head on the ice when they fall.

3) Ejected after a fighting major. Though I dont agree with this one as much, I think this would reduce fighting in the NHL which is where I think the NHL is going.

Anyways those are my thoughts for how to prevent injuries from fighting / reduce the role of the enforcer without completely getting rid of fighting since it does still have a role in the game under the right circumstances.

Great post.

I'm totally in favor of #1. Maybe not suspend the guy for the remaining of the season, but for, let's say 10-15 games for every 5 fights.

Would be just like soccer where you can be suspended for accumulating several yellow cards during the season.

#2, like you say, this would be very hard to create technology wise, but if someone can invent an helmet with an easy removable visor, than why not. It would be just like players take their helmet off, but only the visor part. They would have 5 minutes in the penalty box to put it back on their helmet after the fight.

As for #3, my personal suggestion would be to eject the player after 2 fights. BUT, the first fight, IMO, should earn you a 10 minutes penalty. You fight, ok, but you're in the box for 1/6th of the game. I believe this would be a good compromise.

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Guest Stogey24

I think we need to deal with it less harshly. Get rid of the instigator rule, because like Colin Campbell showed us, the players care more about player safety than the league and the officials.

We go on and on about the physics of hockey (weight speed etc) but the fighter's today are a bunch of pansies. Joey Kocur, Mark Tinordi, Stu Grimson, Brashear and Peter Worell those are the cats. They would smoke guys like Parros and John Scott, and they were better players too.

What ever you say bud.
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(but officiating is another pet peeve, put whistle n "back pocket" if game almost over and is close in score is as "bush-league" as it gets. In NFL a hold/interference is a penalty no matter what scoreboard says, nor whether is OT in Superbowl or just pre-season.)

This, in my opinion, is where the league is bush. The quality of officiating in hockey is laughable. What is a call on one play is overlooked 20 seconds later on another play even if both are directly in view of the officials. A call early in the game isn't the same late in the game. The regular season has one set of rules and the playoffs a completely different set.

Now, I completely understand that hockey is a fast sport and non-stop so therefore perhaps more difficult to call, but there are so many things that are too blatant to just be mistakes. Like seriously, how can the playoffs be called so completely differently from the regular season?

It's hard to fault players for much of what they do when they have no idea from one minute to the next, let alone one game to the next, what the standard is going to be.

THAT is embarrassing.

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