Oct 1, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing George Parros (15) and Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Colton Orr (28) fight during the third period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

SenShot Daily Poll – Fighting In Hockey


The fighting debate is going to rear its head in the coming days and weeks in light of the George Parros injury suffered last night, as well as the John Scott-Phil Kessel incident in the pre-season.

 

Both sides have a point.

On one side, it is and has been a part of the game of hockey as long as anyone can remember.  It is a method of solving grievances, no matter how barbaric it may seem.  Players who participate in such actions are aware of the risks, and some realize that the paycheque of being an NHL player outweighs those risks.  Many of them wouldn’t be in the league if they couldn’t fight. They are grown men and as long as the league allows it, they can make the decision to drop the gloves or not to drop the gloves.  Many argue that a ban on fighting would increase the number of “cheap shots” or reckless play because certain types of players can run around freely with little fear of physical repercussion.

On the other hand, the game is constantly changing and rules are being put into place to make it safer.  Case in point, the “don’t remove your helmet before a fight” rule.  In the very same game that Parros was injured, Mark Fraser and Brandon Prust both agreed to remove their helmets and each take the extra minor penalty for doing so.  So players will find a way around the rules to settle the differences.  Fighting is also a method of intimidation, as Kessel wanted no part of  Scott, and the resulting stick-swinging put a black mark on the game yet again.  Many of the “goons” in the NHL have no part being there if they can’t play the game.

The NHL is walking a fine line, between allowing people to make decisions on their own, and to put an end to a tradition.  It might be dramatic, but at some point, someone is going to get killed on the ice, whether through a fight or otherwise.  And if it is because of a fight, can the NHL honestly look at the public and say that they took all reasonable precautions to avoid the tragedy?  They have put a ban on headshots but allow two willing (or sometimes unwilling) combatants to square off and punch each other in the head with closed fists, and that is acceptbable.

I don’t know what the answer is.  If you do take out fighting, what’s next?  Hitting?

There is no right or wrong answer.  You will never please everyone no matter what decision the league ends up making.  The pressure will be on t0 ban fisticuffs, just like headshots were the target before.

 

All I know is that as players get bigger and stronger, the stakes get higher, scenes like this are more frightening.  The NHL is fortunate they have not had the fatality that changes everything.  YET.

 

What Should The NHL Do About Fighting?

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Tags: Featured Fighting George Parros John Scott NHL Popluar

  • Derek Lee

    I side to ban it, I personaly think the league should be pro active in this case. Kids watch and play the game, we teach our kids that fighting is not how you solve problems yet its ok if your wearing skates? I understand that its been part of the NHL for years but they need to face the fact that the game has changed as you mentioned. Players are bigger, faster, stronger and i’m glad you capitalized the word YET. It only seems like a matter of time before there is a casualty and its sad if they let it get to that, while changing other stupid things such as the new jersey tuck rule. When I reflect on the season that past I remember the nice goals and plays that the skill players create, not a knock out by a goon.