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Manotick, ON • Canada •
As many of you are probably well aware Derek Boogaard along with his brother Aaron have started the Derek and Aaron Boogaard Fighting Camp. A camp solely designed to, like the name would suggest teach players the basics of how to fight in hockey. Not surprisingly this camp has come under heavy criticism with people claiming that this promotes fighting and encourages young players to fight. Boogaard obviously claims he is not encouraging kids to fight but rather teaching them how.

Regardless of weather or not Boogaard is encouraging children to fight in hockey I believe the camp is a good idea. Many of you may already be calling me a nutcase and assuming that I am some kind of crazed moron but let me explain. From my experience the large majority of player who are able to play junior or perhaps even higher will end up in a fight at least once in their career. Many of these players are not regular fighter, nor would they by any stretch of the imagination be considered “tough guys”. These players usually find themselves looking up at the ceiling lights before the fight has barely started. It is not uncommon for these players to sustain serious facial injuries or head injuries as a result. Had these players been trained how to fight the chances of these injuries would be greatly reduced.

Boogaard claims he will teach players how to defend themselves as well as punch. In hockey the only way to learn how to fight is to fight, which probably means getting your block knocked off a couple of times. By learning the basics of fighting before you actually fight greatly improves your chances of not only winning but more importantly not getting hurt. Many young player trying out for junior teams are, in an attempt to get noticed going to fight regardless of weather or not they know how, obviously they usually don’t do to well. Training these players in the basics of fighting would greatly increase their chances of winning, and impressing the coaching staff.

Despite what some may say it does take skill to be a fighter in hockey. And regardless of weather or not you agree with fighting in hockey you don’t want to be the one staring up at the ceiling fans, or worse once the fight is over. So perhaps instead of bashing Boogaard we should be praising him for helping to teach a somewhat forgotten skill to a many young aspiring hockey players.
July 27, 2007 9:59 AM ET | Delete
I would actually also support the players going to this camp. Although many critics will say that fighting does not belong in the game I would beg to differ. Fighting allows the players to police themselves. It is the idea that - if you take a cheap shot at one of our star players, you can expect one of our goons to go after either you or one of your star players. It helps to keep players honest and in check where the refs may not be able to. But from a purely technical standpoint this camp is a good idea anyhow. It shows the players how to conduct themselves if they are engaged in a fight. The last thing you want to see is your star player out there fighting, but at the very least if someone picks a fight with him (after this camp) he will be better able to defend himself.
July 27, 2007 1:05 PM ET | Delete
I agree. Why not teach it? I wish it was more prevalent now in the NHL but regardless it could be useful. It may promote "safe" fighting, I mean that there will be less injuries or dirty fighting.
July 27, 2007 1:27 PM ET | Delete
Yeah Goons are vital. If Belak had of been dressed the day that goon janssen hit kaberle he may not have done it or he would got gotten a fury of fists thrown at him. Sure the next game Belak kicked the living crap outta him but it wasnt the same.
July 27, 2007 7:28 PM ET | Delete
I realize the need for "role players" I was one myself, however as a former hockey coach at the "AA" and "AAA" level, I'm here to say; There are just to many STUPID parents out there to have this made availible to them. You know te old saying......A little information, can be dangerous! My teams in Bantam and Midget have always had, little, private info sessions with the larger, more capable players on our squads, on how to defend themselves, how to stop a fight if your getting beat down.....and generally, what to do, if the situation arises. But to have a school for kids with an overagressive parent with a bad case of small man syndrome is a recipe for disaster, in my opinion.
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