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I hate you, Toronto, ON • Canada • 27 Years Old • Male
In the wake of recent discussions regarding fighting in the NHL, I feel I have to voice my opinion on to why it is so important in this league. The action of throwing down the fist cuffs and landing some hay makers on another human beings' face is certainly violent and dangerous, but not to that degree in hockey. This sport has lain its foundation on selling an up-pace, aggressive, hard nosed, intensity game ever since the league began in 1917. The art of fighting in the NHL is not just two goons who pound each other senseless for the simple act of retribution. It's a cornerstone of the game that can define a team's turn around and gain of momentum. It is also a selling point to those who are new to the game. Despite what some may think, this violent and aggressive action is what most fans enjoy to see. It is what separates the NHL from other sports. It has defined itself... do not take that away.

While many complain of cheap shots, like hitting the head, intent to injure, hitting from behind, etc., these are situation that are often run on emotions of the players who seek revenge on a certain player. It's a gutless act, but can you imagine the impact of removing fighting after seeing this? Fighting is not only a momentum gaining tactic, it's a dance that also vents two players frustrations on one another. Without fighting, how do players react to plays they don't like? Well, you'd see an increase on dirty plays which many fear is affecting the sports popularity.

To touch back on the roots of the game, fighting is also a factor in a teams success. Without a ''goon'', so to speak, who defends the all-star player? Who makes players think twice about roughing up their players or most importantly, the goaltender? Fighting in hockey is a message, or a tool rather to better define what the game is about.

Also, let's not forget about the fans. An aspect of the game that can lower or higher the spirits of a team. When a home teams' player wins a fight, when does it not jolt a burst of energy to the fans, which then translates to the players? Like it or not, fighting is a big part in the great game of hockey, it affects the many facets that makes this game so coveted by hockey fans around the world.

Thanks for reading.
Filed Under:   NHL   fighting   Belak  
December 10, 2007 11:49 AM ET | Delete
interesting ron I can see importance of fighting but I still have concerns with itbeing to much that is
December 10, 2007 12:52 PM ET | Delete
I totally agree Ron. I mean, other sports are based purely on fighting (Boxing, UFC) so why is it such a big deal that it happens to be part of our sport from the very beginning. If they want to take fighting out of hockey, then Boxing and UFC should be eliminated too. LoLThe instigator rule needs to be abolished and fighting needs to stay in the game for good.End of discussion.
December 10, 2007 1:01 PM ET | Delete
Good post Ron. You really managed to present the issue succinctly and your analysis is 100% correct as far as I'm concerned. Fighting is nowhere near the pinnacle of the game for me, yet its value to the sport and its worth is well established, as you pointed out. (And they are fun to watch, especially in person.)
December 10, 2007 2:47 PM ET | Delete
I've never bought the argument that goons protect star players. Did the presence of Shawn Thornton keep Patrice Bergeron safe? How about Chris Neil... did Steve Downie really think "uh oh, if I try to kill McAmmond, Neil's gonna mess me up." It comes down to respect for their fellow players, and respect is going to exist whether there are goons or not... I guess my only argument against fighting is that there are so many pointless fights, between supposed heavyweights, that just bogs down the flow of the game... I don't care if Donald Brashear and Wade Belak go at it, without emotion there's no point... did you ever hear Laraque when he had the microphone on? When he asked the other guy how his kids were doing, asked him if he wanted to dance, and then wished him good luck before dropping the gloves? As nice as it is that he's checking up on his opponents welfare, it totally demeans the fight and makes it, in my mind, a bit of a circus sideshow...
December 10, 2007 3:44 PM ET | Delete
I don't care for the pointless fights that happen nowadays, but if you toss the instigator, you'd see more policing of the game via fights, and not the stupid sideshows that we get now.
December 10, 2007 3:52 PM ET | Delete
A-Mar - That is not my point. Of course players will still initiate in dirty plays. But fighting often stops the emotions from going overboard by letting opponents square off rather then check them from behind to vent their frustration. Goons help control the game better then just having players roam freely holding their stick furiously with nothing to do about it.
December 10, 2007 3:57 PM ET | Delete
About 50% of the fights are planned and discussed and pre meditated. Those are usually the heavy weights and they can be a drag sometimes. Then there are the Iginla V Lecavalir or Iginla V Beauchemin type that are 100% emotion and are derived from agitation, real frustration, or just a needed instant payback. Those fights are awesome and are even better during the SC Playoffs. Those fights can define a game or even a series. Those fights are good. Unfortunately, when you try and throw out the bad fights, the good ones have to go too and I absolutely don't want that to happen.
December 10, 2007 4:26 PM ET | Delete
Good post and comments DF.
December 10, 2007 4:33 PM ET | Delete
Great post, DF. But is that not like hitting? We can't remove body checks just because some decide to hit the head or hit from behind. I know it's a different context but the point is the same. There's always 's and -'s, for this game I think it would be a minus to eliminate fighting all together. ( I know you said you don't want it too happen, I'm just blabbing away here :) )
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