Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fighting Or No Fighting?


Clearly, there is great debate recently over the role of violence and fighting in the NHL.   Thirty general managers are discussing this as you read this.   NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has publicly made it clear that fighting "is part of the game" in response to crticism from hockey pacifists, but on the flip side there seems to be an unspoken resurgence of players lobbying to limit fighting in hockey. 

We can all agree that things are changing this season and with the great number of injuries as a result of a faster game and the continued 'head-shot' issue, it seems there is no consensus on the the issue of fighting in hockey.   

Some recent comments on this site under a post titled Stupid Heads is drumming up thousands of hits and I thought it was worth re-posting - see below.  Both are valid arguments.  Both are not wrong.  Where is this all going to end up... 

The Shivering Sands said...
There is a kind of street justice (or perhaps "ice justice" would be more appropriate here) in hockey that no other sport has. There is a reason why there is no dancing on the ice, or trash talking to the media. It is because of the toleration of fighting.

I certainly do not want to the NHL to regress back to the days of "Hanson Brothers" type goonery; however the ability for two players who have a problem with each other to be able to take a minute from the game and just duke it out really is one of the reasons why hockey is so special, and in all honesty, why I have grown to love it.

Completely eliminating fighting from hockey all together is totally unnecessary and won’t solve anything and will only push away the need for support for truly needed rules like a "zero tolerance for head shots" policy.

These players are big boys and they know what they are getting themselves into.

And then
General Ganz said...
The problem with fighting is it's antisocial. Fighting is fine, if it's the sport itself - boxing, MMA, whatever. The issue with fighting in hockey is that it's treated as an outlet to resolve disputes. 
When you don't like something, you're permitted to lose your shit and fight it out. That's not how things work - in life, in sports, in general. It's only how things work in pro hockey, which is increasingly disconnecting itself from reality and the society within which it operates. 
Tell me, what the Hell am I supposed to tell a kid about controlling himself and resolving disputes "using his words", when his so-called heroes are out there chucking the knuckles anytime shit doesn't go their way? All this "part of the game" nonsense is bullshit. It's there to validate the self-image of those dinosaurs who grew up within it. 
Are you telling me Bettman jerseyed the judge in court whenever he ruled against him? Come on, dude - give your own head a shake.

Send us an email or leave comments below...let us know what your thoughts are.

TDR

4 comments:

  1. And with that...today the Rangers signed our first-round draft pick goon to a RANGERS contract:

    New York, March 16, 2011 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Dylan McIlrath.

    169 Penalty minutes in the minors....that says it all

    TDR

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think General Gaz is absolutely right when he says that fighting is not "apart of the game". That’s totally true, fighting does not "need" to be there, however what people do not realize is that if your going to take fighting out, you are going to have to take out a lot of other forms of behavior, which usually contribute to fights. That means even more rules and regulations and pretty soon a player won’t be able to sneeze in another players direction without having to take a trip to the penalty box.

    I totally get where people like General Gaz is coming from, because I am coming from the opposite side of the spectrum. In my honest opinion, hockey should not mirror life or reality. Hockey should not be some alternative to an afterschool special. Yes, fighting is anti – social behavior, but how many hockey players have gotten in trouble for fighting when they are not on the ice?

    Respectively the, “for the children” argument is quite frankly just as silly as the argument for violent videogames and music with dirty language. I sing in a death metal band, which means I scream into a microphone content that would make Steven King cringe, yet I am the most passive and friendly person you will ever meet in real life. That is because I can differentiate between what is socially acceptable versus what I can get away with when I am on stage, just like hockey players can differentiate what is socially acceptable versus what they can get away with on the ice. If a child cannot differentiate that, then he or she is either a product of bad parenting or has some kind of untreated social disorder.

    As I mentioned before, fighting is not really the issue when it comes to injuries. If a player gets injured while fighting, like in DiPietro or Boogard’s case, then it’s his own fault because he made the choice to engage in a fight.

    The real problem that can and should be regulated is with blind side checks and headshots, which have ended many more careers then fighting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think General Gaz is absolutely right when he says that fighting is not "apart of the game". That’s totally true, fighting does not "need" to be there, however what people do not realize is that if your going to take fighting out, you are going to have to take out a lot of other forms of offensive strategy and behavior, which usually contribute to fights. That means even more rules and regulations and pretty soon a player won’t be able to sneeze in another players direction without having to take a trip to the penalty box.

    In my honest opinion, hockey should not mirror life or reality. Hockey should not be some alternative to an afterschool special. Yes, fighting is anti – social behavior, but how many hockey players have gotten in trouble for fighting when they are not on the ice?

    Respectively the, “for the children” argument is quite frankly just as silly as the argument for violent videogames and music with dirty language. People should be able to differentiate what is socially acceptable between hockey and real life. If a child cannot differentiate that, then he or she is either a product of bad parenting or has some kind of untreated social disorder.

    As I mentioned before, fighting is not really the issue when it comes to injuries. If a player gets injured while fighting, like in DiPietro or Boogard’s case, then it’s his own fault because he made the choice to engage in a fight. The real problem that can and should be regulated is with blind side checks and headshots, which have ended many more careers then fighting.

    ReplyDelete
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