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Today’s must-click link: The human toll of fighting

Aug 15, 2011, 6:02 PM EDT

Dennis Seidenberg, Ryan Kesler AP

It’s not often we do this sort of thing, but rather than just talk about a great post, we’re just going to point you in the direction of one worth checking out.

Today’s must-click link comes to us from SBN’s Ottawa Senators blog Silver Sevens. There, Peter Raaymakers wrote a great piece on fighting in the NHL and the toll it takes on those who partake in the league’s legal way of meting out justice on the ice. Fighting is something that I personally do enjoy, but only in those fights where you’ve got two willing and able participants going at it to prove some sort of point to each other or for their teams.

After reading Raaymakers’ piece on the subject and the effects it has on players, it’s the sort of thing that will give even the most ardent fan of fighting a reason to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective. Give it a read and go over things once again in your own mind if you’re a fan of fights and pugilistic justice on the ice.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 16, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    To be honest, the author doesn’t make the strongest argument for his case. He admits there is no proven connection between Probert’s condition or Boogard’s substance abuse and fighting. I agree with Don Cherry: the league should focus on getting rid of what he calls “mad dogs”, the players who play one shift in order to fight someone and sit at the end of the bench for the other 59 minutes, and to do that they need to get rid of the instigator rule. Marty McSorley was an enforcer tasked with protecting Wayne Gretzky. He also had 359 points in 961 career games. If players want to be enforcers there shouldn’t be a problem with that. The problem is the modern definition of an enforcer is a player who can only drop the gloves but can’t contribue anything else to the team. That shouldn’t be the case, they should be guys that can make regular contributions on offense and/or defense in addition to protecting their teams’ stars. Fighting’s place in hockey does not need to be routinely questioned. The league needs to take a look at the players doing the fighting, as it is often these “mad dogs”, and make an adjustment to discourage teams from using a player solely to go out and try to break someone’s face. That to me is what has no place in the game

  2. icelovinbrotha215 - Aug 16, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    It’s the concussions that may be the link. The brain is the most complex database in the world and for that reason doctors are still learning how to treat concussions. In the NFL, they believe concussions have lead to suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Not far-fetched to think that fighters, who have taken 1000s of blows to the head since their days in JRs, may suffer from the same post-concussion syndrome. I do agree with you that tough guys need to be able to contribute offensively also. Goons make the game of hockey more of a boxing match.

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