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GMs have “no desire” to ban fighting

Oct 23, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

Derek Dorsett versus Jonathan Ericsson AP

If you’re worried about the NHL banning fighting, don’t be.

At least, not yet.

According to Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun, there’s “no desire” among NHL general managers to outlaw fighting, despite a push from certain members of the media to do so.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirms the lack of interest among team bosses in taking scraps out of the game.

“I don’t think it’s on the front-burner with GMs in terms of issues we need to discuss,” said Daly. “It’s obviously something we look at and are always monitoring and maybe at some point it will be raised in a GM meeting.”

Even Red Wings GM Ken Holland wants fighting to remain part of hockey, which presumably is like Switzerland coming out in favor of war.

“I’m not against fighting – I think it has a place in the game,” Holland said. “I’ve never heard of anyone pushing to eliminate it.”

Francis also references a recent study by Georgetown University doctor David Milzman that concluded fighting isn’t a serious health risk for NHL players. After all, punches on the ice don’t have nearly the power that punches on the ground do.

“When you’re on ice,” Milzman said, “you get all the power off your front foot. Whether you are holding a jersey or not holding a jersey, you just don’t get the transfer of power because your front foot is moving and the thing you are hitting is moving.

“The doctor makes a good point,” Jay Beagle didn’t say.

  1. stakex - Oct 23, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    The only people pushing for the banning of fighting in hockey are members of the media who don’t know jack about the sport… or have never played it. I haven’t heard any players, owners, GMs, coaches, or anyone from the league saying banning fighting would be a good or wise thing to do.

    The fact is fighting has been a part of hockey for a long time now, and has never been an issue. A couple enforcers die over the course of a year due to non-fighting related issues (drugs and depression… issues a whole lot of people who aren’t NHL enforcers suffer from), and some idiots out there immediatly made a false connection between their deaths and fighting in the NHL with absolutely no eveidence. It was pure ignornace then, and its pure ignorance now.

  2. tapefolie - Oct 23, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    The fighting in hockey is nothing more than a few minutes of a Jerry Springer show. That’s the reason no one likes hockey, because you can’t like a game when you don’t respect the players. And the players don’t respect themselves. Sad but true.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 23, 2011 at 6:06 PM

      Sounds like you need to actually watch a hockey game. Or get your head checked. Or both maybe

    • nocryinginbaseball07 - Oct 23, 2011 at 6:16 PM

      No one likes hockey? Them’s fighting’ words!

    • danphipps01 - Oct 23, 2011 at 7:31 PM

      Right. Since, obviously, the packed arenas day-in, day-out are entirely full of masochists. Over here in the real world, I’m just going to go ahead with what I feel is a fairly safe assumption – that the millions of people who attend hockey games and watch them at home actually like them.

    • johninpa - Oct 23, 2011 at 7:49 PM

      Fighting serves a purpose in hockey. It helps to keep play clean, helps to protect your stars. You don’t want to have to mix it up with an enforcer, you play clean. It might be interesting if fighting was part of other sports. Remember the old days when you purposely fouled Shaq, and he couldn’t make a foul shot. How about he throws a couple punches at whoever fouled him? Bet he doesn’t get fouled so often. How about a pitcher plunks the batter on purpose and they go at it out on the mound. Maybe pitchers think twice about hitting this guy. Won’t ever happen, but it’s interesting to think about.

      • danphipps01 - Oct 23, 2011 at 8:09 PM

        Eh. Fighting’s a cultural thing – the other big-name sports don’t have the background for it in their culture or their history. It wouldn’t end up serving much of a purpose, and there IS the above thing about how much more dangerous a punch from a solid, flat-footed position is than one thrown from a guy on skates. Leave magnificent bare-knuckle boxing to hockey and be glad one sport popular in North America hasn’t succumbed to the ridiculous over-concern for every player boo-boo that media leeches trying to look good for their Pulitzer candidacy are constantly ranting about.

        I find it sad that in a world where rugby is one of the major international sports, North American journalists sob into their pillows and hyperventilate on camera about how horrific and barbarous it is to fight in hockey. Fuck, the Europeans are far more manly about sports than we are – and they invented SOCCER for God’s sake. What does THAT say about us?

  3. tommytd - Oct 23, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    All the fighting, head shots and assorted other cheapshots are some of the reasons why the NHL is, and will always be a second tier professional sport

    • dipthatchip - Oct 24, 2011 at 12:27 AM

      why do you even read PHT? Seems to me that your reasoning would make this a second tier site.

      TL;DR- you dumb

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 24, 2011 at 8:04 AM

      The reason why it’s not as popular as the other Big 3 is that it is an expensive sport to play. That’s the biggest thing. It doesn’t cost much money to join the local football, baseball and basketball teams. But it cost thousands of dollars to play travel and scholastic ice hockey. Kids turn into parents and pass on their passion for sports unto their kids. If you didn’t grow up playing ice hockey it’s a smaller chance you are going to watch the game. Probably a lesser chance you get you kid involved.

    • blkeskimo1785 - Oct 24, 2011 at 9:26 AM

      This is incorrect. The reason there are so much head hunting and cheapshots is because of the instigator rule and a lack of respect for other players. A majority of the time, it’s lesser-skilled players that are guilty of cheapshots. Eliminate the instigator rule and the situation is handled on the spot.

  4. tapefolie - Oct 24, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    When people get up and cheer for a hockey fight next time your at a game you’ll notice their laughing. But the reason their laughing is because they can’t believe how stupid it is. Whatever reason used to validate hockey fighting is now gone, people don’t understand it. Get fighting and/or the GMs out of the game.

    • polegojim - Oct 24, 2011 at 9:51 AM

      Tapfolie – lets get you out of ProHockey Talk.

    • mgp1219 - Oct 24, 2011 at 1:17 PM

      you seem to know alot about hockey fights for someone who doesn’t like them or hockey itself.

      ya wanna go??

  5. comeonnowguys - Oct 24, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    I’m against fighting, I think as the league cracks down on the incidents that lead to fights, the usefulness of fighting decreases.

    But, after reading some of these anti-fighting comments I may have to switch my stance. Sheesh.

    • danphipps01 - Oct 24, 2011 at 4:12 PM

      As a generally pro-fighting guy, I actually quite agree. The solution in my mind isn’t to make fighting an issue, but to incentivize it less. It’s a part of the game I feel should stay, but I don’t like that there are players whose only apparent role IS to fight. Now, I’m not saying everyone needs to be like Jarome Iginla or Steven Stamkos (although that would be pretty awesome, don’t you think?), but guys can fight and still contribute in other ways – even a middle-six grinder like Cal Clutterbuck is a solid example of how you could round out your roles as a player while still making fighting part of your game. He scores, he grinds, he hits like a machine and he’ll drop the gloves if needed. That’s what we need instead of dedicated goons. Penalize mass fighting, too. If four or six players break off and drop the gloves, shut that down before it starts. If fights are occurring repeatedly in a game, start cutting them off immediately. Leave fighting in, but govern it for God’s sake. Media hacks are hyperventilating about the BRUTAL ATTACK ON POOR JAY BEAGLE, but how often does a guy get flattened like that? When was the last time, Kane vs. Cooke? Come on, people. Fights bruise and cut people up a little at worst barring freak exceptions like that. It’s a hell of a lot less harmful than bad hits and that’s why the League is focusing on those – because they’re an actual threat to player health and don’t have a game function of any sort. The role of dedicated enforcer is the problem, not the act of fighting itself – guys who are forced to bulk to gargantuan proportions and basically only see ice time where they’re supposed to go out and be violent, guys who are not respected or mentioned in high regard by comparison to other players… come on, who wouldn’t develop issues in a career like that? The fighting isn’t what damages them, it’s the depression resultant from being pigeonholed as a mindless thug. THAT is unfair to the players – both enforcers and others. They all deserve better, so let’s give them that. It will result in a more skilled game and less people overdosing or killing themselves. That’s change worth pushing for.

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