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Turning tide? Yzerman wants game misconduct for fighting

Oct 2, 2013, 2:28 PM EDT

Steve Yzerman Getty Images

Hockey Hall of Famer and Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman believes it’s time for the NHL to take dramatic action to cut down on fighting.

“Yes, I believe a player should get a game misconduct for fighting,” Yzerman told The Dreger Report. “We penalize and suspend players for making contact with the head while checking, in an effort to reduce head injuries, yet we still allow fighting.

“We’re stuck in the middle and need to decide what kind of sport do we want to be. Either anything goes and we accept the consequences, or take the next step and eliminate fighting.”

Yzerman isn’t alone among his league counterparts either. “We’ve got to get rid of fighting,” Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said. “It has to go.”

Penguins GM Ray Shero also thinks the NHL needs to consider a ban.

It will be extremely interesting to see if the general managers get together soon to debate fighting. They did that back in 2009, eventually proposing a 10-minute misconduct for players who drop their gloves immediately after a faceoff as a ways to cut down on staged fights. The NHLPA blocked that proposal, however.

Update: Scotty Bowman, via Twitter:

Related: Does fighting still belong in the NHL?

114 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Hang him! Crucify him! This man obviously hates OUR sport. He should just generally manage tennis or something.

    • mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:38 PM

      Ok, I put a sarcasm HTML tag on that so people would know I was joking, but the comment box swallowed it up a real HTML code….. Anyway, I’m being sarcastic

      • 950003cups - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        Lets see Ol’ Yzer talk when some goons start taking liberties at Stamkos and nobody does squat in return cause nobody wants a match penalty. Or if Stamkos gets speared and fights some 4th liner and they both get thrown out.

      • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        Fight! Why would Stamkos drop the gloves against a 4th liner? Be reasonable. Let’s entertain this scenario for a minute. Let’s use the instigator rule. If a player is deemed as the instigator, this player will be suspended for 10 without pay, and the coach will be suspended for 5 games without pay. The disciplinary sanctions will double with each recurrence. See how easy that was, and I’m no hockey expert, lawyer or anything like that…..

      • 950003cups - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        OK, so then Stamkos (and all other star players) do nothing and continue to get cheap shots the rest of their careers. That’s the alternative. The refs can’t protect every star player without sacrificing the game.

      • nothingman20 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:14 PM

        “Lets see Ol’ Yzer talk when some goons start taking liberties at Stamkos and nobody does squat in return cause nobody wants a match penalty. Or if Stamkos gets speared and fights some 4th liner and they both get thrown out.”

        But what if they outlaw fighting? The “goon” is going to be minimized. It won’t go away completely, but you’ll have to be a “goon” who can also score and pass and skate and hit people cleanly. Which just sounds like what a hockey player should be.

      • mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:15 PM

        First of all, “cheap shots” are generally illegal. I’m assuming you mean spearing, slew footing, etc. So there are only a certain amount of cheap shots that a player can receive before a penalty is called. Second, we see cheap shots on star players even with fighting as is. Third, if these goons start getting away with relentless cheap shots that go unpenalized, can’t fighting as a means of protecting stars just get replaced by cheap shots as a means of protecting star players? I’m betting this wouldn’t even be an issue because cheap shots mostly get called. Sure some are missed, but on the whole, especially when they are in excess, they are called.

      • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:22 PM

        If it’s a cheap shots then it’s subject to a penalty, and review by the disciplinary committee whether it’s a star player or not. There has to be negative individual and team consequences for every cheap shot depending on the severity. Did Kessel fight Scott? In this scenario players would step in to protect their teammate. (no need to drop the glove) If someone does drop the gloves, then Scott is the clear instigator and would be thrown out, and everyone deemed the instigator would get tossed if a line brawl ensued. NHL implemented the harshest of rules to eliminate bench brawls. That’s why they don’t happen anymore. I understand banning fights is a shocking concept, but so are head injuries. The body is a highly regulated hockey tactic which when used effectively can immediately lead to a goal or prevent one. If 100% of body checks were within the limits of the rules, then there would be no head shots. Of course accidents do happen. At times the concussion can be caused by hitting the surface of play (football, baseball, soccer etc,,,) and sometimes it can be accidentally caused by the hard shelled equipment. The NHL needs to sanction a body to investigate today’s equipment and assess what can be done from that perspective to minimize the risks to a player’s safety.

    • micklethepickle - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      Fighting has been an accepted part of hockey since before Yzerman was born. So yea, he DOES hate the sport, since it is as much a part of the game as walking a batter is in baseball.

      • imleftcoast - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        Yeah, who is this guy? You’d think he was the second or third most respected former player in hockey. Move on guy-who-lives-in-his-mom’s-basement, nothing to see here.

      • micklethepickle - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        Uh…. where did I insult Stevie Y? I’ll say it again, since no one else is willing to say it, fighting has been a part of hockey longer than any player, fan, or GM has been alive. There’s a reason it still exists in the sport.

        And just like i’m allowed to despise baseball because of things I find boring about the way the game is played, you can dislike hockey for fighting. Doesn’t mean my opinions should change the MLB, and damn sure doesn’t mean all these d-bags get to change the NHL.

      • mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        Really? Is this really your comment?

  2. hockey412 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Good luck with that. There certainly is a case to do SOMETHING about the guys that are only there to fight…Orr had 2:47 of TOI last night and 20 PIMs….something’s not quite right there. But how are you going to police that?

    • jpelle82 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      you cant. its a wash anyway, these gm’s can say what they want but the nhlpa will never allow a ban. i dont see any owners speaking up yet either.

      • hockey412 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:10 PM

        Agreed – I don’t think any of them will, either.

  3. nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Come on folks, time to hear from those who insist on pretending that fighting prevents worse injuries, which any glance at the injury reports will make clear it doesn’t. Can at least one person just honestly admit that the only reason for keeping fighting is that many fans, regardless of the damage they know it causes, simply enjoy the spectacle and would miss it? One honest fan out there?

    • skr213 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      You’ve created a straw argument. People aren’t saying fighting prevents other injuries (although that’s true tangentially), rather, fighting is part of the game. It is how things are policed. It is how things get settled. I think it will eventually go away, but trying to rush that process isn’t going to work.

      • hockey412 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        Orr and Parros fought once, then again, until it got settled by someone getting injured. In Buffalo they got ‘settled’ by an enforcer going after a much smaller sniper and an on-ice clash.

        I’m not against fighting, but there’s a HUGE hole in that statement.

      • imleftcoast - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        The league is so competitive it would take one off-season to adjust. Let’s be serious. Hard hits do as much to enforce the Code as staged fights do.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:53 PM

        Straw argument? Far from it. Then you disagree with me and then say that what I said was true (tangentially). I merely parroted what I’ve read myriad times on this site. And yes, fighting has long been “part of the game.” I’ve been a fan for more than 50 years and recall when most guys fought from time to time. It was very different then. Each team played each other team 14 times in a season and guys were paid so little they needed off-season jobs (that’s why Tim Horton started a donut shop). They needed the tiny playoff bonus. And after hearing the same taunts from an opponent over and over and getting his elbow or stick over and over, they would snap in anger. And fight. Some more than others, and yes, each team had a tough guy (who could usually also play good hockey; Eddie Shack and John Ferguson had 20 goal seasons), and a few guys never fought, but the stats show that most stars also fought. It’s completely different now. Almost solely designated fighters fighting to rouse their team and crowd, not out of anger and frustration. Essentially bogus.

      • mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        Fighting as a preventative to worse violence in the game is a standard argument. Nothing straw about it.

      • jpelle82 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        i’m an honest fan and i enjoy fights. fights are fun to watch, and when i go to a game i hope to see one. i would be greatly disenfranchised by a fighting ban and i would bet if these gms ran a poll they would see i’m in the majority. i wouldnt stop watching but i wouldnt be as excited watch every game or buy a ticket, especially during the season doldrums of november-february.

    • sunderlanding - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      Yes fighting is entertaining. That’s part of why fans like it, but not the only reason. It’s also a huge part of hockey culture. People get hurt fighting, but more get hurt bodychecking, so if it’s player safety we’re worried about we should get rid of hitting as well. How about we accept the fact that a few people will get concussions hitting and fighting, but their million dollar salaries compensate them for that risk.

      • jpelle82 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        exactly

    • kjjm4 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:10 PM

      I could take or leave fighting. I don’t hate watching a good fight, but I’d rather watch good hockey.

    • basedrum777 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:11 PM

      Honestly the only way to ever get rid of fighting in hockey would be to call a penalty every time a player touches another player. In Hockey as in other sports there technically is no legal basis according to the rules, from EVER touching another player on the ice short of a legal hit (Hockey and Football and tagging and blocking in fb and bb). If Giroux/Stamkos/Malkin is going to be forced to be grabbed and held or slapped with a stick every time he goes up the ice the NHL either needs to begin calling penalties for every single tap OR they have to allow fighting. Otherwise you run a situation where the skilled players would never be able to get around on the ice enough to score even 2 goals a game.

      Also what is the deterrent to dirty players (we’re all looking at Orr) who want to try to hurt superstars to prevent them from playing against their team? The only deterrent currently is a punch to the face.

      • mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 6:45 PM

        This is another classic. Where do you guys come up with stuff like this? Illegal to tap or allow fights? I really think that fighting could be curtailed without making light touches illegal….

      • thesportsjudge - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:28 PM

        “Honestly the only way to ever get rid of fighting in hockey would be to call a penalty every time a player touches another player.”

        There is a league for that….the NBA, lol. 6 fouls they are out of the game.

        In all seriousness, maybe if one player fights more than once per game, the team is assessed a 5 min major? I know it isn’t really reasonable, but I guess it is at least a suggestion that shouldn’t totally be laughed off.

  4. sjsharks66 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Is there anyone on PHT that seriously gets upset when players fight? Normal people get excited and cheer their team on in a fight and then continue to watch great passes, saves and checks.

    This is like the NFL taking away TD celebrations.

    • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      No! This is like the NFL taking away helmet to helmet contact. Protect the head at all cost.

      “Helmet-to-helmet collisions are occurrences in American football when two players’ helmets make head-to-head contact with a high degree of force. Despite its long association with the sport, this type of contact is now considered to be dangerous play by league authorities due to the potential of causing serious injury.”

      Any of this sound familiar kids?

      • hockeyflow33 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:26 PM

        Except checking is still a part of the game.

      • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:30 PM

        So is hitting in football.

      • thesportsjudge - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:33 PM

        No joey, TACKLING is still allowed in the NFL.

  5. skr213 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Sorry, all I hear is: the Lightning don’t have a good enforcer this year.

    • letsgolightning - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      More than just this year – Zenon Konopka was the last real one we had. Steve Downie was eager to step up and fun to watch but ultimately undersized. I think Crombeen believes that he’s an enforcer, but he just seems to get in the way of other people’s punches. Gudas has some potential- I’m looking forward to watching him play more this year.

      • hystoracle - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        You forgot about Nacho. Definitely not in Tampa because of his goal scoring prowess.

      • mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:07 PM

        All I can say is Konopka is not a serious enforcer.

    • leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      I’m a Lightning fan and I can confirm that this is the case lol. Gudas is a hard hitter while the puck is in play, but as far as actual fighting is concerned he’s average at best. Just doesn’t really have the size. Our best fighter is probably Aulie or Malone, and that says it all.

      • hystoracle - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        Malone gets hurt sleeping in his own bed. Not sure he could withstand a fight.

      • jpelle82 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        his ahl fight card is pretty decent – gudas that is. he hung in there against nolan, tinordi both way bigger guys in the ahl and he fought parros last year i believe. i have a feeling he will make a name for himself somehow this year. he’s worth me tuning in to lightning games if my team is off that night.

    • mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 6:46 PM

      Then I guess you didn’t hear Bowman and Rutherford agree.

  6. pone27 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    This is a simple case of a player turned GM who is making a case to maintain his job as a GM.

    You cannot compare suspending/giving players game misconducts for hits to the head and fighting.

    Obviously, players who get suspended for hitting someone high in the head is not playing by the rules, and is performing a cheap, defenseless blow to the head in a much more impactful manner.

    Fighting is done mutually, with clear consent that both player knows the possible outcome. Heck, tough guys now are agreeing to take off each others helmets.

    Yzerman, Shero, Rutherford and the rest of the GMs who want fighting out is because they fear of losing out on a player, which in turn could be considered a “waste of money,” which could in hindsight, put their job in jeopardy for making a “poor management decision.”

    To compare a player making a disrespecful, immoral check to the head of player to 2 grown men who understand their possible consequences (and same time benefits (team moral boost)) is not a good debate.

    Try again Steve.

    • thesportsjudge - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:37 PM

      I wonder what people like Cicarelli and Kocur (his old buddies/teammates) think of Stevie Y’s statement?

  7. tyler4richardson - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Of course Shero wants fighting out. Crosby and Malkin will grow ten feet overnight.

    • hockey412 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Both of those guys have proven throughout their careers that they are never afraid of a fight. Malkin beat the ever-loving snot out of Bergeron this past year, Crosby’s dropped his gloves whenever he feels he should (actually probably too much).

      • bigblackzaranek - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        You mean Crosby’s total of FIVE CAREER “FIGHTS” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Man, i thought you we’re just slow on some of the other posts, now i see you’re the world’s most subtle troll. Well played!

      • hockey412 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        How the eff is that trolling, you shmuck? Was it a Crosby-bashing convention? He’s proven that he will drop the gloves, was the whole point. Did I call him an enforcer? um, no….the comment implied they both are afraid of fights, and would ‘grow 10 feet’ if there were no fighting…yet they both fight, neither are afraid of it.

        If you can make sense of your trash response, let me know and I’ll answer it. If not, Tu Madre.

      • tyler4richardson - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        Yeah, I guess they’ve proven that since they got a handful of fights to their name. I would personally say that, “they’ve proven they’re willing to throw a cheap shot before fight”. Good ol slewfoots. That’s why I say they’ll grow ten feet overnight….. Not because their lack of career fights but because of their cheap shot history. And if you eliminate the threat of a fist fight, then their comfort of throwing cheap shots goes up. Every team has guys who will become cheaper and start ACTING tougher with the elimination of fighting……… I just chose to conveniently pick on the Pens for this comment. Live with it.

      • hockey412 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        Ahh – yep, no problem, I can live with that. We all know Crosby and Malkin are two of the biggest cheap shot artists in the league hahahahahahahahahaha….you can tell by all those Lindsay awards, you know? The other players wouldn’t vote them the most outstanding players in the league if they weren’t just afraid of their cheap shots, eh?

        Sometimes I wonder what new drugs are out there these days, and then I read posts like yours, and think, nevermind…I don’t want to know.

      • bigblackzaranek - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        He’ll drop em alright… when the other center is actually focused on taking the draw and skid jerseys him as soon as the puck is dropped. you pens fans make this too easy with how little you pay attention.

      • hockey412 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:49 PM

        You are dumb enough to be stupid. Or foolish enough to be both.

      • tyler4richardson - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:41 PM

        I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to ruffle your feathers by picking on your hockey crushes. And yeah, the drugs….. It’s nothing new. I just cleaned my bong, so it’s hitting harder. I’m done fighting over fighting. Enjoy the season.

      • hockey412 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:48 PM

        Just trying to apply logic to a comment that was clearly uneducated. Enjoy.

      • bigblackzaranek - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        Logic and yourself should stop trying to get back together, it’s messy everytime you try it hockey. On that note, time to clock out for the day. I’d like to thank having a government job for the ability to point out another jackwagon Pens fan. (drops mic, high fives tyler4richardson)

      • jpelle82 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        crosby has fought ballard, niskanen, ference, zidlicky…i cant think of any others. i’ll give him credit for the ballard fight sticking up for a teammate and getting whooped for it, and he beat ference….but he kinda picked on zidlicky and niskanen, neither one of those were fair or honorable in any way. he isnt scared, but he also isnt the whiny little kid he used to be back then either.

      • thesportsjudge - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:42 PM

        “Just trying to apply logic to a comment that was clearly uneducated.”

        “Malkin beat the ever-loving snot out of Bergeron this past year”

        One of these statements is definitely NOT true. The other, well, that’s debatable.

      • hockey412 - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:07 AM

        I’m not sure you added one bit of logic to your argument there, but thanks for the opinion.

    • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      Yeah! All the superstars in this league are paid the big bucks because they can’t play in traffic. Try again!

  8. nj666 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Its all the soft teams that are for all these rule changes.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Oct 2, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      The Pens really aren’t that soft. They’re not that physical, but just because a team isn’t physical doesn’t mean they’re soft. Engelland, Bortuzzo, Adams, Glass, Vitale, etc. will drop the gloves if the situation ever calls for it. Neal and Malkin, as much as I love them, are way too into the after-whistle, chippy stuff to never have to answer for it. Both of them are pretty big, physical hitters. And say what you will, but Crosby, and especially Letang, are not bad fighters for their skill level and size. Crosby isn’t a good fighter when you put him next to Steve Ott or some other big dog enforcer. But when was the last time you saw Toews or Stamkos or Getzlaf win a fight? or even size up as a decent contender in the fight? Jeez, the Sedins, the Staals, Patrick Kane, etc. have never even fought in their entire careers! And I’m not knocking them for it, I’m just saying there are PLENTY of superstars that are far worse fighters than Crosby. He’s not a big guy to begin with (only 5’10″) but there’s a lot of guys, especially guys Crosby is compared to skills wise, I think he could easily handle in a fight if he ever gets into a situation where he’d need to drop the gloves with them.

    • mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 6:48 PM

      Nope. What about Bowman’s comment? What about Rutherford and Shero?

  9. rebel21das - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    It’s part of the game…….. skr213 is right the Lightning have no solid enforcer so now all of a sudden Yzerman wants to give players a game misconduct for fighting lol Yzer please. This subject matter is about as annoying as the topic of the Washington Redskins changing their name and I’m a Pats fan.

  10. ndrick731 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Now that he’s retired he thinks they don’t need enforcers anymore to protect top players. Of course when he was playing he wanted people on the team that would cover his ass.

  11. 7mantel - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Maybe they should only allow a player to punch another player in the family jewels AKA Crosby punching Boris Valibik !

  12. spochiefsfan - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    ndrick, exactly what I was thinking. He’d probably be singing a completely different tune of this were fifteen years ago.

  13. joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    LMAO! :-)

  14. storminator16 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Some GMs complaining about fighting although they employ enforcers. Ok, Jim Rutherford.

    • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      That’s called playing by the rules to make sure there is a level playing field. Ok, storminator? :-)

      • storminator16 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        Its called being a hypocrite. :D

      • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        Stop projecting yourself on others.

      • storminator16 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        Projecting myself on others? Ok, I see you are just a spammer.

        Jim Rutherford employs Kevin Westgarth, possibly the worst skater I’ve ever seen in the NHL in the 20 years I’ve been watching the NHL. He actually makes the Canes 4th line significantly worse. Instead of waiving him and sending him to the AHL (or allowing someone else to take him), he keeps him on the roster. Guys like Tim Gleason I have all day for because he is useful. Westgarth is useless and his GM says “we need to get rid of fighting” but look….he is still on that damn roster.

        Jim Rutherford is a hypocrite.

      • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        So, if the NHL bans fighting then Gleason would be with the team. No?

      • storminator16 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:23 PM

        I’m not calling for the NHL to ban fighting. That was an assumption made on your part. I just said Jim Rutherford was a hypocrite for employing a guy who sole purpose is to fight (Westgarth) yet Rutherfords says “ban fighting”.

        If I’m criticizing Rutherford, how can one assume I’m saying “ban fighting” since Rutherford is the one who said “ban fighting”?

      • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        No! No! What I’m saying is; if fighting was banned, then Westgarth would be replaced by Gleason.

  15. idun215 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    it be interesting to see how many players take their extra step to go out their way to hit star players if they take out fighting.

    • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:42 PM

      There is no rule preventing star players from being body checked. If someone takes an illegal run at a player, star or otherwise, he should face disciplinary measures. You want to fight, then as Yzerman suggests, you’re gone! You fight three times in the season you should face further disciplinary measures. It’s time!

      • sunderlanding - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:51 PM

        If that’s true then it’s also time to get rid of hitting. More injuries occur every year from hitting than from fighting. It’s time for body checking to go as well. PEOPLE ARE BEING HURT!!!!!

      • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        Lol! :-) Of course. Let’s do the same in football. Imagine watching football without hitting. Oh! And while we’re at it remove punching from boxing.

      • thesportsjudge - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:47 PM

        Maybe the NHL should outlaw blocking shots. Blocking shots leads to how many injuries every year?
        How about banning deflections since Crosby lost some teeth?

      • joey4id - Oct 3, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        Move on buddy! We’re now on the Boudreau Calls Roy actions bush league article. This is old news.

    • hystoracle - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      You mean like running a guy into the corner near the benches? … Chara’s been there, done that. This stuff already happens. Which could be an argument for fighting (to stop these liberties being taken).. or against fighting (really doesn’t stop the liberties as the lack of respect continues.).

  16. xdj511 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Guys, be reasonable. Yzerman isn’t talking about banning fighting. He’s talking about game misconducts for the first fight. It’ll cut down on the “heavyweights” going at it 4 seconds into the game for no particular reason, and then a second fight in the second period. Fights will be more meaningful if it means you’re done for the night afterwards. There will be more fighting near the end of games, I’d imagine, and especially star/skilled players will have to think twice about dropping the gloves if it means taking themselves out of potential overtime/shootout scenarios.

    • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      If getting thrown out of the game doesn’t deter a player, then make the consequences more painful. If you’re a repeat offender, then make the consequences even more painful. It’s time for change! Thank you Yzerman for stepping up.

  17. kingjoe1 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Yea so when Scott Hartnall lays out Steven Stamkos with a huge check, you want Stevie and his teammates to give Hartnall and atty-boy? I dont believe any of that BS coming from him

    • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      Maybe Stamkos will protect himself from these so called huge checks (as long as it’s legal the players will protect themselves). Players will have to be more accountable for protecting themselves and avoid making suicide passes a la Dias to Eller.

  18. Brian - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Yzerman says “We’re stuck in the middle and need to decide what kind of sport do we want to be.”

    Being stuck in the middle is this league’s problem on virtually everything. Hybrid icing? Just pick: touch-up or no touch. Points for a shootout/OT loss? Just pick: no points for a loss, or go back to ties. There’s tons of examples.

    Fighting is the worst of all. I’m tired of the debate, make a choice. You want fighting in the game? Fine. Embrace it. No instigator rule. No rule against taking helmets off. No tie-downs rule. No punishment for leaving the bench.

    You don’t want fighting in the game? Fine, just ban it outright already, instead of trying to phase out enforcers with little rule changes. I wish this league would just make a choice. I understand the underlying issues when it comes to player safety, fighting’s role in the game, etc., etc., but I’m tired of having this debate every time something like this happens. Can the league just pick one or the other and be done with it already?

  19. sunderlanding - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Yzermans logic is off. They suspend for illegal checks to the head, but you are allowed to make contact with the head if it’s a full body check.

    • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      yeah! WTF does he know.

      • sunderlanding - Oct 3, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        It’s true. Atheletes aren’t exactly chosen for their thinking skills.

  20. kjjm4 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    I agree with him. I don’t mind watching fights, but it adds nothing to the game.

  21. shamu1the1whale - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Thank you Steve Yzerman!!! (And Scott Bowman, Jim Rutherford, Ray Shero, and all the other GMs who agree with Yzerman!) FINALLY we’re getting a realization that fighting needs to be eliminated from the NHL. It’s been a long time coming, but I hope this frank discussion among the GMs leads to eliminating fighting once and for all. This is my opinion and I stand by it.

  22. philly4lyfe - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    I remember reading an article last year saying they polled 200 players and 98% said they would be against removing fighting in hockey. shouldn’t that tell you something if the guys who are risking injuries to fight are that opposed to the idea?

    • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      It tells me that kids shouldn’t consulted with it comes to health and safety issues. Turn to those who have been there, who are wiser, and can think more objectively based on the scientific recently available.

    • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      This is important.

      It tells me that kids shouldn’t be consulted when it comes to health and safety issues. Turn to those who have been there, who are wiser, and can think more objectively based on the scientific data recently available. There!

  23. tapefolie - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Fighting in the NHL is equal to a Jerry Springer/WWE kind of a feeling. YES it’s time to end fighting in the NHL!!

  24. kicksave1980 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    I’m sure Yzerman absolutely hated having Bob Probert and Joe Kocur around to make sure he didn’t have a target on his back every night during his playing career.

  25. 7mantel - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Jpelle82 you forgot Boris Valabik when Sid punched him in jewels from behind while Boris was fighting a Player !

  26. savior72 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Coming from a player who was not known for dropping the gloves this comes as no surprise.

  27. hockeyflow33 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    The anti fighting crowd consists of 4 or 5 people on here who continually display a complete lack of hockey knowledge and post 18 times with the same comment.

    • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      Here! :-) actually 7 or 8 if you include the GMs. Lol

  28. imnotyourbuddyguy - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Stiffer rules against fighting and instigating will cause a lot more hacking, slashing and spearing. I promise you.

    • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      And you can be assured that this will result in penalties. And if things get out of hand, then expect stiffer consequences.

  29. 7mantel - Oct 2, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    Hey Chance :Crosby vs Boris Valabik google it !

  30. hersheysquirts588 - Oct 2, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Same guy who had probert and kocur?

  31. andyreidisfat - Oct 2, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    I don’t care one way or the other for fighting in hockey. It’s fun to watch but then again so is actual hockey …. But one thing I hate is the argument that fighting is what polices hockey……. What does that mean ? 99% percent of fights are had by the same 30 guys. If Crosby breaks someone’s wrist he is not going to have to tussle with some “Dave brown” type…. That’s silly. Play on the ice is how hockey is policed, not fighting.

    If I had. To give a suggestion it would be to make the penalty for fighting a 10 min instead of 5. All the same rules apply. Even if it is the last guy on the bench that hurts a teams depth

    • Moop - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:35 PM

      The knowledge that you’re going to have to fight if you do something wrong is the policing. It’s not always the fight itself. You are right that most fights are fought by the same few guys on each team. These are fights intended to change the momentum of the game or get a team or their fan base excited.

      The idea of fighting “policing” hockey is that a player is less likely to throw a dirty hit on another guy if they know they’ll send out a guy like Colton Orr or Chris Neil to punch your face in. You may say that’s why we have suspensions, which is true, but a punch to the face is a bit more punishing if you ask me.

  32. titansbro - Oct 2, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Although I love the fighting, when you step back & think about it it really is insane that they allow it. They literally allow 2 grown men to take off their gloves & have a fist fight. It’s amazing!

  33. snipedanglecelly13 - Oct 2, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    I love Stevie Y but his comment on fighting is pretty stupid

  34. tobinsunset - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Yzerman was protected his whole career by enforcers. He would have never been as good as he was if it wasn’t for probert, kocer, or mcCarty. How does he forget all about that. It’s like he is turning his back on all those guys and what they did for him

  35. thesportsjudge - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    The GM”s that want to eliminate fighting can suspend their own players. See what kind of reaction that gets from their fan-base!

  36. mizbinboston - Oct 3, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    J*sus F*cking Chr*st. Do ANY of you guys actually play hockey right now in ANY LEAGUE WHATSOEVEVER.

  37. superman4u2nv - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Their are ppl actually on here comparing golf and basket ball to hockey ya their is no fighting in them cuz they are not a contact sport! If you don’t like watching it change the Chanel! You people won’t be happy tell every one on the ice is skating around in bubble wrap! It’s a fast intense game were tempers flair freak accidents happen! Next you will want to take all contact out no more checking cuz some one got hurt! If your so offended about the fighting go watch the soft core, g rated sports like golf tennis badminton, basket ball n botchy, that you so want to change are sport in to!

  38. flyerspsu - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    An absolutely terrible idea, what would happen as a result would be only goons fighting who don’t care about the misconduct, or at the very end of a game or in a blowout so essentially it would make nearly every fight dumb and staged, it would remove the actual role of fighting

    so on the Flyers guys like Simmonds, Hartnell and Luke Schenn wouldn’t fight anymore unless maybe it would be in defense of teammate and it will be worth getting kicked out to step up which is honestly half of those guys fights anyway, but then you are punishing guys for simply defending teammates at that point, so what someones throws and unbelievable illegal check and boards or elbows Giroux really badly, simply defending that will get you kicked out …

    the original thought seems fine but when realize what it would actually do it is god awful

  39. miket333 - Oct 5, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    Anyone who thinks fighting needs to be banned has to watch the Bonvie vs Vandenbussche fight on youtube…or anyone who hasn’t seen it for that matter. Injuries are rare and the enthusiasm generated from a good tilt is invaluable and can’t be replaced.

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