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Alfredsson: Players shouldn’t need to fight after dishing big hits

Dec 14, 2013, 1:10 PM EDT

Daniel Alfredsson Getty Images

New Jersey Devils enforcer Cam Janssen recently suggested that the Shawn Thornton-Brooks Orpik incident could have been avoided had Orpik brawled with Thornton after his big hit on Loui Eriksson. The Boston Bruins star forward suffered his second concussion of the season as a result of the blow.

With the Detroit Red Wings getting ready to play the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight and the decision on Thornton looming after his in-person hearing yesterday, 41-year-old forward Daniel Alfredsson was asked if players should fight after delivering a big hit.

“Not at all,” he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe. “That’s the old school. Let ref decide if it was illegal.”

Orpik didn’t receive a penalty on the play, but because of Thornton’s actions, Orpik is also dealing with a concussion. To be clear, Janssen doesn’t think that what Thornton did was “correct,” even if he feels that a fight would have prevented things from escalating further.

The NHL is expected to announce Thornton’s punishment around 4:00 p.m. ET, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.

  1. 950003cups - Dec 14, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    That’s the enforcers jobs. Let them fight each other. They can’t be going after guys after big CLEAN hits. Even boarder line hits are ok.

    The fans don’t want the hitting out of the game. Or fighting. This would ruin both.

  2. Moop - Dec 14, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    A skill player doesn’t like the idea of having to fight? Shocking.

    Alfredsson’s opinion is clearly in the minority compared to the rest of the players in the NHL. That’s nice that he thinks players shouldn’t have to fight after throwing big hits, but we see fights after big hits. This doesn’t mean anything unless Alfredsson has convinced the rest of the players to not fight after big hits.

    • redwinger6 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      A lot of players think it’s ridiculous that guys want to fight after every big hit. If Thornton was really concerned about protecting his players from dirty hits, he should have been going after Neal for kneeing Marchand in the head.

      • Moop - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:14 PM

        Neal got off the ice directly after kneeing Marchand. No way Thornton could have gone after him and it seemed like he wanted to make a statement right then and there. Even if a lot of players are stating that they don’t like fights after every big hit, the majority of big hits do end in fights. So either these guys who don’t like that aspect of the game aren’t being vocal enough about it or the “enforcers” of the NHL aren’t listening.

      • redwinger6 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:56 PM

        Moop, so go over to the bench and let him know he’d better be ready next time he’s on the ice. Ever hear the terms “pick your spot” and “take a number?”

  3. joey4id - Dec 14, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    I wish more veteran stars who support Alfie would step up and say so. The era of the enforcers is coming to an end as the one of the goons did.

    • polegojim - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      Yes Joey… and Alfie is 100% right… period.

      What if we starting seeing it in the NFL after most great hits or tackles? The guys in the NFL may get testy and in your face… but 99% of the time, a little pushing and shoving is all you see.

      If NFL players can maintain self control in those situations…NHL players should do the same.

      • joey4id - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        Excellent analogy! And I agree.

  4. sabatimus - Dec 14, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    I don’t mind fighting–I rather enjoy it, if it’s done at the right times–but I agree with Daniel here: nobody should HAVE to fight after a big hit. The way Janssen said it sounded like it was almost Orpik’s fault that Thornton lost his mind and put him in the hospital…which is totally absurd. If Orpik fought Thornton, that does probably mean that Thornton’s later actions don’t happen, but so what? How is Orpik responsible for what Thornton does?

    Last night Gudbranson chose to fight Brouwer after Brouwer instigated due to Gudbranson’s illegal check on Fehr. But the idea that Gudbranson HAD to fight is ridiculous. If he doesn’t fight, does this somehow give Brouwer “hockey code” license to injure him later? What crap.

  5. uscthom78 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    This is the guy who shot a puck directly at an opponent with intent.

    • dueman - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      Yes he did, but what does that have to do with anything here? Just because he shot a puck at a guy (which didn’t cause any harm by the way) means that he’s not allowed to have an opinion?

  6. fusionix7 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    I completely agree with Alfredsson. It’s asinine that players go after the player who threw the big hit if it’s clean. That player’s teammates should realize he had his head down and deserved the big hit. If it’s clearly dirty by all means he deserves a couple punches to knock some sense into him and prevent him from being so reckless.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      You had me up to where you said: If it’s clearly dirty…
      What Alfie and many others of us would suggest is that if it’s dirty, the ref call a penalty and your team “retaliate” by scoring a great goal. I know, we’re probably communists.

  7. ibieiniid - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    dueman, tell that to ian laperriere.

  8. ibieiniid - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    the NFL also has immediate match penalties, so to speak, for throwing a punch. not agreeing with it, just sayin.

  9. jhaegs - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    I can’t stand fights after big, clean hits. It’s part of the game- you might as well punch someone after they score. Then again, if someone wants to get an instigator penalty over a legal check, that’s their loss.

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