They say that those that cover hockey, in most cases never actually played the game of hockey. Before you jump on me, hear me out… I mean seriously, every time I see one of these articles that question fighting’s role in the NHL and or in professional hockey, it sends up a big flag.
I ask you to think about it this way. I am sure you can picture a player from around the NHL from your least favorite team that has no honor, these are the Ulf Samuelssons, Matt Cookes, Raffi Tores and Patrick Kaleta’s or whoever, I am sure that you have one in mind, but you know the type of players that I am talking about, they're the type of players that I would like to see taken out of the game of hockey long before fighting was ever banned.
These are the players that when they get hit with a big check you feel no empathy for them what-so-ever as they lay on the ice writhing in pain. When Evander Kane knocked out Matt Cooke I stood in my living room cheering, actually chugged a beer in celebration, ex-post facto.
Imagine these clowns, skating around the ice unchecked to wreaking havoc on NHL players and star players without the fear of ever having to answer the bell for a dirty hit. They would be able to do their trade without the fear of retribution. That sets a bad precedence.
Chris Johnston, Sportsnet --- The message was clear: Let the debate happen elsewhere.
“I think you really have to understand the game and kind of understand the (dressing) room to know what it’s like to be on a bench when a guy fights,” Bruins forward Brad Marchand said before the 4-2 victory over Toronto. “For fans that think that fighting has no part of the game, they don’t really know what they’re talking about.”
And that was that.
Marchand’s comments were consistent with the general line of thinking that can be found among both of these teams. They also highlight a pretty glaring paradox that exists within the sport.
Even though the fighting debate is always just one incident away from flaring up for fans and members of the media, the majority of players seem reluctant to even chew on the topic for a minute or two. They simply accept it — the good, the bad and (occasionally) the ugly.
I have seen all of the arguments for banning fighting from hockey and you can’t count on the refs and the department of player’s safety catch all of the offenders and in many cases they let the offenders go with little if any punishment.