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03-09-2013, 10:59 AM
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario
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Originally Posted by oldunclehue View Post
From a former fighter in Juniors in Canada, I will weigh in.

I fought more than 80 times in 3 years, and usually heavyweight scraps....and I can tell you that it is one of the best feelings in the world to be invovled in.

I played a regular shift, but fighting was part of my game and I loved doing it. Every time I won, the team was on their feet, stands were wild (at home and away) and the game would usually get back to fast and great hockey rather than chippy etc...

I know it is a team sport with seperate individuals, but a hockey team functions as one with every player bringing something to the table. This means when the "enforcer" goes out there and fights, wins then the entire team plays a bit bigger, less fear and now can get in the other teams head.

I for one will likely not watch many games if they ever take fighting out of the NHL and Junior levels. The NHL would be dumb to let that happen as well, as they have lost major ground in popularity in the states. The UFC is one of the most popular sports and the NHL would lose that style of crowd if they banned fighting.

If you have never played in a league with fighting I do not believe you can have an educated opinion on fighting.

And as far as fighting ruining players later on in life, depression and brain issues, this is why the NHL has a great Insurance Policy and they make millions of dollars to fight. I'd give my left nut to drop the mitts in the show....
I don't deny your right to have an opinion and as someone who obviously has engaged in fighting at a high level I respect what you are saying and where you are coming from.

Having said that I spoke to several former Soviet hockey players for my book on the 74 summit. Are you really saying that even though they played hockey at the very highest level possible (Olympics, Summits, etc) they can't have an educated opinion on fighting just because their leagues severely punished players who engaged in it? If so I would really struggle accepting that. I mean I read Vladislav Tretiak's two books - are you really saying that his written opinion on fighting isn't valid because he didn't play regularly in the WHA or NHL or Major Junior? Or the opposite - how do you respond to such people as Harry Sinden, Ken Dryden, Ander Hedberg, etc who did and do not support fighting?

Craig Wallace

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