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All purpose 'Does fighting belong in the NHL?' thread

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Old
09-05-2011, 04:30 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by Frankenheimer View Post
The bottom line is that fighting is only necessary because the rules are not sufficiently enforced or penalized. And because it's not banned from the game. If it were banned, and if fouls were penalized accordingly, it wouldn't take long before the culture changed and players acted accordingly. It would be a very easy transition in my opinion. I would argue the only thing sustaining fighting right now is that some teams exploit it, and that causes other teams to arm themselves in defense. The habs are good example. But if you disarm the entire league, all those teams that never wanted any part of it will make the transition without difficulty.
This might be true but I just can't fathom this ever happening in reality. Especially with Brendan Shannahan in charge of discipline, I can't see him banning fighting when he believed in fighting himself. He fought every single year he was in the league and even took on heavy weights like Brashear.

Shanny was even fighting in the pre season as a 39 year old.

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09-05-2011, 04:35 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Habsterix View Post
Agreed. There are many other steps that the NHL should take to better protect the players including (but not limited to):
  • 1-ban any hard plastic and other hard materials in elbow pad and shoulder pads
  • 2-go to the no-touch icing
  • 3-keep targeting hits to the head
  • 4-amend the instigator rule (the way we know it) in order to allow players to make other players more accountable for their actions
I'd be very curious to see actual statistics showing how many serious head injuries came from fights or from other contacts. I am convinced that a lot of people would be shocked. Few players suffer concussions or serious injuries from a fight between two willing and knowing combatants, but many from blind-side hits or hits from behind.
1- Agreed. But that means tons of equipment being banned and asking manufacturers to spend lots of money, no reason to believe the league has the kind of backbone to require this asap and ban equipment. Don't get me wrong though, I'm all for it, I just don't think the people in place would adopt such a drastic measure. Asking them to develop something is more like it...Timeline..??

2- If I remember correctly, their position on this matter is clear. No.

3- With the amount of hits to the heads that happened over these past few years, the league is on turtle speed.

4- In a time where banning fighting is being discussed I doubt the league would adopt a rule that would likely higher the number of fights and the importance of pure enforcers.

I agree with all your points and would adopt them myself, but I just really don't think the league will. The focus on head shots has been there for a while now and there's been little progress despite a huge increase of concussions directly related to them.
Personally, I think the league is simply too stupid and seems biased or favorable towards some teams/players, that a black or white type of ruling is the sole solution.
For the head shots, you give an automatic 5 minute major and a game misconduct. You can take it up a notch as well and give an extra 2 minute penalty for unsportsmanlike served by another player, which ensures a 5 vs 3 PP.
Minimum 10 game suspension without pay. The club that owns the player that delivered the hit has to pay some type of financial penalty (% of some sort) to the victim for as long as he's injured. I guarantee you, the amount of head shots would diminish incredibly.

Fighting is another issue, but it's becoming less and less important as the years go on. I don't see how it has any barring on the games anymore. There's the belief that if we removed it, then even more cheap shots would happen, but I really don't believe that. I don't think removing fighting would suddenly turn Plekanec into a cheap shot artist. As for guys like Cooke, nothing ever prevented them from delivering a cheap hit whenever the opportunity arose. If the league bans fighting and finally puts in place more effective disciplinary measures, then it could be very well controlled.

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09-05-2011, 04:37 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by macavoy View Post
This might be true but I just can't fathom this ever happening in reality. Especially with Brendan Shannahan in charge of discipline, I can't see him banning fighting when he believed in fighting himself. He fought every single year he was in the league and even took on heavy weights like Brashear.

Shanny was even fighting in the pre season as a 39 year old.
Shannahan doesn't make the rules. He enforces them. I have no idea who makes the rules, I'm assuming the owners.

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09-05-2011, 04:38 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by CrimsonSkorpion View Post
I'm comparing one absurd idea to another.

By hurt, do you mean cause physical pain or attempt to injure? Last time I checked, fighting was not meant to injure people but meant to put someone in their place and teach them a lesson to not go after a star player or perform cheap-shots. In that case, they are simply causing physical pain with punches to the face. In that case, do you ban hitting, since it is meant to cause physical pain to the person receiving?
I don't know where that rule is, but that's not even true. Otherwise Rome doesn't get suspended. He doesn't even get a penalty. Three seconds at that speed is enormous. I don't think this rule exists, and if it does, it certainly isn't applied.

The purpose of a hit is to knock the guy off the puck. I'm not saying every guy looks at it that way. Others simply want to destroy their opponent, which is why respect among the players is a big concern and also being discussed.

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09-05-2011, 04:48 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Gabe84 View Post
Again with this kind of argument? My god...

So what? Should we play without boards? Nope.

Should we play without sticks? Can't.

Hockey can be played without goons though. Look at that.
You don't have to be a goon to fight. I've seen Iginla, Lecavalier, Crosby, Datsyuk etc.. fight and none of them were endangering their life while doing so.
Like I said earlier, fighting is much more less dangerous than plenty of other aspect in the games such as boarding, elbow/shoulder to the head etc...

At least fighting is between two guys accepting to do so. I rather see MaxPac fighting McQuaid 10 time rather than see him hit the stanchion head first in a vulnerable position.. in what's called a strong hockey play.

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09-05-2011, 04:50 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Frankenheimer View Post
Shannahan doesn't make the rules. He enforces them. I have no idea who makes the rules, I'm assuming the owners.
But he is in a position to affect the rules by having the ear of the NHL commissioner, and NHL executives. He was previously on the competition committee which is in charge of studying rule changes.

However, the current committee consists of http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=5299293

The NHL also has new faces on the committee. Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke and Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford are taking part on a temporary basis, replacing Don Waddell, Kevin Lowe and Bob Gainey on Friday.

Nashville Predators GM David Poile and Philadelphia Flyers chairman Ed Snider remain.

David Backes of the St. Louis Blues as well as Columbus Blue Jackets teammates Mike Commodore and Chris Clark join the union side of the committee along with incumbents Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres and Mathieu Schneider of the Phoenix Coyotes.

As of June 2010, I don't know if its changed since. But I see this

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=565706

Schneider and NHL Senior V.P. of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan will work together with NHL and NHLPA lawyers to help formulate the language for the re-written rule that will be presented to the Board of Governors.

So he does make the rules according to this June 13, 2011 NHL.com news article. I'm sure Burke and Snider will ensure that fighting remains part of the game.

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09-05-2011, 05:04 PM
  #57
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My main beef with fighting is the staged fights. I hate the fact that there are people whose only job is to fight, and when they just drop them after the whistle without any emotion, without any real provocation leading up to it, it just brings down the game.

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09-05-2011, 05:29 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Habsterix View Post
[*]amend the instigator rule (the way we know it) in order to allow players to make other players more accountable for their actions
I hate this ridiculous argument. Hockey is the only sport where good refereeing is not calling infractions. The players should ba accountable to the league, not the toughest player on the other team. This attitude of on-ice accountability does nothing more than foster a culture of bullying. Can you imagine if society and our legal system worked on that premise?


That being said, I want the Habs to get a good fighter because the league is run by a bunch of dinosaurs who encourage goonery. Proof, why weren't instigators called when the bruins thugs started fights with the Habs non-fighters in the last 5 minutes of the bloodbath game last year.

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09-05-2011, 05:49 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Gabe84 View Post
Again with this kind of argument? My god...

So what? Should we play without boards? Nope.

Should we play without sticks? Can't.

Hockey can be played without goons though. Look at that.
Can hockey be played without hands? No it can't.

I agree it can be played without goons or fighting, I just believe the main focus for the time being should be cheap shots and blindside head shots, not fighting. In order to make the eliminating of fighting more affective you need to first abolish cheap shotting, selective officiating (i.e. play it by the book not by ear) and head shots. Then you can eliminate fighting because the enforcer as we know it won't have a purpose anymore. If you eliminate enforcers without eliminating cheap shots twice as many will happen. And yes if you ban fighting guys like Avery will do everything in their power to try and make you fight. Just because it's banned doesn't mean a real agitator can't convince somebody to start a fight. Plain and simple.

Personally if you could eliminate it all and make it a clean game based around talent and skill I'd be happy. All lines would have a tremendous amount of talent rather than goons.

But to use these three deaths as reasoning behind abolishing fighting is absolutely absurd.

I've said it and I'll say it again.

Boogaard accidental overdose not suicide
Rypien suicide
Belak was happy as a clam. Does it mean he wasn't depressed? Of course not. But the auto erotic asphixiation story holds a lot more weight than one of the happiest guys ever who had everything going for him, family, brand new job he looked forward to, etc, killing himself. Not saying it isn't what happened but frankly there's more leaning in favor of him being an accidental death than being a suicide. It makes a lot more sense.

Then there's the copycat affect too. But even then the bottom line is even if Belak was depressed we can't know conclusively (not even close either) that his depression was as a result of being an enforcer or a concussion etc. So really it's a moot point and this is why Todd is a ****ing idiot and is just feeding into the crazies with this article in an attempt to get readers. Good on him because he got them, and scrubs like him are going to blow this totally out of proportion.

Honestly I don't get why people connect dots that clearly aren't there. Stop reading into media propaganda and look at the actual circumstances of each death. Not saying Belak couldn't have been depressed just because he was an extrovert and happy guy on the outside just saying the odds are it doesn't fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlords View Post
My main beef with fighting is the staged fights. I hate the fact that there are people whose only job is to fight, and when they just drop them after the whistle without any emotion, without any real provocation leading up to it, it just brings down the game.
Don't disagree. Would rather a more talented player in that spot if anything. Fighting based on emotion is a lot better than two guys like Laraque fighting for no reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Balk View Post
I hate this ridiculous argument. Hockey is the only sport where good refereeing is not calling infractions. The players should ba accountable to the league, not the toughest player on the other team. This attitude of on-ice accountability does nothing more than foster a culture of bullying. Can you imagine if society and our legal system worked on that premise?


That being said, I want the Habs to get a good fighter because the league is run by a bunch of dinosaurs who encourage goonery. Proof, why weren't instigators called when the bruins thugs started fights with the Habs non-fighters in the last 5 minutes of the bloodbath game last year.
And no suspension to Chara either. Meanwhile had Andrei Kostitsyn ended Chara's season I bet you can be sure since Chara is a star player there would be consequences. Stars always get the benefit of the doubt over non-stars.


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09-05-2011, 05:54 PM
  #60
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Couldn't agree more... just a question of time before fighting is thrown out of this wonderfull sport.

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09-05-2011, 05:56 PM
  #61
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Jack Todd wrote this............."As long as the NHL permits fighting, it will be a bit bushleague, with one skate in the big-time and the other firmly planted in roller derby."

All I needed to read. Jack Todd is a ****ing idiot.

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09-05-2011, 05:58 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by neofury View Post
Belak was happy as a clam. Does it mean he wasn't depressed? Of course not. But the auto erotic asphixiation story holds a lot more weight than one of the happiest guys ever who had everything going for him, family, brand new job he looked forward to, etc, killing himself. Not saying it isn't what happened but frankly there's more leaning in favor of him being an accidental death than being a suicide. It makes a lot more sense.

Honestly I don't get why people connect dots that clearly aren't there. Stop reading into media propaganda and look at the actual circumstances of each death. Not saying Belak couldn't have been depressed just because he was an extrovert and happy guy on the outside just saying the odds are it doesn't fit.
I've sort of been biting my tongue on this, but I'll throw my two cents in.

Just because someone seems happy on the outside, and many people say "oh yeah, he's happy," doesn't mean they or any of you know how he feels inside. I've known a lot of people in my life that put on an act in front of everyone and act so happy and be convincing, but when they're back home and alone, they act stops.

I may not know Belak, but I'm not throwing the depression story out the window just yet. He may very well have had demons that nobody but he himself knew about.

The auto erotic asphixiation story simply has no foundation and has just been thrown out there. Perhaps it happened, perhaps it didn't, but personally I don't buy it. Not for one second.

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09-05-2011, 06:02 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by CrimsonSkorpion View Post
I've sort of been biting my tongue on this, but I'll throw my two cents in.

Just because someone seems happy on the outside, and many people say "oh yeah, he's happy," doesn't mean they or any of you know how he feels inside. I've known a lot of people in my life that put on an act in front of everyone and act so happy and be convincing, but when they're back home and alone, they act stops.

I may not know Belak, but I'm not throwing the depression story out the window just yet. He may very well have had demons that nobody but he himself knew about.

The auto erotic asphixiation story simply has no foundation and has just been thrown out there. Perhaps it happened, perhaps it didn't, but personally I don't buy it. Not for one second.
And I clearly did say any time I brought it up that it doesn't mean he wasn't depressed, just rather that it's a bit less likely. Most of the people suffering depression I've known in life have shown signs. Obviously not all of them have as of course with some of them I might have not known. But depressions is fairly common. Still doesn't mean even if he was depressed that he commit suicide though, or that he got his depression as a result of fighting or a concussion, therefore it should not be used as an argument against fighting in the league and is silly. This is all I'm saying, and the truth about his death hasn't officially been released as of yet. Plenty of people are saying it was an accident on the flip side the original story said otherwise.

We might not ever know but either way 3 fluke deaths after 40 years of no problems doesn't justify this argument against fighting. There's too much made up evidence and/or assumptions here. I'm not saying it isn't linked, just saying right now there isn't enough conclusive proof to say it is. It's an unfortunate sad coincidence.

According to an article I read his family was baptist and religious. The last thing they would want people to find out about is this. To them isn't a good way for their son to be remembered... Prior to the article a friend tipped me off about the auto erotic bit. Nothing had been posted on google or anything yet. Call me Eklund if you want but it's pretty coincidental that PJ Stock says it all of the sudden after.

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09-05-2011, 06:05 PM
  #64
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The "accidental death" is a result of taking very strong painkillers, which becomes necessary when you have to keep playing and fighting to stay on the roster, if you don't do it then you become useless. So you get used to the substance and it becomes a part of the process. I don't want to elaborate too much about substance abuse but you get the general idea.

The reality of an enforcer is a very tough reality with many implications than you might not suspect, including an emotional rollercoster, physical injuries, dangerous medications and cerebral damage that is more and more linked to depression and other mental health issues.

Concussions and brain damage in general are the main issue, but there is a lot more to it when it comes to tough guys.
Brett Favre, when he was QB for the Green Bay Packers, was addicted to painkillers. He did not have a single fight in his entire pro football career.

However, he did play in a very violent sport where hitting is involved.........much like hockey.......voluntarily.

Should tackling in the NFL be banned based upon Brett Favre's addiction to painkillers?

The answer is an obvious no. Just like the answer is an obvious no regarding Boogaard.

The ************* of the NHL is moving full speed ahead. Unbelievable that idiots in the press can make statements without any proof or justification.

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09-05-2011, 06:07 PM
  #65
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I agree it can be played without goons or fighting, I just believe the main focus for the time being should be cheap shots and blindside head shots, not fighting. In order to make the eliminating of fighting more affective you need to first abolish cheap shotting, selective officiating (i.e. play it by the book not by ear) and head shots. Then you can eliminate fighting because the enforcer as we know it won't have a purpose anymore. If you eliminate enforcers without eliminating cheap shots twice as many will happen. And yes if you ban fighting guys like Avery will do everything in their power to try and make you fight. Just because it's banned doesn't mean a real agitator can't convince somebody to start a fight. Plain and simple.
Could you please come up with a study that clearly shows the detering effect of goons and enforcers on cheap shots in hockey ? I'm pretty sure that nobody can succesfully link both situations (just like nobody can do the same with the 3 deaths to fighting).

Actually, I would argue that the players that do fights a lot and have almost no purpose in this game other than their fists are the ones causing both fighting AND cheap shoting. You named Avery... he drops the mits several times and do "answer" for his actions... yet, it doesn't prevent cheap shots.

Get rid of fighting and these players won't have much meaning in this game.

I do agree that the league must act swiftly in order to eradicate hits from behind, hits to the head or plain unnecessary dangerous hits (and not making them as "strong hockey plays"). But outlawing fights would be a step in the same direction and would massively change the "culture" of the sport that, right now, still creates Averys, Cookes and cie.

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09-05-2011, 06:23 PM
  #66
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Could you please come up with a study that clearly shows the detering effect of goons and enforcers on cheap shots in hockey ? I'm pretty sure that nobody can succesfully link both situations (just like nobody can do the same with the 3 deaths to fighting).

Actually, I would argue that the players that do fights a lot and have almost no purpose in this game other than their fists are the ones causing both fighting AND cheap shoting. You named Avery... he drops the mits several times and do "answer" for his actions... yet, it doesn't prevent cheap shots.

Get rid of fighting and these players won't have much meaning in this game.

I do agree that the league must act swiftly in order to eradicate hits from behind, hits to the head or plain unnecessary dangerous hits (and not making them as "strong hockey plays"). But outlawing fights would be a step in the same direction and would massively change the "culture" of the sport that, right now, still creates Averys, Cookes and cie.
And, can you show me a study that precisely quantifies exactly what confidence and momentum are and how they can be measured on a stats sheet?

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09-05-2011, 06:41 PM
  #67
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No more fighting would mean no more of this:




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09-05-2011, 06:47 PM
  #68
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Point.

I'd argue that the rule allowing hits after the player moved the puck exists because even if a player intends to hit to separate the opposing player from the puck, the game moves so quickly that there's no guarantee that he won't hit after the puck has been moved. In other words, the rule exists as an understanding that the game moves quickly and to allow for some leeway, but has been turned into allowing players to hit-to-hurt.

Either way, the point remains that there exists some justification for bodychecking beyond hurting the opposition, and in some leagues charging rules are respected (e.g., international competition, European leagues). On the other hand, fighting really is exclusively about hurting the opposition (even if for understandable reasons). I find it difficult to justify events like Boston's thrashing of Spacek/Pyatt, for example, and I'm not sure that fighting ought to be permitted for the sole reason that players have the choice to engage in it.

That said, I don't like the comparisons to other team sports. Hockey's different than football. There may be the same level of physicality, but football is far more structured and focused in its physicality. The flow of hockey and its physicality is more spontaneous, dangerous, and it's possible to be a whole lot dirtier in hockey than in football. And the physicality manifests itself much differently in hockey: from stickwork, to targeted charges, to scrums after the whistle, to kneeing, to relentless targeting over the course of 60-minutes. I see fighting as almost natural in hockey for these reasons.

...

Since I'm rambling already, here's another thought: some in this thread have posited that the Averys and other agitators would increase in a league without fighting. I wonder if that's true. Could there be more Averys and Otts than there are now in the league? Why would they increase when fighting has been removed? Does Marchand taunt the Sedins in last year's playoffs knowing that there's no chance of the Sedins losing their cool and fighting? I doubt it. In fact, I think banning fighting would eliminate some of these agitators: their purpose is, in part, to get the opposition to drop the gloves and fight. Either these agitators turtle, or engage knowing that they've removed a top opposing player for 5-minutes.

These agitators would still serve some purpose in drawing stickwork penalties, but a central purpose to their after-the-whistle scrums would be removed.
Players have hit to hurt for a long time, I don't know where the idea that this is some kind of recent phenomenom comes from.

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09-05-2011, 06:56 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by SouthernHab View Post
And, can you show me a study that precisely quantifies exactly what confidence and momentum are and how they can be measured on a stats sheet?
if fighting brings that to a team, then how come after taking a beating, the following game between the two the one who took the beating was basically giving a hockey clinic to the tougher one ?

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09-05-2011, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonSkorpion View Post
I've sort of been biting my tongue on this, but I'll throw my two cents in.

Just because someone seems happy on the outside, and many people say "oh yeah, he's happy," doesn't mean they or any of you know how he feels inside. I've known a lot of people in my life that put on an act in front of everyone and act so happy and be convincing, but when they're back home and alone, they act stops.

I may not know Belak, but I'm not throwing the depression story out the window just yet. He may very well have had demons that nobody but he himself knew about.

The auto erotic asphixiation story simply has no foundation and has just been thrown out there. Perhaps it happened, perhaps it didn't, but personally I don't buy it. Not for one second.
Agreed. I think Belak was a troubled man, more so than we could imagine. Having money, fame, a loving family for someone suffering from mental illness makes very little difference. Having everything seemingly go well in your life means very little to someone who suffers from a deep rooted mental condition.

Almost all depressed individuals are capable of putting on a smile when surrounded by large groups, but when alone they have time to ponder everything that goes on. They may be loved, without feeling loved and unless you suffer yourself it's really hard to imagine.

The auto erotic asphixiation explanation is really out in left field here. Out of all the possible scenarios this one is the least likely. I don't think fighting was the cause either, but this one is really unsubstantiated. How anyone can come to this conclusion after Belak's mother has already stated he suffered bouts of depression is beyond me.

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09-05-2011, 07:04 PM
  #71
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Originally Posted by Pr3Va1L View Post
No more fighting would mean no more of this:

And this




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09-05-2011, 07:21 PM
  #72
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Players have hit to hurt for a long time, I don't know where the idea that this is some kind of recent phenomenom comes from.
It actually is more recent. There was always some element of hitting to hurt, but not nearly as much as now. Every team in the league--even the softest--now has players whose roles (labelled 'energy players') are to run around charging the opposition. This was more of a rarity in the past. Part of it is that players are bigger and more explosive now; their workout regimen is specifically focused on explosiveness. Part of it is that this was determined to be desirable (more entertaining; more specific roles for 4th liners to make them seem more worthwhile/appealing; better to run down the opposition defense).

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09-05-2011, 07:33 PM
  #73
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Originally Posted by ECWHSWI View Post
if fighting brings that to a team, then how come after taking a beating, the following game between the two the one who took the beating was basically giving a hockey clinic to the tougher one ?
Momentum is like fresh milk. It has a very short expiration date.

Momentum ebbs and flows during a game. You may have it in the first period and zero the next two. A big hit, and yes, a fight, can change momentum. Sometimes positively or sometimes negatively.

As I said, it is not quantifiable and no stat can measure it. It is real though. It happens in every game.

Confidence comes from knowing that you have the ability to alter momentum during a game. Again, not quantifiable although very real.

This appears to be a hard concept to grasp when people live in a black and white world where reliance upon statistics is an utmost importance.

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09-05-2011, 07:41 PM
  #74
Habsterix*
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balk View Post
I hate this ridiculous argument. Hockey is the only sport where good refereeing is not calling infractions. The players should ba accountable to the league, not the toughest player on the other team.
If I happen to think that the opposite side of the argument is ridiculous, who's right? You or me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Balk View Post
This attitude of on-ice accountability does nothing more than foster a culture of bullying. Can you imagine if society and our legal system worked on that premise?
If you think that there is no intimidation in real life, you're up for a rude awakening...

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Old
09-05-2011, 07:54 PM
  #75
SouthernHab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
It actually is more recent. There was always some element of hitting to hurt, but not nearly as much as now. Every team in the league--even the softest--now has players whose roles (labelled 'energy players') are to run around charging the opposition. This was more of a rarity in the past. Part of it is that players are bigger and more explosive now; their workout regimen is specifically focused on explosiveness. Part of it is that this was determined to be desirable (more entertaining; more specific roles for 4th liners to make them seem more worthwhile/appealing; better to run down the opposition defense).
Scott Stevens 1982-2004
Denis Potvin 1973-1988
Cam Neely 1983-1996
Darius Kasparaitis 1983-1996
Eric Lindros 1992-2007
Larry Robinson 1972-1992

Just off the top of my head............

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