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Punched Out: The Life and Death of a Hockey Enforcer

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Old
12-06-2011, 08:36 AM
  #51
samwitch
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Interesting point made at the very end. If the NHL isn't going to ban fighting then maybe it's up to the endforcers to take a stand if they really feel that they are in danger. But most enforcers woudn't have a job in the NHL if it weren't for fighting so would they be willing to risk making that stand?

"They are trading brain cells for money"

I wonder how many other players currently in the NHL have CTE right now or are developing it. I'm sure there are many.. Really sad if you think about it because once their careers are over they are going to be messed up for the rest of their life and are probably already really messed up. Is fighting really worth it?

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12-06-2011, 08:44 AM
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwitch View Post
Interesting point made at the very end. If the NHL isn't going to ban fighting then maybe it's up to the endforcers to take a stand if they really feel that they are in danger. But most enforcers woudn't have a job in the NHL if it weren't for fighting so would they be willing to risk making that stand?

"They are trading brain cells for money"

I wonder how many other players currently in the NHL have CTE right now or are developing it. I'm sure there are many.. Really sad if you think about it because once their careers are over they are going to be messed up for the rest of their life and are probably already really messed up. Is fighting really worth it?
The part I don't like about the third video is (again) they mislead the viewer to believe that all players studied were enforcers. Rick Martin, one of the four players studied, had CTE but he was not an enforcer. Thus, I'm not sure there is evidence fighters are at a substantially greater risk.

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12-06-2011, 10:52 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by WorkingOvertime View Post
The part I don't like about the third video is (again) they mislead the viewer to believe that all players studied were enforcers. Rick Martin, one of the four players studied, had CTE but he was not an enforcer. Thus, I'm not sure there is evidence fighters are at a substantially greater risk.
Well CTE develops from concussions and excessive head trauma, correct? So it seems like enforcer are at a greater risk because, well, their job is to be punched in the face pretty much which results in concussions and head trauma. It says that the CTE that Rick Martin had was thought to be from a severe concussion he sustained in 1977. Obviously non-enforcers can get CTE like Martin but enforcers seem much more likely to develop it based on their continuous head trauma from fights.

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12-06-2011, 11:09 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by samwitch View Post
Well CTE develops from concussions and excessive head trauma, correct? So it seems like enforcer are at a greater risk because, well, their job is to be punched in the face pretty much which results in concussions and head trauma. It says that the CTE that Rick Martin had was thought to be from a severe concussion he sustained in 1977. Obviously non-enforcers can get CTE like Martin but enforcers seem much more likely to develop it based on their continuous head trauma from fights.
For players now, and in the past, I think you are correct. With new concussion protocols, IMO there difference should not be large for the upcoming generation of players. That is, if concussions are correctly diagnosed and 'treated', CTE should be limited in all players. If enforcers and stars (like Crosby) receive the same medical attention, these situations should be limited.

If fighters are more at risk for concussions (if they play ~5min a game, I'm not sure they are since they take/give less checks), wouldn't proper diagnosis and treatment mitigate the CTE risks? There are still risks, but aren't multiple concussions usually the cause of these problems? That is, if doctors recognize the early stages/causes of CTE, can't the player retire before too much damage is done?

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12-06-2011, 11:14 AM
  #55
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Originally Posted by SgtJoseph View Post
Well said......We are all responsible for the choices we make.
So it's ok to tell 14 year olds, "You gotta fight or you won't play?"

How about no fighting until you turn pro? Give the kids brain a chance to not get bashed around until they are grown.

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12-06-2011, 11:25 AM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkingOvertime View Post
For players now, and in the past, I think you are correct. With new concussion protocols, IMO there difference should not be large for the upcoming generation of players. That is, if concussions are correctly diagnosed and 'treated', CTE should be limited in all players. If enforcers and stars (like Crosby) receive the same medical attention, these situations should be limited.

If fighters are more at risk for concussions (if they play ~5min a game, I'm not sure they are since they take/give less checks), wouldn't proper diagnosis and treatment mitigate the CTE risks? There are still risks, but aren't multiple concussions usually the cause of these problems? That is, if doctors recognize the early stages/causes of CTE, can't the player retire before too much damage is done?
Possibly, although I'm not an expert. Diagnosis can perhaps be complicated by the fact that some enforcers may try to hide their concussions to stay in the lineup.

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12-06-2011, 11:35 AM
  #57
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Originally Posted by SpinTheBlackCircle View Post
So it's ok to tell 14 year olds, "You gotta fight or you won't play?"

How about no fighting until you turn pro? Give the kids brain a chance to not get bashed around until they are grown.
I don't know why, but the USHL has less fighting, especially per player, than the CHL. Maybe this should receive some attention. The problem is players who fight 20+ times a year, and will only make the NHL as a pure enforcer.

With that said, players joining the AHL/NHL with no fighting experience would be at a great disadvantage. In the video your hear Boogy took a season before he could hold his own in the WHL- I would hate to see how he did without experience against an ECHL/AHL enforcer.

Also, there are players who eventually thrive in the current system. S. Thornton has managed to become a decent fourth-liner. The Wings have a prospect (Mitchell Callahan) that fought his was on to a WHL team. In his third season, the player was ~.8ppg with ~.9ppg in the playoffs. Fighting got him on the team, but the team improved his skills greatly.

Maybe we should look into what happened to the CHL enforcers that did not make the AHL/NHL. What has happened to these players?

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12-06-2011, 11:39 AM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Ceteris Paribus View Post
Possibly, although I'm not an expert. Diagnosis can perhaps be complicated by the fact that some enforcers may try to hide their concussions to stay in the lineup.
That is true. However, if the medical staff treats enforcers the same as skilled players, they should be required to be in the 'quiet room' if they are dazed/hurt in a fight. There are players that won't be back with a team if they have a concussion, but (at the NHL level) these players are the severe minority. Also, these players are being 'phased out'. IMO Prust, Thornton, Asham, etc are the 'new enforcer'.

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12-06-2011, 11:49 AM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwitch View Post
Interesting point made at the very end. If the NHL isn't going to ban fighting then maybe it's up to the endforcers to take a stand if they really feel that they are in danger. But most enforcers woudn't have a job in the NHL if it weren't for fighting so would they be willing to risk making that stand?

"They are trading brain cells for money"

I wonder how many other players currently in the NHL have CTE right now or are developing it. I'm sure there are many.. Really sad if you think about it because once their careers are over they are going to be messed up for the rest of their life and are probably already really messed up. Is fighting really worth it?
In the article when it says "They are trading brain cells for money", I'm pretty sure the they in the NHL, ie the NHL thinks it helps their ratings, so they keep it in to get more money.

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12-06-2011, 12:15 PM
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwitch View Post
If the NHL isn't going to ban fighting then maybe it's up to the endforcers to take a stand if they really feel that they are in danger. But most enforcers woudn't have a job in the NHL if it weren't for fighting so would they be willing to risk making that stand?
If you read all 3 parts, you will read that Boogaard didn't have any pro skills. He perfected his skating by training with a Russian figure skater and the only way he was going to make it to the NHL is by beating up everyone in his path. His only purpose was to scare the shyt out of the other team because if you messed with his team, you were going to (literally) get your face bashed in

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12-06-2011, 12:21 PM
  #61
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It's sad really...I LOVED Boogaard as a player, and to find out his case of CTE was more advanced than one of the "legends" in Bob Probert? Scary. It's something not only the NHL, but the rest of the hockey world should be alert to, especially the link to addiction as demonstrated with both Boogey and Probert.

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12-06-2011, 12:55 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by WorkingOvertime View Post
To me, the issue is how to decrease the amount of players in the NHL only for fighting, while keeping fighting in the game. IMO players like Iginla, Abdelkader, Clowe, etc. that fight 3-12 times a year probably aren't at a high risk for the issues mentioned in recent articles due to fighting (hitting is another discussion).
I don't know really. I'm a big fan of fighting in hockey and I agree with Bettman (unbelievable!) that we have too little of evidence there is any connection between CTE and fighting in hockey. I also think that there are a lot of people having a much harder life and risking their health too earning in a lifetime what these guys earn in a year.
Fighting is part of the game but also a way to make a living for some people, I don't buy the fact "they are pressed to fighting", if you don't want to do it you don't do it, even if you risk on being cut when you are in junior hockey.

The damages on Boogaard brain scared me though...

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12-06-2011, 01:02 PM
  #63
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Is it time to make a substantial change to the game we all love? Is it worth it to continue down this path? One has to wonder how many guys are affected currently.

I've always been VERY pro-fight. But I honestly can't say I enjoy them now. Instead of feeling like cheering when someone gets their clock cleaned, I immediately think "Man, I hope that guy's gonna be ok.". Guys are so freakishly strong now ( Shut up Steigerwald ), that they hit like cinderblocks and the takedowns are bouncing heads off the ice all too often.

I know we'll never take the possibility of injury out of the game, it's too fast and too physical for that to happen. Injuries from hits and blocked shots etc etc will always be a risk they take. But these staged fights that are not even about sticking up for another guy, but merely for "pumping up the boys"..they're just NOT worth it.

If you're a hockey parent, would you rather your son make his mark by playing sound D, or scoring.... or by getting punched out and chewing Oxycontin all week to cope? I'm sorry that my Rangers mishandled the Boogaard case, and all but ignored the signs until it was too late.


To do this right, you still need some form of deterrent for the Steve Ott's and Jordin Tootoos. Ideas?


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12-06-2011, 02:24 PM
  #64
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Derek Boogaard: A brain going bad

There was a lengthy write-up in the New York Times yesterday. The results from Boogaard's brain. They weren't good.

This is a lengthy, in depth article. Very informative, and heartbreaking.

I didn't see a thread for it elsewhere.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/06/sp...pagewanted=all

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Old
12-06-2011, 03:10 PM
  #65
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Very informative write up, but incredibly sad.

R.I.P. Derek.

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12-06-2011, 03:15 PM
  #66
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read it today very very good article... really sad to

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12-06-2011, 03:17 PM
  #67
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There's a thread here: http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=1046049

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12-06-2011, 03:17 PM
  #68
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Very sad story. Its surprising to read that this was only the beginning for him and in time he would have only gotten worse. it makes you think, that even as sad as this is, maybe ending it this way was for the better assuming the doctors would have been correct.

Im really disappointed to hear how Minnesota and New York handled his care. There were obviously lapses in judgment and mistakes were made that to this day they're not willing to acknowledge. Can no take accountability anymore? I wonder how many more organizations are just as guilty...

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12-06-2011, 03:18 PM
  #69
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i'll repost what i stated in the other thread...


Very sad story. Its surprising to read that this was only the beginning for him and in time he would have only gotten worse. it makes you think, that even as sad as this is, maybe ending it this way was for the better assuming the doctors would have been correct.

Im really disappointed to hear how Minnesota and New York handled his care. There were obviously lapses in judgment and mistakes were made that to this day they're not willing to acknowledge. Can no take accountability anymore? I wonder how many more organizations are just as guilty...

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12-06-2011, 05:38 PM
  #70
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All three articles are very informative. The mini documentary in three pieces compliment the article very well. Interesting to see DJ King give an analysis to the fight with Boogaard, and Fedoruk speaking on addiction, and "the punch" that pretty much ended his career as a tough guy.

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Old
12-06-2011, 06:00 PM
  #71
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Miners get black lung
Crab fishermen get all sorts of injuries, and occasionally fall overboard and die.
Firemen/women die in all sorts of ways.
Policemen/women get shot, as do Military personal.
Stunt people cripple themselves almost daily, for "entertainment".

All for a ******** less money than any enforcer in the NHL.
Ask anyone doing a dangerous job, if they would accept the risk of possible brain damage, for close to a million dollars a year, and all of a sudden the very same risk of injury becomes acceptable to many more people.
Jobs available in your local "bomb squad" starting pay $54,000.

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12-06-2011, 06:05 PM
  #72
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The problem was Boogaard was 300 lbs. Enforcers back in the good old days were never that big. Maybe 240 at the most (Kordic, Caufield)

Bigger men = bigger punches = more head trama.

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Old
12-06-2011, 06:17 PM
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papaspud View Post
Miners get black lung
Crab fishermen get all sorts of injuries, and occasionally fall overboard and die.
Firemen/women die in all sorts of ways.
Policemen/women get shot, as do Military personal.
Stunt people cripple themselves almost daily, for "entertainment".

All for a ******** less money than any enforcer in the NHL.
Ask anyone doing a dangerous job, if they would accept the risk of possible brain damage, for close to a million dollars a year, and all of a sudden the very same risk of injury becomes acceptable to many more people.
Jobs available in your local "bomb squad" starting pay $54,000.
To say nothing of the perils faced by hookers. What is your point?

We all get that there are jobs that need to be done and the nature of those jobs entail some level of risk. Walking out your door each morning entails a certain level of risk. I think we understand as well that people will do anything for money.

As long as a person understands the risks involved (although I doubt that a 16 year old junior player from some backwater can understand what it means to have early onset Alzheimers at the age of 30), within reason, I'm of the view that they should be free to do as they please so long as they agree to be responsible for the consequences (yeah, try that in real life).

But that doesn't mean that I have to support them or accept that their decision is a part of a sport that I like.

And I'd take being a cop any day of the week and twice on Sunday over the dangers associated with DB's profession.

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12-06-2011, 06:42 PM
  #74
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Whether one is for or against fighting in hockey, I still think Bettman's comments near the end of the third video were moronic and incredibly patronizing to the scientists working on this research.

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Old
12-06-2011, 06:47 PM
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpinTheBlackCircle View Post
So it's ok to tell 14 year olds, "You gotta fight or you won't play?"

How about no fighting until you turn pro? Give the kids brain a chance to not get bashed around until they are grown.
If you're not good enough, and the coach asks you to fight to stay on the team, maybe hockey's not cut out for you... drop down a level and you dont have to fight to stay on the team... simple as that. OR you can fight your way onto the team because you know the risks, and are willing to take it for the big paycheck.

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