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01-04-2012, 08:44 AM
  #1
English Ranger
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Feedback on fighting ban / Boogaard article (Fighting Discussion)

Afternoon.

Wrote an article on the prospect of a fighting ban ( HERE ) but as an English fan, am not sure how accurate it is etc.

Would appreciate some feedback / updates on the situation etc.

Much appreciated, thanks.

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01-04-2012, 08:56 AM
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Personally, I'd like to hear more of your opinion — a pro or anti — with evidence to support your case.

The New York Times did a multi-part series on fighting and the results of fighting recently which was excellent.

Finally, not to be insensitive, but the piece needs serious proofreading.

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01-04-2012, 08:58 AM
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Hey guys, let's use this thread as a more general discussion of fighting and it's place in the game. I think it's definitely an interesting topic and I know many of us here have varying viewpoints.

Me, I like the idea of players being able to protect themselves and their teammates. Its a different dynamic that other sports just don't have. I love the team now because the Rangers really don't have a "Colton Orr-like" enforcer. IMO they need to come up with some rules to allow fighting but stop the staged fighting that has become more common now.

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01-04-2012, 09:01 AM
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SingnBluesOnBroadway
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Personally, I can't chalk up head injuries purely to fighting. Look at former players in the NFL — they're issues with head and brain injuries and there's no fighting in the NFL.

To me, it comes down to players being faster, bigger and stronger and safety equipment failing to keep up with that speed and size.

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01-04-2012, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
Personally, I can't chalk up head injuries purely to fighting. Look at former players in the NFL they're issues with head and brain injuries and there's no fighting in the NFL.

To me, it comes down to players being faster, bigger and stronger and safety equipment failing to keep up with that speed and size.
So are you for or against fighting in general? Regardless of the injuries, do you like the fact that fighting is allowed in the NHL? What about Juniors?

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01-04-2012, 09:10 AM
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I think fighting should be left alone in the NHL. I do, however, believe that fighting in Juniors could be viewed as a bit barbaric.

However, fighting in Juniors is almost necessary, for NHL teams to see who can actually fight and who can't. It's a catch 22.

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01-04-2012, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYR Boyler87 View Post
So are you for or against fighting in general? Regardless of the injuries, do you like the fact that fighting is allowed in the NHL? What about Juniors?
I'm not a big fan of fighting but I think it's a part of the game.

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01-04-2012, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
Personally, I'd like to hear more of your opinion a pro or anti with evidence to support your case.

The New York Times did a multi-part series on fighting and the results of fighting recently which was excellent.

Finally, not to be insensitive, but the piece needs serious proofreading.
Now proofread...My bad. Scribbled down during my lunch hour inbetween nailing a load of sandwiches.

My thoughts? I love the fighting. Relatively new to the game (caught five Rangers match last season and watch my local side in England) but I think it would seriously lose something without the fights.

That said, the health of players has to be put first.

Perhaps less prominance being put on an individual to be the team's heavyweight enforcer might work. If the fighting was shared round more, the repeated impacts would be drastically reduced.

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01-04-2012, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hightide85 View Post
I think fighting should be left alone in the NHL. I do, however, believe that fighting in Juniors could be viewed as a bit barbaric.

However, fighting in Juniors is almost necessary, for NHL teams to see who can actually fight and who can't. It's a catch 22.
See I'm okay with fighting but I agree with this assessment. It's sad to have 16 year olds fighting in a sport that they may not go pro in. I understand the importance of protecting yourself and your teammates.

What about the instigator rule?

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01-04-2012, 09:18 AM
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I like the fact that fighting is allowed in the NHL. It keeps the game honest and acts as a deterrent to dangerous actions on the part of some players.

However, the staged fighting needs to go. It serves no purpose within the context of today's game. Two goons squaring off for no other reason than to be seen as relevant is ridiculous. There will always be room for guys like Prust who can actually play the game and chip in some points, while also dropping the gloves if a teammate takes a dirty hit. What we don't need are Colton Orr and Jody Shelley types, goons who can't even take a normal shift, and stage about 80% of their fights.

As for fighting in Junior leagues, I would like to see that end entirely. I don't have any empirical evidence, but common sense tells me that fighting and sustaining blows to the head are much more dangerous to a growing, developing young man than they are to a full-grown man. The fights that Boogaard had in the WHL probably contributed more to his deterioration than his fights in the AHL and NHL.

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01-04-2012, 10:12 AM
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Get rid of the instigator. Get rid of automatic game misconduct for simultaneous fights. Let the game have some emotion, remember scrums? They don't want those in the game anymore either. Anyone's career ever end during a scrum?

Some of my favorite games as a kid were the Isles-Rangers melee's. No one got seriously hurt from those.

Player's pads need to be redesigned to be softer while still protective, and the ice needs to be bigger. Then you'll see less head injuries.

There may be something to complications later in life as the result of many fights i.e. Bob Probert, but if you're worried about that you should read about the studies they are doing on the brains of retired NFL players who die at middle age, and the fact that they have the brains of senior citizens. You might want to take contact out of football in that case. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ycn-10597447

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01-04-2012, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Monglobster View Post
Get rid of the instigator. Get rid of automatic game misconduct for simultaneous fights. Let the game have some emotion, remember scrums? They don't want those in the game anymore either. Anyone's career ever end during a scrum?

Some of my favorite games as a kid were the Isles-Rangers melee's. No one got seriously hurt from those.

Player's pads need to be redesigned to be softer while still protective, and the ice needs to be bigger. Then you'll see less head injuries.

There may be something to complications later in life as the result of many fights i.e. Bob Probert, but if you're worried about that you should read about the studies they are doing on the brains of retired NFL players who die at middle age, and the fact that they have the brains of senior citizens. You might want to take contact out of football in that case. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ycn-10597447
The tips of the elbow pads are like rocks... the elbow pads I used were really hard, and if you were to throw and elbow to someone's head as they are crossing the blue line, that's the cause of the concussion IMO.

(Obviously I would never do this, but we've seen it multiple times in the NHL)

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01-04-2012, 10:23 AM
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Could some state this instigator rule? I don't know it officially.

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01-04-2012, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jabroni1994 View Post
Could some state this instigator rule? I don't know it officially.
NHL Rulebook:
Quote:
46.11 Instigator - An instigator of an altercation shall be a player who by his actions or demeanor demonstrates any/some of the following criteria: distance traveled; gloves off first; first punch thrown; menacing attitude or posture; verbal instigation or threats; conduct in retaliation to a prior game (or season) incident; obvious retribution for a previous incident in the game or season.

A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting and a ten-minute misconduct.

If the same player or goalkeeper is deemed to be the instigator of a second altercation in the same game, he shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting and a game misconduct.

When a player receives his third instigator penalty in one Regular season, he is automatically given a game misconduct following that third violation.

A player who is deemed to be both the instigator and aggressor of an altercation shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting, a ten-minute misconduct (instigator) and a game misconduct penalty (aggressor).
http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26336

Basically, if one person is the clear aggressor in a fight, he gets a penalty. This means if someone like Cooke blind-sides one of our guys and Prust jumps in an immediately forces him to fight, Prust would get a penalty. This deters players from sticking up for one another because they're afraid of putting the team on the PK. Removing the instigator might make a player like Cooke think twice before throwing a dangerous hit, because he knows he's going to get his face pounded in.

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01-04-2012, 10:38 AM
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The only reason I see the instigator penalty not going anywhere is that any time any check is laid out, legal or not, someone is looking to start a scrap.

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01-04-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelation View Post
NHL Rulebook:


http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26336

Basically, if one person is the clear aggressor in a fight, he gets a penalty. This means if someone like Cooke blind-sides one of our guys and Prust jumps in an immediately forces him to fight, Prust would get a penalty. This deters players from sticking up for one another because they're afraid of putting the team on the PK. Removing the instigator might make a player like Cooke think twice before throwing a dangerous hit, because he knows he's going to get his face pounded in.
This rule is potentially the dumbest rule I've ever heard of.



Remove it.

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01-04-2012, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by gluvhand View Post
The only reason I see the instigator penalty not going anywhere is that any time any check is laid out, legal or not, someone is looking to start a scrap.
I actually agree with you. There's no reason that someone should have to fight after a legal hit. However, after a dirty hit, all bets should be off. Players should have to fight after throwing a dirty hit. They could alter the language of the rule to give the refs some discretion as to when to make that call, without actually removing the rule itself.

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01-04-2012, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Revelation View Post
I actually agree with you. There's no reason that someone should have to fight after a legal hit. However, after a dirty hit, all bets should be off. Players should have to fight after throwing a dirty hit. They could alter the language of the rule to give the refs some discretion as to when to make that call, without actually removing the rule itself.
I agree but deciding what was dirty or clean is way too subjective these days and expecting the refs to actually make a correct call there is hoping for too much I'm afraid.

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01-04-2012, 12:04 PM
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So I have an idea, how about instead of banning fighting we just up the penalties. Rather than a 5 min major we give game ejections for fights, and the following game for fights in the 3rd period or OT.

This would have the benefit of no outright ban but would give instigators some serious deterrent.

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01-04-2012, 12:09 PM
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So I have an idea, how about instead of banning fighting we just up the penalties. Rather than a 5 min major we give game ejections for fights, and the following game for fights in the 3rd period or OT.

This would have the benefit of no outright ban but would give instigators some serious deterrent.
I think that would be a horrible idea. Guys need to be able to defend themselves. Do you want Callahan being afraid to drop the gloves if he has to? Other team's slimeball players would jusst try and draw our skill players into a fight so that they get thrown out of the game. The real problem here are staged fights, and players having to fight after clean hits. Get those 2 things out of the game and I'm happy.

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01-04-2012, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelation View Post
I actually agree with you. There's no reason that someone should have to fight after a legal hit. However, after a dirty hit, all bets should be off. Players should have to fight after throwing a dirty hit. They could alter the language of the rule to give the refs some discretion as to when to make that call, without actually removing the rule itself.
The problem is ANY big hit where a guy is knocked down is viewed by teammates as "GET EM BOYS!!!!" and starts a scrum.

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01-04-2012, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by allstar3970 View Post
The problem is ANY big hit where a guy is knocked down is viewed by teammates as "GET EM BOYS!!!!" and starts a scrum.
Yeah there are multiple problems. Any hit is seen as a reason to challenge someone. Hitting is part of the game. Unless the player hits high or charges I see no reason for it.

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01-04-2012, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revelation View Post
I think that would be a horrible idea. Guys need to be able to defend themselves. Do you want Callahan being afraid to drop the gloves if he has to? Other team's slimeball players would jusst try and draw our skill players into a fight so that they get thrown out of the game. The real problem here are staged fights, and players having to fight after clean hits. Get those 2 things out of the game and I'm happy.
Yeah, I'm just spitballing here. But if this goon is trying to draw another player into a fight then he would be penalized as an instigator and the defending player would get off with a lesser penalty.

Just my two cents.

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01-04-2012, 12:18 PM
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I'll throw some ideas out there.

Bareknuckle boxing is one of the safest contact sports. I think there's only one recorded fatality in over a century.

MMA, which uses very light 4oz gloves, has a surprisingly low concussion rate.

Boxing, which uses heavy 12 to 16oz gloves, has a fairly high concussion rate.

So if you look at other combat sports, fighting with bare fists tends to be much "safer" than fighting with any sort of glove, and concussions are rare (although they tend to be bloodier on average, the damage is temporary). Why would hockey be any different? Volume of fights? Doubtful. There are plenty of low to mid-tier MMA fighters who fight 10-12 times a year (which would be a decent amount for an NHL enforcer). Boxers, on the other hand, only fight 2-6 times a year and they still have higher concussion rates.

It really makes me wonder about how much of the medical issues enforcers have are fighting related, or due to surrounding issues (drugs, stress, etc). Not to mention that unlike the above, a hockey player is on skates and therefore can't plant their feet and get full power behind their punches.

I think concussions are a big problem in NHL, that much is clear, but how much ties back to fighting is a big question mark. I think equipment (oversized & overly hard pads) and increased speed are more to blame.

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01-04-2012, 12:31 PM
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Having your head hit the ice or boards instead of a mat factors in. I also think more hockey concussions are whiplash related than we're lead to believe.

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