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The Eventual Ban on Fighting

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Old
10-14-2011, 12:23 PM
  #76
Iain Fyffe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babcockscowl View Post
it's not going anywhere, Fighting goes on in Hockey, in Baseball....sometimes Basketball....there's a use and need for it in their respective sports
To equate the fighting that happens in baseball or basketball, or football or soccer or what have you (which is rare, not celebrated and typically results in players being ejected and/or suspended) and the fighting that happens in hockey (which is planned, undertaken on a regular basis, and really not penalized) is laughable. There is no other team sport that tolerates fighting the way hockey does.

Fighting can never be banned in the sense of guaranteeing it will never happen - it still happens in sports where it is heavily penalized and considered disgusting, after all. Discussions of banning fighting can really only refer to something like automatic ejections and/or suspensions for players who fight. You can't "ban" it since it's already illegal, but you can increase the penalties that such illegal acts draw, thereby decreasing the incidence.

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10-14-2011, 01:39 PM
  #77
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Other Sport Argument

The other sport argument overlooks a key element - hockey is the only major sport where all participants play with sticks in hand. Sticks that can and are used as weapons. Evidenced by Wayne Maki / Ted Green.

Furthermore hockey is played on an enclosed rink, on skates at a faster pace than the other major sports which are not played on an enclosed field or court and are played without skates.

In hockey it is preferable to see two players drop their gloves and fight instead of swinging sticks at or kicking each other.

The fan argument has to be viewed in terms of the other sports as well. Reading game reports of all four major NA sports either today or going back to the early 20th century reveals two common elements. Fans want their favourite team to win and they want to be entertained. Winning trumps entertainment. Evidenced in hockey by the acceptance of the trap and other defensive strategies if their team is winning.

Within the context of winning hockey, the strategy of fighting has rarely been sustainable or beneficial. With thirty teams trying to sell tickets to the games, winning becomes a difficult product to sell if it is in short supply. So other elements of the game, like fighting are marketed.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 10-14-2011 at 01:41 PM. Reason: punctuation
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10-14-2011, 03:36 PM
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jughead42 View Post
If you paid attention to Canadian media you'd know it was the topic de jour. She writes for the Toronto Star as well, and as this other guy mentioned it was a focus on at TSN program. I can't help it if the tractor pull gets better coverage than hockey in your area.

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10-14-2011, 04:16 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
The other sport argument overlooks a key element - hockey is the only major sport where all participants play with sticks in hand. Sticks that can and are used as weapons. Evidenced by Wayne Maki / Ted Green.
If you remove the "major" and go "professional" instead, box lacrosse permits fighting like hockey does. The sticks are no excuse - there's no fighting in field lacrosse, or bandy. Or hurling, or field hockey. (When I say "no fighting" I mean no fighting allowed, with fighting carrying harsh penalties). It's just hockey and box lacrosse, which of course are often played by the same group of people in Canada. It seems to me it's much more of a cultural thing than something inherent with the sport itself, which is supported by the lack of fighting in ice hockey in other parts of the world.

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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
In hockey it is preferable to see two players drop their gloves and fight instead of swinging sticks at or kicking each other.
This is a false dichotomy - the options are not limited to these two. Many players are able to play the game without doing either of these, so I don't see how it can be said to be "part of the game".

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10-14-2011, 04:19 PM
  #80
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I like what fighting adds to the game. What I like about it most it allows the players to have a say in the other team's behavior and not just depend on the refs to enforce the rules. I mean who hates movies where people take the law in their own hands right? When you've been wronged you like to see that someone stand up for themselves. Hockey is one of the only sports where it actually happens. Heck when there is a fight in baseball usually a team brawl that thing is on the airwaves lickity split. I think the media are hypocrites to be anti-fighting and then do nothing but report violence and have violent programing on their networks and other media outlets. Its a violent sport in a violent world, lets not gloss over such a great and raw sport.

Earlier someone was posting that fighting makes hockey look like a freak show to some people and in other countries. Well you know what then hockey is our freak show, why do we need to homogenize it so other people can like it, other people that seem clearly in the minority to me. I can see the benefits of a more popular sport bringing more coverage and broadcasts especially in the States, but if the price of that is we loose some of the most fundamental cultures of the game then its a bad trade off IMO.

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10-14-2011, 05:34 PM
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuji9991 View Post
Earlier someone was posting that fighting makes hockey look like a freak show to some people and in other countries. Well you know what then hockey is our freak show
Speak for yourself. This has nothing to do with homogenization, many of the opponents of fighting are Canadian hockey fans.

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10-14-2011, 06:05 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by thehumanpanda View Post
Fighting in hockey might seem natural for people who grew up with the game. But I can tell you it is absolutely bizarre for people who don't follow hockey. Peaceful people think it is violent, regular fans of other sports think it is immature, kids who don't watch hockey find it hilarious. I will bet that most of the spectators cheering when there is a fight in a US arena are cheering because of the hilarity of two grown men who can't play a game without resorting to getting into a wrestling match with each other. When I was overseas, I showed people hockey.. when the fights came on, they laughed and pointed and called the fighters and hockey players "idiots" "stupid" "bunch of bozos" + an array of swear words meaning cowards (exact quotes). People who don't believe me, just google anti-hockey fighting topics and see what cyberspace thinks about it.

Example:

http://juicedsportsblog.com/2010/10/...r-grow-up.html

Hockey people are convinced the world believes hockey players are the most "classy" people that can do no wrong. Come out of your sheltered lives and see how it really is.

We are all hockey fans here and if you're in Canada, we spent our entire early childhoods slapping hockey pucks around on the rink and on the street. This cherished sport is considered a freak show by most people in the world, and after getting around I can understand why they think this.

I'm changing the channel when fighting comes on in hockey. I'll change it to the NBA when it returns.

Ban this embarrassment of fighting in hockey.
No its not considered a freak show by most and no its not a embarrassment.

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10-14-2011, 06:20 PM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjhl2009fan View Post
No its not considered a freak show by most and no its not a embarrassment.
Check out the chapter on fighting in Klein and Reif's The Death of Hockey sometime.

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10-14-2011, 06:35 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Check out the chapter on fighting in Klein and Reif's The Death of Hockey sometime.
Sure there are some but its not most my biggest oissue is alot that complain about fighting are not even hockey fans.

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10-14-2011, 06:39 PM
  #85
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Hockey Culture, Changes and Economics.

Interesting Peter King article about the NFL:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...ter_king/10/14

Basic point is that you cannot immediately change the habits of athletes with rule changes. While "many" adapt their game some do not. Thinking that there is a sport or society where "all" members respect "all" the rules "all" the time is beyond realistic.

The minor professional sports that do not tolerate fighting do not have a strong economic base and are not driven by ratings and television and to my knowledge do not have player associations that seek to protect jobs and drive salaries upwards.

The link with fighting and Canadian culture as seen through hockey and box lacrosse is rather lame. Lacrosse, in its two forms - box and field, features another culture distinct from Canadian, the native North American culture. Non native Canadians and Americans are immigrants, question of generations.

Taking this a few steps further the same non-Canadian, non-American cultures that are praised for the reduced level of fighting in their ice hockey leagues have ruthless criminality in their society just as we have in Canada and the USA. Simply violence is violence. Question of which way the wind blows before it surfaces.

As for fighting being preferable to stick-swinging and kicking. Hockey has come a long way from the days of Sprague Cleghorn who bragged about being involved in fifty stretcher incidents during his career. Exaggeration or literary license aside the game of hockey has progressed immensely from its formative days. Just a question of reducing the circle of tolerance of the various reckless and violent acts without expecting perfection.

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10-14-2011, 06:46 PM
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjhl2009fan View Post
No its not considered a freak show by most and no its not a embarrassment.
Hockey's great. It's fast, aggressive and entertaining. Nothing is more fun than a team that can skate and finishes the checks and plays hard to to the body. Fighting has nothing to do with being tough or physical. Fighting is a freak show. It's a side show to entertain the bozos the previous poster mentioned. It's already gone from hockey practically everywhere else in the world, and one day it'll be gone from the NHL as well. I can't see any compelling reasons why hockey needs to condone show fighting when no other sport does (even arguably the more physical ones).

Fighting still takes place in sports even when it's not allowed, just like street crime and domestic violence does. It's just a lot less common when there's a strong penalty for it.

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10-14-2011, 07:05 PM
  #87
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10-14-2011, 07:10 PM
  #88
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Fighting will always be part of the game. Fans who think that fighting isn't a necessary part of the game, don't fully understand hockey. Any fan who is against fighting and for banning it needs to at least read "The Code: The Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Retaliation in the NHL", by Ross Bernstein.

Players, coaches, GM's and most fans want it in the game. As usual the few fans who are against it are the most outspoken ones. These are the same kinds of people that think that mixed martial arts and boxing are barbaric and that football is a game for animals and that their shouldn't be any aggression or anything considered to be violent in sports.

Fighting is a way of policing the game, it prevents players from taking cheap shots and provides space for skilled players. Unlike in Europe, hockey in North America is played on a small surface with big players who are willing to be physical, this is conducive to increased intensity. That intensity creates emotional responses and if fighting wasn't the outlet then you would see a lot more dirty hits and stick work.

The only argument against fighting that I accept as being rational is that if a player can't handle more than five minutes of ice time than he shouldn't be in the game. The 3 shift goons who only take part in staged fights can be exciting at times but they are replaceable by slightly smaller players than can actually play the game. A fighter should at the very least be able to contribute to his team in other ways than fighting such as pk, pp, hitting, cycling the puck, net presence.

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10-14-2011, 07:28 PM
  #89
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That intensity creates emotional responses and if fighting wasn't the outlet then you would see a lot more dirty hits and stick work.
Just explain to me then why no other team sport requires show fights to entertain fans? Explain why the other sports don't need to condone real fights as outlets for the players? Why do the other sports think that referees and a disciplinary board that hands out suspensions suffice? Why do people in real life in stressful or even physical professions aren't allowed to take the law in their own hands as an outlet to their stress?

Seriously, we're all hockey fans here, but I simply don't understand what makes you think hockey is so special and unique. It isn't. Hockey fighting is a tradition and that's the only reason it lives. Remove it for a year or two and it's gone forever, because it's not needed.

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10-14-2011, 07:31 PM
  #90
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The Next Generation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruiser View Post
Fighting will always be part of the game. Fans who think that fighting isn't a necessary part of the game, don't fully understand hockey. Any fan who is against fighting and for banning it needs to at least read "The Code: The Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Retaliation in the NHL", by Ross Bernstein.

Players, coaches, GM's and most fans want it in the game. As usual the few fans who are against it are the most outspoken ones. These are the same kinds of people that think that mixed martial arts and boxing are barbaric and that football is a game for animals and that their shouldn't be any aggression or anything considered to be violent in sports.

Fighting is a way of policing the game, it prevents players from taking cheap shots and provides space for skilled players. Unlike in Europe, hockey in North America is played on a small surface with big players who are willing to be physical, this is conducive to increased intensity. That intensity creates emotional responses and if fighting wasn't the outlet then you would see a lot more dirty hits and stick work.

The only argument against fighting that I accept as being rational is that if a player can't handle more than five minutes of ice time than he shouldn't be in the game. The 3 shift goons who only take part in staged fights can be exciting at times but they are replaceable by slightly smaller players than can actually play the game. A fighter should at the very least be able to contribute to his team in other ways than fighting such as pk, pp, hitting, cycling the puck, net presence.
Hocket fighters are not from a sustainable or renewable source. Youth hockey in Canada and the USA is slowly removing the various reckless and violent activities related to hockey.

The OHL is at the forefront of the three major junior leagues in NA when it comes to taking a non-fighting, non- reckless violence approach to the game. The others will follow. The non-fighting , non-reckless violence mentality is taking root with the future players, coaches, GMs, administrators, etc. As long as the business end of the game sustains these changes, the hockey fighter will not receive the necessary support and training pre NHL.

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10-14-2011, 08:30 PM
  #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruiser View Post
That intensity creates emotional responses and if fighting wasn't the outlet then you would see a lot more dirty hits and stick work.
Though it remains popular, this is a discredited idea. If this were really the case, why isn't there regular fighting in the NFL? You talk about intense physical play, the NFL's got it. Yet football players don't seem to need an outlet to avoid punching each other with regularity. Scrums and shoving matches may result from intense, physical play (and do in both the NHL and NFL), but the routine throwing of fists is restricted to hockey.

The research shows that behaviour repeated is behaviour learned. The "stress release" theory of violence has been busted; instead violence tends just to lead to more and greater violence. Here's just one example. Basically, if you allow fighting you get fighting and stickwork, not fighting instead of stickwork.

I know Don Cherry subscribes to the idea that European players are dirtier with their sticks (which follows if no fighting means more stickwork), but that claim has been discredited as well.

The discourse about fighting in hockey needs to catch up to the research.

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10-14-2011, 08:34 PM
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjhl2009fan View Post
Sure there are some but its not most my biggest oissue is alot that complain about fighting are not even hockey fans.
Assuming I'm parsing this correctly (and I can't be sure that I am), I don't think this is valid. People who aren't hockey fans don't care about hockey; why would they complain about it? The loudest complaints come from people who love the game (such as Klein and Reif), because they have a very good reason to complain: their beloved game is being soured by useless (or even harmful) violence.

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10-14-2011, 08:39 PM
  #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Basic point is that you cannot immediately change the habits of athletes with rule changes. While "many" adapt their game some do not. Thinking that there is a sport or society where "all" members respect "all" the rules "all" the time is beyond realistic.
Indeed. Any attempt to take something as ingrained as fighting out will take a good deal of time.

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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
The link with fighting and Canadian culture as seen through hockey and box lacrosse is rather lame.
Not Canadian culture, but Canadian hockey culture, which is very similar to the culture of box lacrosse (similar ideas of what manly and what's cowardly, "codes" of fighting, etc). I don't mean lines on a map, I mean the people who are involved in the game and the ideas that get passed between them.

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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Just a question of reducing the circle of tolerance of the various reckless and violent acts without expecting perfection.
Well said. It'll never be perfect, but that's no reason not to try to make it better.

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10-14-2011, 08:44 PM
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daishi View Post
Fighting is a freak show. It's a side show to entertain the bozos the previous poster mentioned.
Though I'm sure I've used similar language at times myself, I don't think this sort of talk helps. It's more likely to make people defensive than willing to listen. No productive discussion can be had by two sides who take turns insulting each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruiser View Post
Fans who think that fighting isn't a necessary part of the game, don't fully understand hockey.
And this sort of dismissiveness is just as bad. It's a form of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy: only true hockey fans understand that fighting is good. No, in fact, not every real hockey fan has to agree with you, where "you" in this case is the self-appointed "true" fan making the claim.

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10-14-2011, 09:42 PM
  #95
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Other Sport Argument Part II

The other sport argument has a few fallacies. NFL football is used as an example of very limited fighting because fighting is not encouraged. Yet those arguing this point would be better served to research their facts. No NA sport has as long a list of banned, illegal techniques as the NFL. The clothesline, the hook, the hammer, the crackback especially below the waist on a player engaged in a block, blows to the head, blows with the head(spearing), special rules to protect the quarterback and so forth. As one technique was legislated out another replaced it.

Hockey is going thru a similar cycle. Helmets took approximately one generation post Masterson tragedy, before they received 100% acceptance from the NHL players.Once accomplished what happened? Blows to the head increased at a very fast pace. Introduce anti-obstruction rules to speed up the game and what happens? Unimpeded blindside hits increase.

Did the proponents of helmets see the the consequences that arose?Did the anti-obstruction proponents see the consequences that arose?

Basically pro-active rules that cover all possible consequences do not exist. As stated previously the process is slow and must be structured in a fashion that any new rules cannot be exploited for a competitive advantage.

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10-14-2011, 09:50 PM
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruiser View Post
Fighting will always be part of the game. Fans who think that fighting isn't a necessary part of the game, don't fully understand hockey. Any fan who is against fighting and for banning it needs to at least read "The Code: The Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Retaliation in the NHL", by Ross Bernstein.

Players, coaches, GM's and most fans want it in the game. As usual the few fans who are against it are the most outspoken ones. These are the same kinds of people that think that mixed martial arts and boxing are barbaric and that football is a game for animals and that their shouldn't be any aggression or anything considered to be violent in sports.

Fighting is a way of policing the game, it prevents players from taking cheap shots and provides space for skilled players. Unlike in Europe, hockey in North America is played on a small surface with big players who are willing to be physical, this is conducive to increased intensity. That intensity creates emotional responses and if fighting wasn't the outlet then you would see a lot more dirty hits and stick work.

The only argument against fighting that I accept as being rational is that if a player can't handle more than five minutes of ice time than he shouldn't be in the game. The 3 shift goons who only take part in staged fights can be exciting at times but they are replaceable by slightly smaller players than can actually play the game. A fighter should at the very least be able to contribute to his team in other ways than fighting such as pk, pp, hitting, cycling the puck, net presence.
How provincial! Fans of European hockey not only fully understand hockey, but understand that the game is wonderful when being played without the sideshow of a fight along the blue line between two players more skilled at heaving beer kegs than skating.

Perhaps North American ice needs periodic fertilizing with blood. Or perhaps those brought up to accept, and perhaps vicariously enjoy the blood lust of a fresh kill, could think that fighting is an indispensable part of the game.

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10-14-2011, 10:10 PM
  #97
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Originally Posted by Scottrocks58 View Post
How provincial! Fans of European hockey not only fully understand hockey, but understand that the game is wonderful when being played without the sideshow of a fight along the blue line between two players more skilled at heaving beer kegs than skating.

Perhaps North American ice needs periodic fertilizing with blood. Or perhaps those brought up to accept, and perhaps vicariously enjoy the blood lust of a fresh kill, could think that fighting is an indispensable part of the game.
Looks like Russia is no longer part of Europe. The KHL is importing former NHL and NA fighters the last few years. 20+ teams so winning becomes a difficult marketing tool. Salaries explode yet the rubles at the gate or from TV are not keeping pace. Let's market fighting.

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10-14-2011, 10:20 PM
  #98
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Here we go again, Beagle/Asham stirred up the anti fighting propaganda to even higher heights. The CBC just spent a huge chunk of their news coverage tonight to the fighting debate. Some people here don't see the warning signs, but I'm afraid the writing is on the wall when it comes to the future of fighting in hockey. Now instead of exploiting 3 dead hockey players, the anti fighting crusade is somehow linking Sidney Crosby's head wound to the fighting debate through the actions of Asham. The news piece pointed out the fact that Sidney was returning from a concussion the same day his team mate causes one with a fight. I can't stand the anti fighting agenda, why don't they go crusade to take professional wrestling off tv or stop UFC fights? Leave our damn game alone. Fighting is in hockey because sissies aren't supposed to play it, its a man's game.

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10-14-2011, 11:19 PM
  #99
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Looks like Russia is no longer part of Europe. The KHL is importing former NHL and NA fighters the last few years. 20+ teams so winning becomes a difficult marketing tool. Salaries explode yet the rubles at the gate or from TV are not keeping pace. Let's market fighting.
So the Ruskies are starting to emulate the Canadians. Or is it the other way around?

Isn't there enough in a hockey game to keep the interest up without the staged fight?

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10-14-2011, 11:47 PM
  #100
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Who, exactly, is pushing an anti-fighting agenda? I haven't seen anything of the sort. I think there remains much more concern about headshots than fighting per se.
The whole Quebec media have been on a crusade against fighting since forever. Most notably ex-fighters turned commentators like Dave Morissette, Enrico Ciccone or player agent Gilles Lupien, ex-NHL ref Ron Fournier, and many more.

Laraque is probably anti-fightning now too.


Last edited by Vsevolod Bobrov: 10-15-2011 at 12:14 AM.
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