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Gladiators Gone Girlishly Mild

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Old
03-24-2007, 04:36 PM
  #1
OYLer
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Gladiators Gone Girlishly Mild

Yah, let’s turn hardnosed Canadian hockey into a paddy cake parade. That’s what the paying fans really want to watch, genteel shinny stick-slapping where a reddened hangnail is cause for 2 weeks on the IR like in MLB, the US of A’s national waste-of-time. Mind you those exceptional anti-trust moguls aren’t rushing out to ban bench clearing brawls at the big “show” anytime soon. Begs the question—why?

“Someone could get hurt,” you say? Imagine the inhumanity of a grown man choosing to play professional hockey for half a million US dollars a year, to become a paid hockey enforcer because he has limited hockey skills? Better he be pounding nails for $18.50/hr Cdn. on some booming Alberta construction site and lose his life because some cost conscious developer neglected to erect safety railings? Workers in Alberta, Canada, the US, and around the world actually lose their lives because of preventable accidents. Remind me again of the number of Deaths that have occurred in the NHL.

Or maybe patrolling near Kandahar, where some Taliban freedom fighter (fresh from blowing up an Afghani girl’s school), zeroes in his grenade launcher, his suicide mission to take just one more Canadian peacekeepers life before embracing terrorist bliss. One wonders, how these Osama lamebrains can become convinced Allah will be waiting in the afterlife to honour them when they have terminally achieved others’ vainglorious and despicable objectives. Like the All Powerful Being is going to help, Omar the Meathead, select his promised seventy-two virgins from amongst the victims he violated into his jihadi paradise with the C2, the Meathead, detonated himself.

But only in that regretable brutish Canadian mindset, might a free man enter an iced oval with intent to inflict hurt. A veritable ‘Circle of Fire,’ an ‘Octagon’ of knockout intensity with the fans screaming for more… er… wait… sorry, that’s the fastest growing arena “sport” in the US of A! Yes Americans are flocking to see full and bloody contact exchanges in mixed marshal arts. Where knockouts (and the automatic resultant concussions) or painful elbow dislocating, and/or chocking submissions end bouts of sustained violence. Fight Club commercialized and selling tickets faster than dogs arriving at a catfight looking to snarf-up a scrap of fur.

Mind you in Motor City, pizzaman has been heard lamenting how the lack of pound & pop has diehard fans complaining for more physical action to make the execution of skill more dangerously exciting. Heck no, let's ban fighting! Instead, let’s make the NHL a non-contact event where contestants try not to get caught putting each others’ eyes out with accidental stick infractions. Glorify the skill of the sneaky "butt end" and deemphasize that incidental, ‘I was just protecting myself,’ crosscheck to the back of the head.

Sure when the No Touch NHL arrives because too many SuperStars making U$10,000,000.00 have been sliced & diced, targeted by competitive lesser lights just trying to add a little edge to their customized hydrocarbon handheld hockey blades, we namby-pamby spoon-fed fans can all marvel at that new 60 minutes of shootout, before the OT shootout, just before that final game ending shootout.

Yep! Coming soon to your cities megaplex: Hockey Skills On Ice, the Harlem Glob Trotters, and the Ice Capades. Now there’s an entertainment revival we’ll all be clambering to pay hard-earned cash to attend.


Last edited by OYLer: 03-24-2007 at 04:46 PM.
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03-24-2007, 05:13 PM
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I think you're overreacting just a bit, and you're also not addressing the issue that's been raised by Colin Campbell (a fighter when he played in the NHL himself) and other NHL people. The issue isn't to determine whether fighting is "bad" or "good", as you seem to think they're trying to do. The issue is whether maybe the players are so big today that it's too dangerous to allow fighting *as it's been practiced in the NHL up until now*.

I enjoy a good scrap as much as any other red-blooded Canadian. But I think the NHL might have a legitimate concern right now, given the size of the players. Remember when Eric Lindros was considered "huge" when he came out in the draft over a decade ago? Remember how he towered over every other player on the ice? Nowadays he's just an average-sized player.

Yes, there are other dangerous and nobler pursuits, and NHL players are paid handsomely (although fighters, I'll point out, are not paid ALL that much for what they do). But none of that is relevant to the question at hand.

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03-24-2007, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadave View Post
I think you're overreacting just a bit, and you're also not addressing the issue that's been raised by Colin Campbell (a fighter when he played in the NHL himself) and other NHL people. The issue isn't to determine whether fighting is "bad" or "good", as you seem to think they're trying to do. The issue is whether maybe the players are so big today that it's too dangerous to allow fighting *as it's been practiced in the NHL up until now*.

I enjoy a good scrap as much as any other red-blooded Canadian. But I think the NHL might have a legitimate concern right now, given the size of the players. Remember when Eric Lindros was considered "huge" when he came out in the draft over a decade ago? Remember how he towered over every other player on the ice? Nowadays he's just an average-sized player.

Yes, there are other dangerous and nobler pursuits, and NHL players are paid handsomely (although fighters, I'll point out, are not paid ALL that much for what they do). But none of that is relevant to the question at hand.
What are you batty? Mario was 6' 6", Fedoruk's unhealed steal plates and all is 6' 2". Blame it on the coaches lack of judgement, but Chara's been punching guys for years in the NHL and he is 6' 9" and 260lbs. This whole knee-jerk reactionary crap is just plain stupid.

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03-24-2007, 05:22 PM
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I'll also add that even NHL fighters themselves are not necessarily 100% convinced that everything is perfectly fine as-is. Fedoruk, while staunchly defending fighting, suggested that maybe a different type of glove might be needed. Maybe that's a good idea, maybe that's a bad idea, but these discussions can only be good for the game. We shouldn't dismiss these things out of hand without listening.

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03-24-2007, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by OYLer View Post
What are you batty? Mario was 6' 6", Fedorak unhealed steal plates and all is 6' 2". Blame it on the coaches lack of judgement, but Chara's been punching guys for years in the NHL and he is 6' 9" and 260lbs. This whole knee-jerk reactionary crap is just plain stupid.
There's no need for personal attacks. I'm not "batty"--if you look at the average size of NHL players over the past 20 years, players are statistically much larger now than ever before. That's a fact everyone agrees on, even if they don't agree whether fighting should be modified.

To say "this whole knee-jerk reactionary crap is just plain stupid" only demonstrates how little you're willing to think about the issue and discuss it rationally. All Campbell did is suggest that the issue be talked about, and he only decided to do that because of his position in the game as a league employee.

Incidentally, I don't know how old you are, but I can assure you that Lindros, when he came out in the draft, was a rare specimen of a very large NHL player. Mario was an exception to the rule, and that's why everyone thought Lindros had a good chance at being the next Mario. No one else was even close, and that's because no one else (or VERY FEW others, if you prefer) was that large and that talented.

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03-24-2007, 05:32 PM
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For what it's worth, by the way, I've always felt that attempts to ban fighting in the NHL because fighting was "wrong" were just misguided and silly. And in general I'm totally in favour of fighting. But there's nothing wrong with discussing whether it's maybe gotten too dangerous with currently-sized players. Maybe the answer will be "no, it hasn't gotten too dangerous." But let's make sure that is, in fact, the case.

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03-24-2007, 06:12 PM
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03-24-2007, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadave View Post
For what it's worth, by the way, I've always felt that attempts to ban fighting in the NHL because fighting was "wrong" were just misguided and silly. And in general I'm totally in favour of fighting. But there's nothing wrong with discussing whether it's maybe gotten too dangerous with currently-sized players. Maybe the answer will be "no, it hasn't gotten too dangerous." But let's make sure that is, in fact, the case.
Since the NHL has elected to call the already existing penalties to remove obstruction from the game, I believe, average player weight & size has reduced. Large body players who can effectivley compete at the NHL level are few and far between. This Tempest in a Peepot is just so much politically correct diarrhea to placate those who would have hockey become dainty. I'm just disappointed that MacTired lacks so much iron in his current make-up, that he is mounting his own personal sidesaddle.

Oh! and canadave, I remember watching Dave Brown, live, pulverize wannabees left, right, and center. Perhaps if the Oilers BrainRust hadn't hopped on the wrong pony they'd have had Laraque to answer the bell, and at a hometown discount, to beat the band. But that wagon left town on another rail of no return. With Lemaire giving the Oilers his Boogaard, one fingered salute whilst knocking player after player out of the line-up, it's no wonder Kevin's laying Lowe, and MacT is self-realizing his non-violent enlightenment.

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03-25-2007, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OYLer View Post
Since the NHL has elected to call the already existing penalties to remove obstruction from the game, I believe, average player weight & size has reduced. Large body players who can effectivley compete at the NHL level are few and far between. This Tempest in a Peepot is just so much politically correct diarrhea to placate those who would have hockey become dainty. I'm just disappointed that MacTired lacks so much iron in his current make-up, that he is mounting his own personal sidesaddle.

Oh! and canadave, I remember watching Dave Brown, live, pulverize wannabees left, right, and center. Perhaps if the Oilers BrainRust hadn't hopped on the wrong pony they'd have had Laraque to answer the bell, and at a hometown discount, to beat the band. But that wagon left town on another rail of no return. With Lemaire giving the Oilers his Boogaard, one fingered salute whilst knocking player after player out of the line-up, it's no wonder Kevin's laying Lowe, and MacT is self-realizing his non-violent enlightenment.
Oh, Oyler, you had to mention Dave Brown...oh for the heady days when we had a "tough guy" who really enjoyed his work. Unlike BG, who was better known for the his good works, such as hiring a house-sitter to hand out extra-large Halloween chocolate bars.

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03-26-2007, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OYLer View Post
Since the NHL has elected to call the already existing penalties to remove obstruction from the game, I believe, average player weight & size has reduced. Large body players who can effectivley compete at the NHL level are few and far between. This Tempest in a Peepot is just so much politically correct diarrhea to placate those who would have hockey become dainty. I'm just disappointed that MacTired lacks so much iron in his current make-up, that he is mounting his own personal sidesaddle.

Oh! and canadave, I remember watching Dave Brown, live, pulverize wannabees left, right, and center. Perhaps if the Oilers BrainRust hadn't hopped on the wrong pony they'd have had Laraque to answer the bell, and at a hometown discount, to beat the band. But that wagon left town on another rail of no return. With Lemaire giving the Oilers his Boogaard, one fingered salute whilst knocking player after player out of the line-up, it's no wonder Kevin's laying Lowe, and MacT is self-realizing his non-violent enlightenment.
All I can say is: If it's so blindingly obvious (as you seem absolutely 100% convinced of) that fighting is completely safe and has a hallowed and assured place in the game, then you should feel quite safe and sure that nothing will be changed, even if the issue is discussed by NHL players, NHL GM's and executives, and NHL stakeholders in the future. Right? So you've got nothing to worry about or complain about.

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03-26-2007, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadave View Post
There's no need for personal attacks. I'm not "batty"--if you look at the average size of NHL players over the past 20 years, players are statistically much larger now than ever before. That's a fact everyone agrees on, even if they don't agree whether fighting should be modified.
I remember being goggle-eyed at Willie Huber, who was the biggest guy in the NHL at something like 6'5, 225, when I was a kid. He'd be a stringbean by today's standards.


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03-26-2007, 02:03 PM
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Rather than simply size of player the bigger issue at hand here is that players can now direct more pound/square inch (psi) force at somebodys mellon which has of course unchanging configuration to dissipate that force. At some point the potential for severe damage or lethal consequence is realized. This awareness occurred in boxing over a century ago.

Bare knuckle fighting in hockey is a strange insular vestige of the past that has needed a re-look for decades and I'm a fan of the fightgame in all its forms. UFC will need to rellok their business as well. Its sadly inevitable and the wait for it price will be stone cold death in the ring or on the ice.

When Laraque says "good luck then" before a fight its not that he's just being a nice guy. He knows he has the punching power to maul or far worse.


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03-26-2007, 02:29 PM
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I have to agree with OYLer here. The league is looking at taking fighting out of the game by making it a game misconduct, or a more serious suspension, whatever they come up with, because players are getting hurt too often. They are too big and strong now for fighting to be safe.

Fighting is still a one on one battle between two consenting (most time) adults. I have no problem with stiffer penalties if a guy jumps another player. Both fighters know the risks, they know the rewards and in most cases (Fedoryk being on of the them) love to toss. Guys have been getting bloodied and hurt for years in the NHL, fighting and by other means.

Even more scary is what happens when the NHL removes fighting however they do it and guys continue to get hurt from body contact. Then what? We have to protect our millionairs so Bodycontact will now be a 2 min. penalty. That's where this review is heading.

Think I'm overracting? No touch iceing is about to come into the league to stop guys getting hurt racing to negate an icing call. its only a matter of time until they deside that hits like Torres on Williams, Cambell on Umberger, etc. are too dangerous, so they'll warrant penalties. Then it'll snowballto the point that anything more than a rubout will warrent a penalty. Suddenly we'll be watching (well...you will be, I wont) basketball on ice.

Hockey is one of the most beautiful sports in the world, full of speed, excitement, grace and yes, danger. These guys know what they are risking everytime they step on the ice. Why ruin the sport to coddle the owners? Its their fault the wages are so rediculous...now they want to take out one of the most exciting parts of the game because of it!?

No thank you.

Man...did I ramble or what!!

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03-26-2007, 03:09 PM
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I'm a huge fan of taking out blatant hits to the head... and if this includes fighting, so be it.

I fully admit I love a good tussle, and a good hit. What I don't like is to see a guy laying motionless on the ice with blood coming out of his ears.

This isn't back when guys would go into the offseason and sit at the cottage all summer. Some of these guys take fighting seriously and do off-season programs to improve their abilitiy to fight.

These guys are no longer big lugs who just throw them... some of these guys have a serious method to fighting. They know how to get the most impact with their punches, they understand how to break locks and get punches in.

Right now the issue is that they don't know how to defend. If you start any serious MMA training, you learn virtually no striking at the beginning... it's all defensive holds.

Hockey players are focusing more and more at getting the most impact from their punches, but they aren't learning how to properly defend themselves.

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03-26-2007, 03:42 PM
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I'm a huge fan of taking out blatant hits to the head... and if this includes fighting, so be it.

I fully admit I love a good tussle, and a good hit. What I don't like is to see a guy laying motionless on the ice with blood coming out of his ears.

This isn't back when guys would go into the offseason and sit at the cottage all summer. Some of these guys take fighting seriously and do off-season programs to improve their abilitiy to fight.

These guys are no longer big lugs who just throw them... some of these guys have a serious method to fighting. They know how to get the most impact with their punches, they understand how to break locks and get punches in.

Right now the issue is that they don't know how to defend. If you start any serious MMA training, you learn virtually no striking at the beginning... it's all defensive holds.

Hockey players are focusing more and more at getting the most impact from their punches, but they aren't learning how to properly defend themselves.
I can't speak to the fighting technique points you made, but you raise an excellent point (the one I bolded above). Players today are full-time athletes. They lift weights, train with physical therapists (during the season AND during the off-season), and are generally in a lot stronger physical shape than their counterparts 20 years ago. Bottom line--these guys are no longer just "big guys who can throw a few punches and have a few beers after the game." They are highly trained fighting specialists, who are much more capable of inflicting serious injury to their opponents with the right punch.

What that means for the future of fighting? That's something that everyone in hockey will have to discuss.

EDIT: TSN just posted an article detailing Bettman's comments on fighting. He said the league is not going to debate whether fighting is good or bad or whether it has a continued place in the game. However, they will look at whether perhaps fighters need some additional protection.

I think that's all quite reasonable.


Last edited by canadave: 03-26-2007 at 04:47 PM.
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