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Should Fighting in Hockey be Banned???

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Old
03-15-2004, 04:37 AM
  #76
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Also, if players know that the ceiling on stick-based aggression, like any other, might entail an apppointment in court, and that they might have to prove that what they did was part of the game, albeit a contact sport, that might also give them pause for thought. And pause for thought is precisely what the game needs.

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03-15-2004, 08:42 AM
  #77
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Very difficult topic/debate but IMO fighting needs to stay in the NHL and we need to do away with the instigator rule to allow the players to police themselves because officating is *FAR* from perfect and this is a contact sport, but make no mistake fighting is still a 'Major penalty' thats why they serve 5 mins and sometimes extra (misconducts) but its far better than all the "stickwork" happening that sometimes either goes unnoticed or gets called for only 2 mins and could end up sidelining or even finishing a player's career and whats to show for it??? A powerplay that may or may not do justice. Blah, even scoring sometimes gives you an empty feeling if you lose a teammate.


Which is it easier for an official(s) to manage/prevent....a fight where 2 guys usually start yapping at one another, drop the stick and gloves, and begin to square off.....or a flying stick to the head/body? Hopefully you answered a fight because I have never seen an official come in and grab a stick right before its about to happen or in midaction right when its about to hit someone. A stick should be used as a tool not as a weapon and unfortunately hacks and spears happen often because emotions and adreniles get high but fighting is most definitely an better and more effective method to both prevent and settle affairs instead of having to resort to giving back cheapshots.


The league also needs to set stricter punishments and get more involved because a Bertuzzi incident would more than likely never have happened had the Naslund hit by Moore been settled better by the league to justify the Canucks side and not provoke Bertuzzi to take action himself by becoming the judge, jury, and executioner. I truely sympathize for Bertuzzi because I personally too would have done an "Eye for an Eye" action on Moore (tho IMHO I think Bertuzzi did not intend to break Moore's neck) because the unspoken rule is you DON'T go after the star players not only for the team's sake but for the sport itself.


This day and age hockey players no longer have the same respect for one another that it once had, one of its golden rules were you don't take runs at the goaltender yet practically every game you see that once a goalie freezes the puck and play is blown dead the defense still has to take precautions and turn around and bash someone to prevent them from hacking or running into the goalie but I guess the explanation to that is because the game is changing too (these guys are now taught to go fast and hard to the net and the players are getting bigger in size).


The only thing I personally dislike about fighting is that it allows Goons to play in this league, no way should these guys be in the National Hockey League above *REAL* hockey talents.....BUT, there is definitely a fan base for enforcers/goons because lots of people (including myself) respect a guy who will "throw 'em and take 'em" like a man. Down here in South Florida we used to have Pavel Bure and tons of fans went out and bought his jerseys especially after getting back to back Rocket Richard Trophies yet there was still numerous fans during the same time with Worrell and Laus jerseys and now that Worrell is in Colorado he seems to be getting lots of attention by ESPN whenever they show him on the bench and ice. I'm sure Domi, Laraque, and Brashear jerseys sell like hotcakes just as much as Sundin, Smyth, and Roenick jerseys do.

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03-15-2004, 09:01 AM
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JapanMontrealExpat
The NHL hasn't attempted a crackdown on anything on a sustained basis. If they call the rules based on the rulebook, not based on the score or how late it is in the game; if they add to that an automatic match penalty for that kind of stick infractions, as well as progressively worse suspensions for repeat offenders, and have the guts to enforce it, I would call that a crackdown.

If they invigilate the rules the way the NFL enforces its own, I would call that a crackdown. Until then, the NHL has made its bed, and must now lie in it.
Yep I agree with that analysis.

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03-15-2004, 09:56 AM
  #79
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NO the NHL should not ban fighting. It has been a part of the sport and it should continue being part of the sport. Some fights are momentum changers for some teams during a game and it would make the sport very boring if fighting is banned. Not a good idea to ban fighting...

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03-15-2004, 10:20 AM
  #80
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I personally like the fighting. I know it's barbaric, I'm not sure exactly why I like it per se but I do enjoy a good face to face battle with neither player suffering significant injury (ie Deadmarshe's concussion).

However, I do recognize that hockey can be a great sport without it and there are arguments that it might even give better flow to the game if there was no fighting. We've seen fantastic hockey in the olympics and in the playoffs were it doesn't play a part of the game. So, I'm really on the fence. I wouldn't decry the end of the earth if fighting was eliminated from the game but I'd be saddened by it's departure on a certain level.

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03-15-2004, 10:39 AM
  #81
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Haven't the incidents of fighting gone down in the past 20 years? It seems that the position to rid the NHL of fighting is a knee-jerk reaction to Bertuzzi's dirty hit. Fighting really doesn't seem to play a large role in the NHL today, so I fail to see why so many people are wanting to get rid of it. I see more stupid fights in baseball than I do in the NHL, and still the NHL has this stigma. No one wants to press criminal charges when pitchers hit players with a baseball, or Clemons throws a bat at Piazza. Where is the outrage over these incidents? The media's 'anti-fighting in Hockey crusade' seems to be picking on one sport while ignoring others. Does anyone remember when Andre Dawson was hit in the head in baseball, or Dickie Thon hit in the eye? All people talk about is Bertuzzi, Hunter, and McSorley. It seems that violent basball incidents occur about as frequently...or infrequently as the case may be.

I would venture to say that no one disagrees that Fighting has been a part of hockey since people can remember, so why isn't it seen as just part of the NHL game? People don't complain about fighting in boxing because it is what boxing is. If the NHL involves fighting, maybe it can be accepted as part of the NHL and the debate can end.

I don't know, just my 2 cents.

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03-15-2004, 03:09 PM
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountie
Fighting is a part of the NHL today and it always has.

If you don't like the game, watch something else.

I don't try to convince NFL fans that they should ban sacking the quarterback because I don't like that a 300 pound man gets to jump a defenceless 200 pound man.
Blindside hits to quarterbacks are terrible. If those defensive ends weren't on the football field, they would be arrested. It's much worse than Bertuzzi's hit on Moore. After all, Moore will walk where Dennis Byrd won't.

In fact, tackling should be banned from football. Tackling led to retribution you saw from Reynolds against Jim Sorgi last year, nearly breaking his neck. And tackling someone in real life, away from the football field, is 100% illegal.

And yes, fighting should be banned from hockey. We should watch more civilized sports like figure skating and soccer and synchronized swimming. We should also dress in tutus and stop murdering animals for food.

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03-15-2004, 03:24 PM
  #83
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I cant help it, I go back to the most simplest argument.

If fighting is such a vital part of the game, then why when the games count the most does no one need to fight? Remember the last time you saw a fight in the playoffs? Only when the game was out of reach.

And the argument that "its part of the history".

yeah right, like Im sure each team in the original six had one or two goons and thats who did the fighting and everyone else just slapped their sticks on the boards.

no sorry, these arguments dont wash with me. I love the game, I love to play the game, but fail to see how todays pre-ordained fights between Jody Shelley and Matt Johnson are a part of the history of the game.

try again.

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Old
03-15-2004, 03:34 PM
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhalerBoy
If fighting is such a vital part of the game, then why when the games count the most does no one need to fight?
If fighting isn't a vital part to the game, then why is it there?

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03-15-2004, 03:41 PM
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf Army
If fighting isn't a vital part to the game, then why is it there?
entertainment.

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03-15-2004, 03:42 PM
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf Army
If fighting isn't a vital part to the game, then why is it there?
yeah, i think your missing my point.

Im saying it IS NOT vital to the game, so WHY IS IT there.

It sounds like we are asking the same question either that or you did not understand my point about playoff games, which are always considered the "best" hockey and next to never have fights in them.

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03-15-2004, 03:53 PM
  #87
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^ That's true, the best games with the best hockey are always the playoff games, and there are hardly any fights.

That's because it's all about the scoring.

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Old
03-15-2004, 03:58 PM
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhalerBoy
yeah, i think your missing my point.

Im saying it IS NOT vital to the game, so WHY IS IT there.

It sounds like we are asking the same question either that or you did not understand my point about playoff games, which are always considered the "best" hockey and next to never have fights in them.
Fighting plays a huge role in the playoffs.

Just because the players don't actually drop the gloves as often, the THREAT of the fight is still there.

Intimidation is a big part of any playoff series. And that's were the enforcers come in.

Like when the Leafs played the Flyers last year. Domi and Brashear only fought once. But they battled all series long. Both players were trying to establish physical dominance for their team. That's a big part of hockey.

So I would argue that fighting does play a significant role in the playoffs.

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03-15-2004, 04:34 PM
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhalerBoy
I cant help it, I go back to the most simplest argument.

If fighting is such a vital part of the game, then why when the games count the most does no one need to fight? Remember the last time you saw a fight in the playoffs? Only when the game was out of reach.
That is pretty simple. The instigator. It didn't used to be that way years back....

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Old
03-15-2004, 04:35 PM
  #90
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Also note, when it was like that years ago, the playoff series were a lot better than the ones of today. That isn't a coincidence...

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03-15-2004, 05:39 PM
  #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf Army
Just because the players don't actually drop the gloves as often, the THREAT of the fight is still there.
No it isnt. Nobody drops the gloves. No threat. Players don't want to hurt their team by taking a stupid penalty, that's what keeps them in line.

That's the most graphic demonstration I can think of that stringent enforcement of the rules can effectively police players.

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03-15-2004, 06:36 PM
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanderson
There is no "correct" opinion.
Now that is just incorrect. Someone could point out (and I believe someone already has) for example that fighting would negatively impact TV ratings, or attendance. That could be quite true. In that case there would be a correct and an incorrect opinion.

I have no issue with fighting but do feel that expansion has made it easier to keep lesser skilled players on a roster which adds to the amount of pointless altercations. I am not at all interested in fights between goons. I think a Brendan Shanahan and a Todd Bertuzzi dropping the gloves is suitable if it is in the heat of the moment. I think contraction would eliminate the Brookbanks and others from the league.

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Old
03-15-2004, 06:57 PM
  #93
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How long should we tolerate fighting? Any other sport will eject players for fighting on the field of play.

Fighting can be stopped if the penalty is severe enough. Anyone who drops the gloves should get a game misconduct plus the following game, period, whether they're first-in, second-in, third-in, instigator, or whatever.

The argument that dropping it would reduce fan interest has never been tested who knows how many more fans would prefer a clean, competitive, intense game without fights? The sick macho culture of fighting must go, along with its associated garbage of enforcers, and idiot fans who encourage them.

Those who argue that it's always been a part of old-time hockey are stuck in the past. All sports change. There was a time when players, including goalies, didn't use helmets or masks. Were they smarter or braver or more stand-up guys?

The notion that fighting somehow dispels anger and therefore prevents more serious actions is similarly suspect. In all likelihood, it increases anger and resentment and leads to more incidents. If you counsel your children to fight at school or your spouse to fight at work, would it lead to more or fewer incidents? Why is it not allowed at those places? Why should NHL hockey think it is somehow different from the rest of our experience?

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03-15-2004, 07:12 PM
  #94
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I see both sides, The third liner hits the star, right away somebody drops the gloves and fights him (keep it in that way) Enforcer A is on the ice and so is the Enforcer for the other team, for no reason they fight, take that out of the game.

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Old
03-15-2004, 07:30 PM
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJD Jester
Here are some facts:

1. The notion that banning fighting would increase hockey's market share is a fallacy. The NHL's market share (ratings, gate) have actually declined since the instigator rule was instated. So while the NHL has taken measures to decrease fighting, interest in the sport hasn't increased--it's decreased.
You can call them "facts", but that doesn't make them true. That's not accurate at all.

Attendance:
91-92: 880 games: 12,769,676 attendance, Avg: 14,511
02-03: 1230 games: 20,408,704 attendance, Avg: 16,592

As for ratings, it swings wildly. Doing some searches you find that in March 2002, ratings were *up* hugely, *50%* higher than in 2001. But then you'll find that last year's Cup ratings were down hugely. NHL ratings swing based on the teams involved, and general factors (ie, after the Olympics there's a bump in interest etc.), not the number of fights.

Quote:
3. A crowd of fans will stand and cheer when there's a fight. Doesn't make it right, but it's a fact.
Meanwhile, the massive throng of folks who completely outnumber them by orders of magnitude, who hate fighting and are sitting at home watching "a real sport" like basketball are clucking their tongues and shaking their head knowing's what happening at the hockey game.

Quote:
4. Banning fighting would not have prevented Todd Bertuzzi from breaking Steve Moore's neck.
That's opinion, not fact. We have no way of knowing one way or the other.

My opinion is that it would have. Bertuzzi was chasing after Moore, trying to goad him into a fight, because the stupid "code" dictates he has the right to punch his face in if he didn't like their actions. Without that atmosphere of justice and retribution, Bertuzzi wouldn't have been in the mental state he was when he snapped.

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03-15-2004, 07:37 PM
  #96
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I haven't read everything, so I don't know if anyone has said this, but here's my two cents:

Keep fighting, lose the instigator, and START CALLING THE RULES THE WAY THEY ARE IN THE BOOK! If they say they're going to crack down on shots to the head, DO IT, don't say it. Say they're going to call the games tighter, DO IT, don't say it. If players faced harsher penalties for the cheap **** that causes players to get pissed off enough to go out and break people's necks (not saying Bertuzzi is right at all, because he's not) then I think it would cut down on "incidents."

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03-15-2004, 07:38 PM
  #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf Army
If fighting isn't a vital part to the game, then why is it there?
It's not part of the game. It's in the rule book as something that's not to be done.

Is head butting "part of the game"? Spearing? Assaulting a referee? Attempting to injure other players?

All those are listed in the rule book. Nobody argues that we need to have head butting as a vital outlet of aggression. Nobody argues that the fans stand up and cheer when a great spearing happens (and when they do, we cast aspersions on them).

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03-15-2004, 07:55 PM
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PecaFan
You can call them "facts", but that doesn't make them true. That's not accurate at all.

Attendance:
91-92: 880 games: 12,769,676 attendance, Avg: 14,511
02-03: 1230 games: 20,408,704 attendance, Avg: 16,592
Congratulations...you've discovered expansion and larger capacity arenas.

Stats are fun to play with. For example, did you know that there are 14 NHL teams that draw less than 16,000 per game? There are only 11 NBA teams that draw less than 16,000 per game.

As I said, it's about market share. Is the NHL as prominent as it was, say, three years ago on cable televison? No. Does it hold as large a place in the media spotlight, even after expansion to new markets? No.

More importantly, has the Bettman plan to legislate fighting out of the league dramatically increased the number of fans going to the game or watching it on television? That's an undeniable 'no.'

Quote:
As for ratings, it swings wildly. Doing some searches you find that in March 2002, ratings were *up* hugely, *50%* higher than in 2001. But then you'll find that last year's Cup ratings were down hugely. NHL ratings swing based on the teams involved, and general factors (ie, after the Olympics there's a bump in interest etc.), not the number of fights.
From the NY Times, March 9, 2004:

"The N.H.L.'s ratings have never supported ESPN's investment. Regular-season ratings have declined 21 percent on ESPN and ESPN2 since the 1999-2000 season, the first under the five-year contract. For the playoffs since 2000, ratings have tumbled 39 percent, to a 0.69 (or 592,455 cable homes) last year on ESPN and 19 percent to a 0.37 (313,563) on ESPN2.

For the Stanley Cup finals last year, ESPN and ABC had a combined 2.4 rating (2.6 million homes), down 33 percent from a 3.6 (3.8 million homes) in 2002. This season, ABC's ratings are flat at a 1.3."

For someone sooooooooooooo quick to slam me for not "being accurate at all"... why not just apologize and get it over with?

Quote:
Meanwhile, the massive throng of folks who completely outnumber them by orders of magnitude, who hate fighting and are sitting at home watching "a real sport" like basketball are clucking their tongues and shaking their head knowing's what happening at the hockey game.
That's funny.

Where's the research on this one?

I said, "3. A crowd of fans will stand and cheer when there's a fight. Doesn't make it right, but it's a fact."

I don't think there's anything you could say that would refute that.


Quote:
That's opinion, not fact. We have no way of knowing one way or the other. My opinion is that it would have. Bertuzzi was chasing after Moore, trying to goad him into a fight, because the stupid "code" dictates he has the right to punch his face in if he didn't like their actions. Without that atmosphere of justice and retribution, Bertuzzi wouldn't have been in the mental state he was when he snapped.
Thanks, Dr. Melfi.

Bertuzzi took a cheap shot. If it wasn't a punch, it would have been a stick. Fighting had NOTHING to do with the incident one bit, and any opinion to the contrary is a fallacy.

Nice try, though...

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Old
03-15-2004, 08:02 PM
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LALALALALALAFONTAINE
Blindside hits to quarterbacks are terrible. If those defensive ends weren't on the football field, they would be arrested. It's much worse than Bertuzzi's hit on Moore. After all, Moore will walk where Dennis Byrd won't.

In fact, tackling should be banned from football. Tackling led to retribution you saw from Reynolds against Jim Sorgi last year, nearly breaking his neck. And tackling someone in real life, away from the football field, is 100% illegal.

And yes, fighting should be banned from hockey. We should watch more civilized sports like figure skating and soccer and synchronized swimming. We should also dress in tutus and stop murdering animals for food.
I think that it's telling that you can't actually rebut the arguments as formulated, but must resort to mis-stating the opposing position in order to parody it. I am saying limit the severity of contacts to what athletes agree to in their consent to risk, in hockey as in football.

That said, if you look good in a tutu, don't let me stop you.

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03-16-2004, 12:48 AM
  #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJD Jester
Congratulations...you've discovered expansion and larger capacity arenas.
Right. And they could build bigger arenas and expand into new marketplaces because the *demand* was there. Doesn't change the fact that you were wrong, and the gate in total, and on average has gone up, not down.

Quote:
For someone sooooooooooooo quick to slam me for not "being accurate at all"... why not just apologize and get it over with?
Apologise for being right? Naw, not going to happen. You've found some references that show the down part in the last few years. As I said, ratings go up and down, because it's massively effected by the major markets and how their team is doing, and who makes it into the finals (like last year, two unpopular teams in Jersey and Anaheim made it, ratings fall, big surprise)

Your original statement was that ratings and gate have gone down since 1992 when the instigator was implemented, not 1999. You haven't provided any evidence to back that up at all.

Quote:
I said, "3. A crowd of fans will stand and cheer when there's a fight. Doesn't make it right, but it's a fact."

I don't think there's anything you could say that would refute that.
I didn't dispute that statement. I said 1 was incorrect, added a "meanwhile..." to 3, and said 4 was an opinion not a fact.

As for research, just ask around (not at the rink). Whenever I'm vacationing in the States, I ask average everyday folks what they think about hockey. Lots of folks talk about the fighting being a major reason why they think it's not a "real sport" etc.

Quote:
Bertuzzi took a cheap shot. If it wasn't a punch, it would have been a stick. Fighting had NOTHING to do with the incident one bit, and any opinion to the contrary is a fallacy.
Stick / punch is totally irrelevant. At their core, the McSorley and Bertuzzi incidents are *identical*. Two bozos, who visciously attacked another player, *because they wouldn't fight them.* You have to be deep in denial not to recognise the fact that being unable to get the fight they wanted was a major source of the frustration that led these two players to attack. McSorley testified to it in a court of law, and if they charge Bertuzzi, you'll hear the exact same thing.

With no fighting in the game, there is no expectation of being able to fight, and the frustration never reaches the point that it does.

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