Fighting in hockey now a top issue

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Written by Scott Gilbert

Should fighting be allowed in hockey at any level? Many hold strong views on the subject, and a controversy is brewing.

One line of thinking says fighting is simply part of the game. Those who play it know that fighting is largely accepted and are aware of what they are getting themselves into. Fights are highlighted on national television in the context of a spectacle viewers want to see, and the practice goes largely unpunished by the league or criminal prosecutors. Don Cherry, Hockey Night In Canada's famed host who loves everything hockey, is a staunch supporter of fighting in hockey and is doing his part to oppose calls for fighting to be removed from hockey.

Others feel a little more uneasy. The CBC has been covering this story extensively over the past week and conducted interviews with a number of concussion specialists and former players who have been seriously hurt in hockey fights. Many health professionals and some former players are now suggesting the practice of fighting in hockey should be banned at all levels. Not only for safety of players, but also because the pros act as role models for the younger leagues.

So, is fighting in hockey an acceptable practice that we should permit to continue, or does it promote violence and cause bodily harm where none need exist? Would hockey still be fun and entertaining like other sports without it? Please comment below and vote in our online poll available on the front page.

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  1. Posted by: Canadian on Mar 1, 2009 @ 3:45am

    Fighting is selfish because it wastes time and energy that would otherwise be available to more deserving people (e.g. hospital beds). I think that Don Cherry's advocacy for the 'right to fight' in NHL games shouldn't be taken seriously because , for one, nobody probably even asked him what his thoughts were, secondly, he only played one game in the NHL, and lastly, he doesn't have any education . I am appalled and ashamed that he was voted into the top ten Greatest Canadians; they actually ranked him higher than Alexander Graham Bell (Inventor of the telephone), Wayne Gretzky (The "GREAT" one), and Sir John A. Macdonald (Canada's first prime minister, and that's right, a 'sir'!).

  2. Posted by: Canadian #2 on Mar 2, 2009 @ 12:17am

    That's a pretty ignorant comment B. He gave valid points stating his position about the issue at hand, while you resulted to personal insults. This makes it difficult for me to not think that only people like you still want fighting in the national hockey league.

    I agree that fighting should be banned, it's time. The game changes as the times change. Remember when nobody used to wear helmets? Visors? Neckguards? Tradition should be honored but change welcomed.

  3. Posted by: George on Mar 2, 2009 @ 11:59am

    I think contact in hockey is apart of the game, just as there is contact in a lot team sports, soccer, basketball, football. It allows for better performance of the players.

    I’ve played hockey all my life and I don’t think fighting should be allowed. I don’t recall seeing soccer, basketball, or football players being allowed to drop their gloves (figuratively speaking) and fight. It adds nothing to the game and if fans want to watch a couple guys (or girls) fight during a sport, then they should dg and watch ultimate fighting.

    Contact is good for hockey, fighting is just stupid!

  4. Posted by: spelling on Mar 2, 2009 @ 12:26pm

    "apart" has a different meaning than "a part". i want to rip this piece of paper apart, and contact in hockey is a part of the game is an example of the difference. otherwise i agree with you, George.

  5. Posted by: jo on Mar 2, 2009 @ 12:52pm

    i've played basketball, rugby and a little soccer. i'm new here and i've tried watching hockey and the one thing that i don't understand/care for..is the fighting. how does the fighting make one a better hockey player????
    anyways guess it'll sink in with time (not)

  6. Posted by: Chad on Mar 2, 2009 @ 9:05pm

    Attacking [a perceived male's] gender based on your heteronormative view [masked homophobia?] – maybe to boost your self-image as a 'Real Man'™, jingoism, relying on "tradition" to avoid questioning present actions… I bet "your" full of great ideas about all sorts of issues. Perhaps we can get you a column on TheCannon.ca!

  7. Posted by: Matt on Mar 3, 2009 @ 1:46am

    There is one person on this post who claims to have played hockey. The rest of you seem to only have watched hockey. I've played competitive hockey at the junior level and fighting is an important part of the game. Every team has a player who will not hesitate to take a run or a cheap shot at a star to try and increase his teams chance of winning. That's obviously not what the NHL or the OHL would like you to hear so you don't hear it. If there weren't players in the league like George Laroque and Boogard the stars just wouldn't be able to shine like they do. I am on a goal scorer and believe me it helps not having to worry about the slufoot in front of the net. Also, Don Cherry was an NHL coach for years and has been involved and watched many more games than this whole discussion combined. He is not afraid to say what he thinks. In this time of "political correctness" it is difficult to find somebody who will speak their mind like Don Cherry. Don Cherry is incredibly proud to be Canadian and stands by his word no matter what the consequence. Many people could learn from him.

  8. Posted by: on Jan 18, 2010 @ 3:56pm

    Hockey fights are pathetic. If you want a good brawl, then go watch some ufc. This is hockey, ive played hockey for 10 years and have seen people mauled in hockey fights. Hockey is not a test of who can beat up who. it is a test of skill and teamwork. There is no need for two idiots to go at it on live television and take penalties. Its not impressive at all. I know a bit of ufc too and hockey fights are like those tiny kids with big mouths and a.d.d. that you left behind in high school. Their pathetic and just waste my life. Leave the dirty plays to be called and fixed by the refs, not the obnoxious "fighters" in the hockey rink.

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