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(ESPN)   Why is fighting in the NHL down to historic lows, and what can be done to fix this terrible problem?   ( espn.com) divider line
    More: Awkward, all-star game, Ice hockey, NHL, NHL All-Star Game, NHL All-Star team, NHL games, All-Star teams, League all-star game  
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777 clicks; posted to Sports » on 14 Jan 2018 at 2:49 AM (26 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



45 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2018-01-14 12:53:34 AM  
Hold a press conference the day before a game decrying the lack of virtue of the other team's mothers.
 
2018-01-14 01:20:10 AM  
I like you subby.
 
2018-01-14 02:52:15 AM  
I'm glad. I don't mind the fighting when it means something, like when that little biatch Tkachuk cheap shot Doughty, but the fights are boring and stupid. I hate how the commentators act like it's an MMA fight. Play some damn hockey.
 
2018-01-14 03:12:45 AM  
It's probably the whole concussion/CTE thing. When a sport is trying to eliminate head shots as much as possible, the first and easiest thing to go is sanctioning punches to the face.
 
2018-01-14 03:29:21 AM  
This New York Times series (3 articles total) is an excellent read.
 
2018-01-14 03:52:32 AM  

Ishkur: It's probably the whole concussion/CTE thing. When a sport is trying to eliminate head shots as much as possible, the first and easiest thing to go is sanctioning punches to the face.


Except cutting down on fighting is why the cheap shot artists don't keep their sticks on the ice where they belong.  This was all going on way before everyone got concerned about CTE.
 
2018-01-14 04:10:13 AM  

kevinatilusa: This New York Times series (3 articles total) is an excellent read.


Even before clicking I knew what the article was about...a very sad story.
 
2018-01-14 04:29:31 AM  
Maybe they could invite fans onto the ice to fight their favorite players.
 
2018-01-14 04:31:50 AM  

kevinatilusa: This New York Times series (3 articles total) is an excellent read.


Thanks for the link.  Hard to watch/read but that is a very good article.  Growing up as an aspiring NHL goaltender many years ago that takes me right back.
 
2018-01-14 07:46:56 AM  
Well the Ducks/Kings had three fights in four (game) seconds last night so they're doing their part...

_/doesn't really miss the staged, two meatheads, time to pump up the crowd fights
 
2018-01-14 08:31:38 AM  

orangehat: Ishkur: It's probably the whole concussion/CTE thing. When a sport is trying to eliminate head shots as much as possible, the first and easiest thing to go is sanctioning punches to the face.

Except cutting down on fighting is why the cheap shot artists don't keep their sticks on the ice where they belong.  This was all going on way before everyone got concerned about CTE.


That might have been true years ago, but its not the case today.  Now we are in a system where if my superstar gets slashed by your cheap shot artist, the answer is for my designated fighter to go against your designated fighter. The game is too fast and players are too skilled to waste a spot in the line up on a no talent goon.
 
2018-01-14 08:59:32 AM  
So what's a Canadian farm boy to do?
 
2018-01-14 09:10:49 AM  
You mean they're actually playing the game instead of wasting time in fake WWE style fistfights?  Yeah, the crowd loves it, but they love crashes at NASCAR too.  Don't see race car drivers going out of their ways to start those.
 
2018-01-14 09:37:21 AM  
Fighting has gone down because you cannot afford an unproductive player on any line. That the primary reason. Second reason, is despite the laughable outcomes of the player safety department, there's a real risk of losing money/time if you're a rat, even on non-call penalties in a game. The rats that get caught in game now, ya that'll lead to a fight.
 
2018-01-14 09:39:11 AM  
Hockey fights are just sad.  Not much point in hitting a guy that's wearing a helmet and pads. Give each team a derringer with two shots in it for every game, and now we're talking entertainment.

Yeah, I know, it'll never happen.  It's still a great idea.
 
2018-01-14 09:42:05 AM  

Great_Milenko: You mean they're actually playing the game instead of wasting time in fake WWE style fistfights?


NHL hockey has gotten quite watchable.
 
2018-01-14 09:51:49 AM  

orangehat: kevinatilusa: This New York Times series (3 articles total) is an excellent read.

Even before clicking I knew what the article was about...a very sad story.


Yeah, while it was fun at the time watching Boogard, it's kind of horrifying looking back.
 
2018-01-14 09:53:15 AM  
I'll do my part and pick a fight with an opposing team's fans next time I'm at Honda Center.

I'll post from the hospital to let you guys know how it went.
 
2018-01-14 10:30:02 AM  
NHL Ron Hextall Fights
Youtube m9mABG1KpXw
 
2018-01-14 10:46:14 AM  

jayphat: Fighting has gone down because you cannot afford an unproductive player on any line. That the primary reason. Second reason, is despite the laughable outcomes of the player safety department, there's a real risk of losing money/time if you're a rat, even on non-call penalties in a game. The rats that get caught in game now, ya that'll lead to a fight.


This gets it pretty right. If you're going out of your way to deliver a cheap shot, you're most likely out of position and gonna get burned for it. If your stick is off the ice doing some shiatty cross-checking, you're not really doing the job you're paid to do.

Teams are getting smarter about what winning hockey looks like, and winning is the goal.
 
2018-01-14 10:51:44 AM  

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: Maybe they could invite fans onto the ice to fight their favorite players.


Having worked as security for a number of Jr. B and Major Junior games, somehow I didn't see this as funny :)  Beer gardens can be "interesting" sometimes.

Ishkur: It's probably the whole concussion/CTE thing. When a sport is trying to eliminate head shots as much as possible, the first and easiest thing to go is sanctioning punches to the face.


I don't think so.  The source of 90% of head injuries in hockey is shoulder to head contact.  We know this, so we train on it.  Besides, your shoulder slamming into my head against the boards is going to bring a lot more impact than your fist ever could.  I've experienced both, I have some idea here.

Truth is, a lot of this is just the system.  We're training hockey players very differently today than we were 20 years ago.  I have this conversation every year with my rooky Jr players.  The history of our league is quite violent compared to others, but not recently.  They show up on day one looking for a fight.  I show up on day one to crush those dreams.

We're here to win games, and fights just don't do that.  The level of skill on the ice is phenomenal, so we have to develop phenomenal players.  Goons aren't phenomenal players.  If someone from the opposing team cheap shots you, let it go for now.  You'll have your opportunity later in the game.  That guy's gonna go head down on a rush, and you're going to be in the right spot pop him in open ice sending him ass over teakettle.  Much more effective than starting a fight.  In the mean time, get back to the system, we have a game to win.
 
2018-01-14 10:55:55 AM  
Fighting hasn't been part of the college game for as long as I can remember. If it mostly disappeared from the pro game, I'll miss it as much as i miss helmetless players and leather and horsehair goalie pads.
The games now, especially playoff hockey, is a hell of a lot more wachable than 15 or 20 years ago.

\Ken Linseman is looking skeptically at your comment
\\and sneaks in an elbow while the ref wasn't looking.
 
2018-01-14 10:57:56 AM  

RandolphCarter: Fighting hasn't been part of the college game for as long as I can remember.


It's kinda a worthless endeavor when everyone's wearing a cage.
 
2018-01-14 10:59:27 AM  

Great_Milenko: You mean they're actually playing the game instead of wasting time in fake WWE style fistfights?  Yeah, the crowd loves it, but they love crashes at NASCAR too.  Don't see race car drivers going out of their ways to start those.


Ok Danica...
 
2018-01-14 11:11:18 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-01-14 11:21:58 AM  
Because coaches are realising that replacing your 3 minutes-a-game face-puncher with someone that can actually play does more to help your chances of winning?  And that an alarming number of these guys are dead?
 
2018-01-14 11:31:46 AM  
Does Marchand have brothers? Other family members? Sign anyone from that bloodline to each NHL team. The league will look like the 1980s Norris division in a week.
 
2018-01-14 11:41:03 AM  

jayphat: Fighting has gone down because you cannot afford an unproductive player on any line. That the primary reason. Second reason, is despite the laughable outcomes of the player safety department, there's a real risk of losing money/time if you're a rat, even on non-call penalties in a game. The rats that get caught in game now, ya that'll lead to a fight.


You sound like a Marchand fan.
 
2018-01-14 11:42:36 AM  

theurge14: jayphat: Fighting has gone down because you cannot afford an unproductive player on any line. That the primary reason. Second reason, is despite the laughable outcomes of the player safety department, there's a real risk of losing money/time if you're a rat, even on non-call penalties in a game. The rats that get caught in game now, ya that'll lead to a fight.

You sound like a Marchand fan.


Quite the opposite. Or is that sarcasm?
 
2018-01-14 11:43:38 AM  
I attribute it to multiple factors.
The increase in size/weight of the players. Almost all of these guys can do serious damage now. 6'2", 200 lbs. used to be really big.
The increase in salaries. Expensive livestock on the injury list is expensive, and people getting well paid for their actual skills don't want to spend time fighting. The big money is in scoring points, not fighting.

Back in the 70's, I thought they should change the rules so that all new arenas had to have Olympic sized rinks. That would have reduced the ability of bullies to have a fist fight in a closet, clutch and grab, and would have emphasized skating, stickhandling and playmaking.
 
2018-01-14 11:53:59 AM  

TheLopper: Does Marchand have brothers? Other family members? Sign anyone from that bloodline to each NHL team. The league will look like the 1980s Norris division in a week.


Oh that means Ballard will rise from the grave and take over the Leafs again.  Ya the NHL needs to back to the original division names.

/I remember how bad the Leafs and North Stars were.
 
2018-01-14 11:56:36 AM  

jayphat: theurge14: jayphat: Fighting has gone down because you cannot afford an unproductive player on any line. That the primary reason. Second reason, is despite the laughable outcomes of the player safety department, there's a real risk of losing money/time if you're a rat, even on non-call penalties in a game. The rats that get caught in game now, ya that'll lead to a fight.

You sound like a Marchand fan.

Quite the opposite. Or is that sarcasm?


;)
 
rka
2018-01-14 12:03:01 PM  

Al Tsheimers: That would have reduced the ability of bullies to have a fist fight in a closet, clutch and grab, and would have emphasized skating, stickhandling and playmaking.


Maybe the first point you made, rarely the second. There's are reasons that after the mid to late 90s, no college team has built an Olympic sized rink.

In part, it doesn't lead to what people expect. More space = less goals and less playmaking.
 
2018-01-14 12:18:21 PM  

Al Tsheimers: I attribute it to multiple factors.
The increase in size/weight of the players. Almost all of these guys can do serious damage now. 6'2", 200 lbs. used to be really big.
The increase in salaries. Expensive livestock on the injury list is expensive, and people getting well paid for their actual skills don't want to spend time fighting. The big money is in scoring points, not fighting.

Back in the 70's, I thought they should change the rules so that all new arenas had to have Olympic sized rinks. That would have reduced the ability of bullies to have a fist fight in a closet, clutch and grab, and would have emphasized skating, stickhandling and playmaking.


I'm not so sure about the size of the players.  We're only talking 2" increase in height in average since 1970.  Beyond that, I'd suggest that the starters haven't gotten much bigger at all.
 
2018-01-14 02:33:31 PM  

Quasar: I'm glad. I don't mind the fighting when it means something, like when that little biatch Tkachuk cheap shot Doughty, but the fights are boring and stupid. I hate how the commentators act like it's an MMA fight. Play some damn hockey.


You could have stopped with "cheap shot Doughty".

Hockey kind of sucks without the physical aspect. Sure, it's a 'faster' game, but it's also a totally different game without, and IMHO, more boring.
 
2018-01-14 02:36:32 PM  
The good old days:

Roy vs Osgood EPIC fight April 1, 1998
Youtube vJlCdIOWkYM


/Go Avs.
 
2018-01-14 02:54:53 PM  

The_Sponge: The good old days:

[Youtube vJlCdIOWkYM image 480x360][Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/vJlCdIOW​kYM]

/Go Avs.


img.fark.netView Full Size


Ya, those two F'n teams routinely beat up my Sharks in the playoffs thru the 90s, but DAMN were those games entertaining!

/rip nhl2nite
//rip any nhl on espn
 
2018-01-14 03:12:35 PM  
Clone Witowski.
 
2018-01-14 03:17:00 PM  

The_Sponge: The good old days:

[Youtube vJlCdIOWkYM image 480x360][Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/vJlCdIOW​kYM]

/Go Avs.


Watching Ozzy take down Roy never gets old.

/lgrw
 
2018-01-14 03:35:50 PM  
Boo farking hoo.
 
kab
2018-01-14 04:14:06 PM  
There's no room on rosters for pylons with fists, which is generally what most fighters boiled down to in the past.

I'd guess checks and open ice hits are down as well.
 
2018-01-14 04:46:51 PM  

kab: There's no room on rosters for pylons with fists, which is generally what most fighters boiled down to in the past.

I'd guess checks and open ice hits are down as well.


A good legal open ice hip check will take down a pylon anyday.  The problem is it will also take down just about anyone.  Even your star players.  So, there is always a bit of a gentlemen's agreement in a hockey game.  That doesn't mean things don't boil over.  It also doesn't mean those bruisers who make it to the NHL can't skate.   Hell from what I remember Tie Domi came to the Jet's to "Protect" Selanne and the first game the played together was the only game Tie ever got a hat trick as Selanne banked the puck off him twice.  Tie liked to fight but it still took a toll on him.  A lot of the bruisers didn't but did anyways.  It's a sad story. I also remember Stu well from his Jet days as a Winnipeg fan and met Semenko many times in Edmonton.  I think it's safe to say they actually suffered from the gruels of the expected gladiatorial fighters that they were.
 
2018-01-14 05:19:55 PM  

fastfxr: Hockey kind of sucks without the physical aspect. Sure, it's a 'faster' game, but it's also a totally different game without, and IMHO, more boring.


Then you're not watching close enough.  Hockey is more physical today than it's ever been.  Today's players are experts in controlling contact.

Fighting isn't physical on the same level.  Any idiot can throw a fist, it takes so much more to exist in today's hockey.
 
2018-01-15 12:35:37 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-01-15 09:24:26 AM  
There is a distinct lack of the classical "4th line bruisers" compared to previous eras.  Many arenas that had crappy ice have been upgraded to newer facilities, even in the south.  This has opened up the need for faster skaters and cleaner puck handlers over the last decade or so.  Dump and chase ass beatings aren't (as) common primary tactics anymore.

You still get pretty rough collisions, and these guys are no less aggressive than before.  But the main contributors to fights have been greatly lessened in recent years.
 
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