The recent death of Don Sanderson (Another Tragic Loss) has sparked a debate about the role of fighting in the game of hockey. Some people say that one freak incident, one player's death, shouldn't change the rules governing fighting. After all, there have been a countless number of fights and Sanderon's death is the first reported incident of a player dying as a result of a hockey fight.
Others will argue that one death is far too many - and that immediate change is necessary in order to prevent further cases such as this one.
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Then there was the scary scene involving Philadelphia Phantoms forward, Garrett Klotz. For those of you who don't already know, Klotz suffered a seizure after a vicious fight. He left the ice on a stretcher and was immediately taken to a hospital. This incident has consequently added fuel to the fire for the critics who want fighting out of hockey.
Photo: Trainers attend to Garrett Klotz, following a frightening scene in the AHL.
Despite this incident, Klotz does not want fighting removed from the game.
"I know the risks that I'm taking when I go out there and I'm willing to take that risk," Klotz told reporters. "It's not too often that this happens."
"It's part of the game and it always has been part of the game. It keeps things on an even basis out there from guys taking cheap shots and running around out there being stupid."
From reading these quotes, I have gained a great deal of repect for this young man. He is absolutely correct and I completely agree with him. Although it must've been a very scary moment for him, he has displayed alot of courage throughout this ordeal. He has said all the right things and his comments should help prove that fighting belongs in hockey.
Fighting is a useful tool in hockey. It can be used to defend yourself and/or teammates, and it can also be used to give your team some energy. A great fight can cause a momentum shift in the game and can play a role in determining the outcome of the game.
Hockey is a game full of emotions and often, fights occur as a result of these emotions. A example that really sticks out in my mind is when Lecavalier and Iginla, two superstars, dropped the gloves in the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals. I mean, what's better than a good hockey fight between two players who are passionate about the game?
Photo: Lecavalier and Iginla, 2004 Stanley Cup Finals.
Although Sanderson's death was a rare occurrence, you have to learn from it. You can't let this man's death go unnoticed. I don't know what the right solution is but taking fighting out of the game certainly isn't it.
Fighting is an important part of the game and always will be.