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Shanahan ponders dumping fight game

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08:22 AM ET 09.30 | Someday, fighting in hockey may go the way of wooden sticks. New National Hockey League disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan told the CBC that the NHL may have to examine whether fighting has a place in the game. Shanahan made the comments Thursday in an interview conducted for the next episode of Mansbridge One on One. "We're definitely very serious in making advancements in studying blows to the head, we have to also look at fighting," said Shanahan. "What the final decision is, I can't tell you now, that's something we're obviously going to have to look at, but there's no way we would ever deny that it's not something we're looking at closely," he added.

CBC.ca

George Parros, Kevin Westgarth, Icon Sports George Parros, Kevin Westgarth, Icon Sports
Comment #1 has been removed
September 30, 2011  08:45 AM ET

Fighting will never be completely abolished in hockey.

September 30, 2011  08:59 AM ET

Say it aint so Shanny!!! The dark side...nooooooooooooo............

September 30, 2011  09:08 AM ET

We're definitely very serious in making advancements in studying blows to the head, we have to also look at fighting," said Shanahan.

Do it Shanny! Can't have a consistent head hit policy w/o taking fighting out the game.

Wouldn't bother me much. I watch hockey for the fast-pace, skill, etc. Not the fighting.

September 30, 2011  09:10 AM ET

We all saw this one coming. I think it will just be a lot of talk, but I can't see the owners and players going along with it.

September 30, 2011  09:21 AM ET

Somewhere Alexander Semin is heartbroken.

Comment #7 has been removed
September 30, 2011  09:32 AM ET

Shanny knows a thing or 2 about fighting. I wonder what his stance would be if he were still a player compared to now. I like what the league's done to enforce penalties for instigating, trying to stop staged fights. Also when a guy gets knocked out from a perfectly clean hit and someone from the KO'd guys team comes in and starts fighting the checker automatically, that's not good for the game. Fighting's place is hockey should remain as a way to protect your teammates against cheapshots, settle a feud with a guy from another team. The repercussions from taking fighting out of the game would be worse than what's going on now IMO.

September 30, 2011  09:32 AM ET

Fighting has been banned in college for years. It does happen on occasion, but its' rare. Let me tell you, college games at the D1 level are more exciting than any NHL game. For me to say this is hard, but just do it. Ban it now. The Hansons were great, but it's time to go.

September 30, 2011  09:33 AM ET

If you take fighting out of the NHL then you'll see an exponential rise in cheap shots. Fighters are there to protect. No more, no less. Scratch that protection and you'll start having to worry about dangerous knee and gut shots as well as the head.

That said, I think this is all a lip service reaction to the slate of enforcers that died this past summer. There's no denying that tons of punches to the head are dangerous but I think it's wrong to assert that they played a significant part in the deaths of these players and it's even more wrong to piggyback the tragedy with some sort of agenda meant to save face.

I'm REALLY not a fan of fighting in hockey but it happens for a reason that's a little more "complex" than the pure male machismo it's long been portrayed as.

September 30, 2011  09:38 AM ET

Take fighting out and the sucker hits will get worse. Can't see this one flying.

September 30, 2011  09:39 AM ET

The instigator rule alone can be held accountable for countless cheapshots. You take fighting out completely and couple that with the blind **** refs the NHL employs these days and you are gonna turn the game into a freakin meat market.

I don't have a problem with taking the staged fights out. There is already rules in place to that effect, IE Jaques getting suspended for making a LEGAL line change for the sole purpose of starting a fight. But you can't convince me that taking fighting out is going to be good for the game. Don't bother trying, it's a lost cause.

September 30, 2011  09:41 AM ET

This kind of thing just goes to prove that the NHL executives need to re-DISCOVER the identity of the game rather than try to re-INVENT it. I'm not sure they understand that the fans have a part in that as well.

September 30, 2011  09:44 AM ET

I am sorry, but the staged fighting has to go. It isn't even fun to watch. It's stupid. It isn't hockey anymore. As far as taking fighting out all together, if he is doing what he can to limit the "sucker" hits/cheap shots, i.e. fining, suspensions, etc. , I would think the fighting will also be curbed. I would hope anyway. So, two birds, one stone...hopefully.

September 30, 2011  09:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

As far as taking fighting out all together, if he is doing what he can to limit the "sucker" hits/cheap shots, i.e. fining, suspensions, etc. , I would think the fighting will also be curbed.

You would think that, but i'd bet you'd be wrong. Suspensions and supplemental discipline are reactionary. Someone has to get hurt before they happen. It's not a preventative measure. The 6'5" 254 lb guy riding the wing IS a preventative measure. Its like nuclear deterrence. We don't threaten nuclear retaliation, we actually put the missile boats to sea and park carrier groups on people's shore. They usually calm down after that.

Gretzky had a long illustrious hall of fame career because of 3 reasons. Talent, Semenko, and McSorley. If you think any different you are kidding yourself.

If fighting goes down, suspensions and injuries will go up. Its a zero sum game.

September 30, 2011  10:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

You would think that, but i'd bet you'd be wrong. Suspensions and supplemental discipline are reactionary. Someone has to get hurt before they happen. It's not a preventative measure. The 6'5" 254 lb guy riding the wing IS a preventative measure. Its like nuclear deterrence. We don't threaten nuclear retaliation, we actually put the missile boats to sea and park carrier groups on people's shore. They usually calm down after that.Gretzky had a long illustrious hall of fame career because of 3 reasons. Talent, Semenko, and McSorley. If you think any different you are kidding yourself.If fighting goes down, suspensions and injuries will go up. Its a zero sum game.

We will agree to disagree. If players know it's a new atmosphere where cheapshots/headshots will not be tolerated, they may not be as inclined to make them. Will it prevent every single one? No. It shouldn't be assumed I am naive. However, I would think someone who wants to play and likes their paycheck won't take that cheapshot. These players will or should eventually know the difference between a clean check and a dirty cheap shot. I would think and hope most know already. I don't think every fight will be eliminated.

Again, if consistency is key here.

September 30, 2011  10:02 AM ET

BS is full of , well, BS on this one, and he should know better.

To an uniformed, non-fan, you might think the logic is sound, but it is not. A punch to the head is "contact", but there is no comparison (in a physics, scientific way) between a punch landed in a fight and the force of a titanium shoulder/elbow pad striking a head at 25 mph.

September 30, 2011  10:04 AM ET

The best hockey game I ever watched was between the US women and the Chinese women during one of the winter olympics. There was no charging, no boarding, no fighting. The defensive checking was crisp for both teams. It far surpassed anything I've seen in the NHL.

Why is it that the NHL continues to sanction violence for the sake of violence when every other hockey association (kids, amateur, European, semi-pro, minor leagues) bans it and strictly enforces the ban? Is it because the NHL knows its product is inferior and needs to attract the MMA type of fan?

September 30, 2011  10:06 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Gretzky had a long illustrious hall of fame career because of 3 reasons. Talent, Semenko, and McSorley. If you think any different you are kidding yourself.

Agree with everything you said, but would add Kurri and Anderson as having some small roles in The great One's success.

Oh, and Kerry Fraser too

 
September 30, 2011  10:07 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

A punch to the head is "contact", but there is no comparison (in a physics, scientific way) between a punch landed in a fight and the force of a titanium shoulder/elbow pad striking a head at 25 mph.

Huh?

Tell that to one of these "enforcer-type" players who have had those punches landed on their domes time after time? Been in a fight once? More than likely you walk away unscathed. Been in a fight a lot in your career? Different story.

Hell, some people have died from one fight.

I understand where you are coming from. I don't like some of the equipment either. Should be looked at, but I think you are off mark a little to say one is less serious than the other.

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