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Survey: Majority of Canadians want hockey fighting ban

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10:43 AM ET 03.09 | Nearly 40 years after Roy McMurtry and his brother Bill tried to get gratuitous and unnecessary violence out of the game, a new survey contends that Canadians are sick of such thuggery. Angus Reid Public Opinion recently surveyed the population at large, as well as a specific sample of self-described hockey fans, on a number of issues from when to introduce bodychecking to what should be done about fisticuffs in the game. This week, The Globe and Mail reported on the first part of the survey -- a vast majority of Canadians want bodychecking out of peewee hockey -- and today the results are in on the public attitude toward fighting: Three-quarters of Canadians (78 per cent) -- and an identical percentage of fans of the game -- want to see fights banned in all junior hockey; Two-thirds of Canadians -- fans as well as the general public -- believe fighting should also be banned at the professional level; Only 16 per cent of the country favours allowing fights at the junior levels; One-quarter of Canadians (27 per cent) oppose eliminating fights at the professional level, while 5 per cent aren't sure what to do; While 95 per cent of fans believe skating is an "essential component" of the game, and 93 per cent believe shooting is important, a minuscule 7 per cent say the ability to engage in on-ice fights is important.

The Globe and Mail

Dave Dziurzynski, Fraser McLaren, Abelimages/Getty Images Dave Dziurzynski, Fraser McLaren, Abelimages/Getty Images
March 9, 2013  10:47 AM ET

This is what happens when you do your survey in To***to.

March 9, 2013  10:56 AM ET

And if they banned fighting we'd be deprived of clips like this....

March 9, 2013  11:06 AM ET

The day they ban it is the day I dump it.

It's as simple as that for me.

March 9, 2013  11:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

The day they ban it is the day I dump it.

It's as simple as that for me.

I'm really curious as what "hockey fans" they polled.

Certainly none that I know as they all feel the same way you do.

March 9, 2013  11:20 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I'm really curious as what "hockey fans" they polled.Certainly none that I know as they all feel the same way you do.

The ones that ban English in their city:)

March 9, 2013  11:20 AM ET

Bob Probert's turning over in his grave.

March 9, 2013  12:08 PM ET

You ban Fighting from Hockey and the Canadian people are gonna some more un-employed folks...

Some of the Best Fighters in the league now and historically have been Canadian.

Let's Reminisce about some Canadian players that have made a living (and paid taxes) by Fighting in Hockey...

Dave "The Hammer" Schultz
Tiger Williams
Tie Domi
Rob Ray
Probert
Dave Manson
Stu Grimson

March 9, 2013  12:47 PM ET

As long as hockey is happy being a niche sport, it will not anger its small core by eliminating fighting. If it wants to grow, it needs to understand that the perception of current non-watchers is that it is a boxing match with skating. Go to a game and see 60 minutes of a terrific sport with maybe 60 seconds of punching. Watch sports news, and it's equal coverage. The recent fight seconds into the game belies any argument that hockey is different and fighting will always need to be there. No other sport allows the game to stop so a fight can be celebrated - resulting in minimal punishment.

March 9, 2013  12:59 PM ET

Only idiots support fighting in hockey. I love that NHL fans seem to think it's OK, but it is the only sports league when such idiocy is allowed. It serves absolutely no purpose. The day the NHL wakes up and realizes that you don't need fighting in the game is the day it will become a more recognized sport. Until then, it's a niche sport at best. And yes, I am a Canadian.

March 9, 2013  01:16 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

The ones that ban English in their city:)

In Montreal and Vancouver they prefer to keep their fighting where it belongs, out on the streets, preferably with some burning, looting, rioting and destruction of property.

Comment #11 has been removed
March 9, 2013  01:28 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Only idiots support fighting in hockey. I love that NHL fans seem to think it's OK, but it is the only sports league when such idiocy is allowed. It serves absolutely no purpose. The day the NHL wakes up and realizes that you don't need fighting in the game is the day it will become a more recognized sport. Until then, it's a niche sport at best. And yes, I am a Canadian.

Gee, thanks for your wisdom. Let me recommend two sports that'll be more to your liking: ice fishing and snow shoeing. You might also want to check out lawn bowling and badminton.

March 9, 2013  01:30 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

The day they ban it is the day I dump it. It's as simple as that for me.

And .... that's the day hockey slides into obscurity forever.

March 9, 2013  01:42 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Until then, it's a niche sport at best.

I happen to like our niche very much as is. Just as much as the NFL, NBA, Boxing, Golf, Tennis and MLB fans like theirs. Truth is, ALL SPORTS are "niche" sports. Each has their own following for reasons of their own.

BTW, I just heard yesterday that there's a list of 10,000 people waiting to buy tickets to a Blackhawks game in Chicago! It's the product, stupid! They are the hottest ticket in town, in spite of that #$%^&@ animal Dan Carcillo and his barbaric, violent ways. Please! Don't waste your time watching hockey! You won't be missed! Really! Take your bleeding heart elsewhere. I'm sure figure skating would love to have you as a regular.

March 9, 2013  01:50 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

As long as hockey is happy being a niche sport, it will not anger its small core by eliminating fighting. If it wants to grow, it needs to understand that the perception of current non-watchers is that it is a boxing match with skating. Go to a game and see 60 minutes of a terrific sport with maybe 60 seconds of punching. Watch sports news, and it's equal coverage. The recent fight seconds into the game belies any argument that hockey is different and fighting will always need to be there. No other sport allows the game to stop so a fight can be celebrated - resulting in minimal punishment.

The litany of your past works is amazing.

You go from apparently giving a fig about Mike Pizzeria to expounding on the virtues of hockey.

Quite the Renaissance man you are....

Comment #16 has been removed
March 9, 2013  02:00 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

And if they banned fighting we'd be deprived of clips like this....

C'mon, Canuck! The Semin shouldn't even have gotten a penalty on that scrum! The rule book says nothing about slapping and spanking being penalties! :-)

March 9, 2013  02:27 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

OKeeeey! Thanks for your ... ummm .... profound wisdom. Now you can go back to roasting your arse on the beach, surfing, whale watching or whatever the hell it is you do on the West coast these days.

Sifting for genuine tsunami treasures?

March 9, 2013  02:30 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Gee, thanks for your wisdom. Let me recommend two sports that'll be more to your liking: ice fishing and snow shoeing. You might also want to check out lawn bowling and badminton.

Might also have him check out tennis... those killer pedicures might be a bit too taxing for his tastes but its otherwise reasonable free of physical altercations.

 
March 9, 2013  02:31 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

No other sport allows the game to stop so a fight can be celebrated - resulting in minimal punishment.

Have you ever been to a live hockey game? Ever? If you have, then tell me, what happens when a fight breaks out? Do the fans boo and demand that they stop? Or, do they all jump to their feet and go nuts?

Of course, bleeding hearts will never understand such barbaric "nonsense." They'd rather sit there like frozen mommies for 60 minutes, visibly flinch whenever somebody throws a body check and politely applaud but, not too loudly so as not to hurt the feelings of the other team's fans when a goal is scored! Oh, and, let's not keep score either because that's bad for the losers' self image. And, when it's over, march out of the arena in an orderly fashion like robots and disappear into the night.

Oh! And don't honk your Prius' horn at the idiots that cut you off on the way out of the parking lot, they might get their feelings hurt too!

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