Fighting will survive

Recently tsn hockey analyst Bob Mckenzie posted an article saying that soon enough goons will be an extinct species in the NHL.

http://www.tsn.ca/columnists/bob_mckenzie.aspHe uses Krystof Oliwa, resident New Jersey Devils goon, as the most recent example of this. For those of you who don’t know Krystof Oliwa was recently cut by the Devils for his lack of production and higher salary. He goes onto point out that the big fighters of the ’03-’04 season, Oliwa, Matt Johnson, Garrett Burnett and Doug Doull, are no longer in the league. And the reason is because they are one dimensional goons, and all they know how to do is fight.

Now I don’t necessarily agree with Bob Mckenzie. I can see why these players are falling victim to the new NHL, but I think these goons will be back sooner than Bob Mckenzie thinks. My reasoning behind this is, the new NHL has a renewed focus on interdivisional play. So that means more rivalries are going to be created, because when you face a team 6-8 times a season, with a lot of them being home at home and back to back games, tempers are bound to flair up.

Granted many tough guys are having trouble in the new NHL right now, and as Bob Mckenzie said “It’s not so much a revolution as it is evolution.” For the meantime goons will need to score or at least play hockey a little smarter than they are used to. But fighting will be back it will just take some time. Just like it took a few games for body checking to come back, and I know there were some fans that were worried that checking wouldn’t come back, and I’m starting to see quite a few decent clean open ice hits. This new NHL is different right now, all the things we loved about the old NHL will be back just give it some time, let’s be patient and enjoy the game.


15 Responses to Fighting will survive

  1. Kraut182 says:

    I think that the more the NHL tries to force fighting out of its game, the more it opens itself up to cheap dirty hits like some of the ones we’ve seen lately. With less fear of retributions players are more free to commit dirty plays. By not being allowed to drop the gloves players are more likely to seek other forms of retribution.

    Fighting provided a way for disputes to be settled that wasn’t perfectly safe, but was at least controlled. Players in fights consisted mostly of players who wanted to be fighting or players who had done something wrong to deserve to be in a fight.

    Most current fans enjoy fighting, but the NHL continues to push us away to try and reach people who don’t understand hockey and fighting’s place in it. While, I’m sure they’ll be much more accepting of stickwork and dirty hits.

  2. wingerxxx says:

    As for as this goes, I’d love to see the “old style” of tough guys come back. Not guys like Oliwa, Matt Johnson (who I despise), etc…but guys like Bob Probert, who in his heyday used to be good for more than a few goals during the regular season. The fighting will stay, as I do hope that it does. But I also hope that these guys make their game more than just skating around looking for a fight to get into. Interdivisional rivalries or not. The good hits are still in the game, and we’ll be seeing more of them as we go along. The changes are for the better, and hopefully it will be better for the tough guys of the league as well, to pick up their games.

  3. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Tie Domi. Oops! I thought we were talking about goofs, not goons. My bad.

  4. Air33 says:

    Just look at what Chris Neil for the Sens is doing.

  5. robinson19 says:

    Yeah, Chris Neil is a good example… guys who can play as well as fight are more entertaining anyways… plus with these obsolete type of goons the fights were never really passionate, just, ok, you’re a goon, I’m a goon, let’s dance for no reason… now it’s gonna be back to the old style where guys will drop the gloves for real reasons, like defending their stars and small guys, or shutting Avery’s mouth.

  6. Hollywood666 says:

    Guys like Oliwa are done, they’ve been phased out since the instigator rule and the salary cap was the final nail in the coffin.

    However, that makes guys like Chris Simon, Tie Domi, and other fighters who can score and are responsible defensively more valuable.

    Fighting will stay, but guys who are stricly fighters will soon be extinct.

  7. thatleafsguy says:

    Fighting will not disappear fully, what you are going to see is a new hybrid of fighter. Fighters that can skate and play the game, just like the good ol’ days. You will see enforcers that can chip in 15 – 20 goals a year and drop the gloves on a moments notice to defend a teammate. One dimensional players will become extinct and the a new hybrid will be welcomed.

    That is why for now you are seeing enforcers such as Barnaby, Domi and Neil staying alive in the new NHL, because they can skate and can play the game. The league will produce more of these type of enforcers and better ones as the new-old NHL moves forward into the future. Don’t fret fight lovers there is still room in this new game for the pugilist, the league is just asking that they know how to play the game of hockey as well.

  8. p0k3 says:

    While watching a Red Wing / Columbus game on OLN, a fight apeared to be breaking out. OLN instantly went to commercial, WTF!!! Even worse when they came back from commercial they didn’t mention one word of what just took place, (no replay) WTF!!! OLN SUCKS!!! OLN doesn’t know Hockey, what a joke. It’s like they were censoring the game.

  9. distance7 says:

    Nashville didn’t have a fight in the first 7 games this season. Last night there were 5. Fighting this season seems to take some getting used to? Refs try to break everything up, but it’s hard to when guys go after each other after every whistle. Fighting will still be a part of the game, no doubt about it.

  10. Canadiangold316 says:

    seriousley it was probabley some pantywaist, nylon wearing, yuppy who thinks in the company’s best interest and o yes.. the fans! best interest that they better not show a fight…… what the hell is this game coming too??? to much politics and peace yuppy’s are ruining this great game, I would love to take them all on the ice and show them a arse kicking or too myself

    I like the new rules and all but this no-contact, do not look your opponent in the eyes or get a penalty montage is ruining the game more than anything, if its an infraction then call it if you are not sure ??? let it go refs!!!!!!

    wow, that felt good =)

  11. Mullet says:

    so far I getting sick of not seeing any tussles. come on there used to be like 1 per game and I loved it. If fighting keeps getting pushed out then we’ll be seeing a lot more Bertuzzi or McSorley incidents in the NHL. PLus just heard this one the other night, did you know that if any player gets in a fight in the las 5 minutes of a game they are suspended for a game! Thats just ridiculous! I wanted see some sweet fights this year! MORE FIGHTS LIKE THE PETERS V.S. MCGRATTON FIGHT THAT HAPPENED AT THE START OF THE SEASON!!They should get rid of the new fighting rule and let these guys play! It’s ridiculous the new suspension rule and Eric Boulton only gets 6 games for breaking a players jaw. See what happens when you start to try to take fighting out of the game! People get hurt!

  12. distance7 says:

    It’s only if there’s an instigation penalty called in the last 5 minutes. Last night in the Hawks/Preds game there were 3 fights in the last 5 minutes and no one is going to be suspended.

  13. Linden_Rules says:

    I guess I’ve always had an issue with the idea of getting rid of fighting from hockey. As I see it, it is an essential part of the game – it can be used to keep a team from cheap shotting the smaller players on your team as well as a way of lifting the spirits of a team that is losing and needs that motivation to start putting the pucks in the back of the net.

    The idea that if we take fighting out of hockey we will attract all these new customers seems counter-intuitive to me. I mean when sports like UFC and WWE are huge drawing cards in the US, you think the fans down there would find this component of the sport very appealing. Who are these people who don’t like fights exactly? I have never met any fan (female, male, old and young) who doesn’t enjoy a good fight now and then. When things get out of hand and the game starts to degenerate into a goon filled, highly penalized mess, fighting can be a bad thing but this only seems to happen about once or twice a season at most.

    I want to know of one stadium where, as soon as a fight breaks out, the whole crowd DOESN’T stand up and start cheering just like when the goalie makes a big save or the home team scores.

    As for the ‘goon’ players – they have always been as interchangeable as kickers in football (and just as cheap). The only ones who have survived are the same ones that, as the author points out above, have some skills IN ADDITION to their fighting skills.

  14. NemiNA says:

    I say if you can’t shoot pass skate, then you shouldn’t play. Just leave. Just cause you can beat someone’s ass doesn’t mean you should play hockey. In the NEW NHL anyway. Guys like Domi, Neil can play. Things people don’t realize about Brashear is he can at least play defensively. He’s horrible offensivley, but he backchecks like a mofo.

    FIGHTING WILL ALWAYS LIVE ON! ANYBODY who says fighting is innopropriate is a DIRTY HIPPIE!

  15. archemedes says:

    there will be fighting, but we are getting back to hockey, not boxing.When there is a need for a player like Gordie Howe again they will develop.There hasn’t been a need for that type of player in recent years since you had the guy who was kicked out of boxing for being too rough, and you are afraid to see get the puck when he plays for your team were there to see to it noone hit the good players

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