Fighting fighting


This is something we’ve discussed to a degree here before, and now NHL general managers appear ready to do something about it, too.

The staged fights in hockey. I think they serve little purpose except to get a home crowd into a game. I think it’s stupid that one team’s goon fights another team’s goon just because they’re on the ice at the same time, not because of anything that happened during the course of the game, or anything in their history.

My friend Bob McKenzie wrote this column about it for TSN today.

It’s a rainy day and I am headed off on one of many mini road trips — to glamorous places like Poughkeepsie, New Paltz and Utica — this week. I know, you’re jealous.

So I wanted to give you something to discuss, if you want to. If not, well, at least it’s a new thread for you guys to have your usual conversation.

I’ll check in pregame tomorrow.

I just heard from Jane, who is at practice and will be posting in a little while.


Oh, one more thing. is running its annual March Madness bracket challenge. Me and some of my colleagues and fellow blogsters will be filling in our bracket this week, too. If you fill in a perfect bracket you can win $100 million … and maybe buy out Jim Dolan for part of the Rangers. Click here for details, or to enter.

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  1. Ridiculous…

    LEAVE THE GAME ALONE! Unless and until a majority of PLAYERS want fighting removed, they should not change the rules. In fact, if you ask the players, they want the instigator rule removed (not enforced more). I’m glad they are putting in a “rule” with an obvious loophole and “smoke and mirros” as McKenzie called it. This rule is not for the game, it is not for the fans, it is not for the players…it is for the frikkin media. Pathetic. They should not change the rules for the media. Especially when the US media shuns the sport altogether anyway.

  2. ZzZz 13 ZzZz Rules !! says Greg L. on

    the premeditated fight may be scaped with heavey suspensions but fighting in general as barbaric as bare-knuckle fighting is …will never be taken out.

    Rainy!!?? its Rainy over there!?? Must be nice because it is – 32 degrees celcious with the wind chill at – 45 c , that in fairehight would – 1 million !!! C-cold out side man !! Good thing my car is plugged in!!!

  3. I don’t think it would be a huge deal taking out those “meaningless” fights. The only thing i don’t like is it seems like it can be very subjective as to whether the fight was due to something in the game or just to fight.

    and by the way…I am jealous! I love New Paltz! Went to college there and will be going back for a visit this spring! Have fun!

  4. No way this team makes the playoffs … I can smell the stench of the late 90s Rangers teams ….

  5. Hey… Poughkeepsie and New Paltz are ok… if you like the outdoors especially! ; )

    Utica… ehhh… I can understand the knock! hahaa…

    Let’s go Blackhawks!!


  6. Orr, you know where it went.

    Richtersgirl, I like New Paltz, too. But in March, in the rain, it ain’t Paradise.

    ZzZz, at what part of the globe are you?

    Once again, to state my position in brief: I don’t mind the fights at all. Especially the spontaneous fights between guys who can play. I don’t think the need any longer exists for the synchronized fights.

  7. I am sick of the BS about fighting. This league is a joke and it starts with the top dog Gary Bettman. The shootout is used to decide a win and one of their reasoning is that the fans love it. I hear it all the time from these TV guys, look everyone is on their feet. Well, if that is a big reason why you keep the shootout, the same thing could be said about fighting. Also, how are they going to determine what is a “staged fight”? The refs discretion??? Great idea, not all refs think alike. If it is a safety concern, mandate helmets must be worn during a fight. Come up with a solution where they can easily remove a visor if they have one on.
    what really needs to be discussed is blows to the head. That to me does not belong in the game!

  8. Don’t stop fighting!!! Pink ice is nice

    Why would you go voluntarily to Utica??
    Nowhere near Poughkeepsie (kudos to you for correct spelling) or New Paltz, and the brewery burned last year.

  9. Colton Orr's Punch-Out on

    I don’t mind the staged fights at all. The one’s that need to go are the one’s after a clean hit. There’s no need for those. It’s a hard-hitting game.

  10. it is the weasel PC media jerks who want to take fighting out of the game. last time I looked, which was last night, the fans were on their feet cheering in Nashville and other towns where there were some haymakers thrown.

    the players union should protest this, because it will cost some guys their jobs for sure.

    the players know more about what goes on than the guys sitting upstairs in a suit.

    Jay Feaster, former Tampa GM, and Jim Dowd, former player both just said on NHL Live that they should leave the fighting rules alone.

    in fact, they should TAKE OUT the instigator rule, as many players have said.

  11. JOR

    These idiot refs don’t even know the difference between a clean hit and a dirty hit.

    With these new BS rules, it’s gonna make the game even worse. Two players will get in each others faces, and push and shove and they’ll be gone for two mins, and they’ll probably give one of them an extra two.

    This game is so pathetic. I really hope Bettamn falls and smacks his head on the ice when he’s presenting the Cup, cause that guy is a total loser.

    And forget the GM’s, this should be decided by the players, and nobody else. If they wanna fight, they can fight, if they want a visor they can wear one. Quit treating these guys like they’re fuggin 6 years old.

  12. brooks is reporting we received a 17th pick in the 2nd round for Chere.

    Like it or not it’s a business and he was an asset, people who think otherwise need to get a grip :)

  13. Jim Dowd, who played for many years, said that if guys yap or throw a cheap shot, they should expect to have to defend themselves, not hide behind some phony new rules.

    look at the guys who have had their career shortened by hits to the head that occurred during play, NOT during fights.

  14. Personally, I love when the gloves come flying off as soon as the puck drops. It’s a man’s game, let the boys fight.

  15. so now fights will be staged, but in a different way. they will be staged by the refs, who will be sole deciders on what they deem acceptable or not. pathetic

  16. No Country For Old Rangers on

    CARP- I’m a NEW PALTZ alumni, lived in the town for a few years. If you haven’t already make sure you stop by the Gilded Otter for a beer. You shant regret it.

  17. the only death on the ice in an NHL game came from a clean hard check. Bill Masterton of Minn was hit hard but cleanly in open ice by stocky Ron Harris of the Seals. he hit the back of his head on the ice, and died 3 days later.

    they named an award after Masterton.

    so, if that had happened these days, the media would be pushing for an end to bodychecking too, I suppose

    Milbury is right about one thing, the pansification of hockey

  18. Disgusting:

    1 Boston 68 43 16 9 95
    2 New Jersey 66 43 20 3 89
    3 Washington 68 41 21 6 88
    4 Philadelphia 65 36 19 10 82
    5 Montreal 67 36 24 7 79
    6 Pittsburgh 68 36 26 6 78
    7 Florida 67 34 24 9 77
    8 Carolina 68 36 27 5 77
    9 Bush League 67 34 25 8 76

  19. LEAVE THE GDMF’in GAME ALONE!!!!!!!!!

    you want to fix the game, suspend HITS TO THE HEAD!!!!!

    While you’re at it, take that stupid trapazoid marker out.

    I’ve never seen rules change so much in a professional sport than hockey. Yeah that’s right Bettman, change the rules and lose MORE fans. Jerk*ff!!!!

  20. onecupin69years on

    Years ago fighting in hockey was to get even or to protect the smaller players.
    It was typical for each team to have several bench clearing brawls a year, in some cases the cops had to break it up.
    Then the 3rd man in rule , which is good and not good.
    Not good because it seemed to make sissies out of some players who would rather watch a team mate get his ass whupped rather than to intervene because of a suspension and game misconduct.
    Good because it eliminated the bench clearing brawls although they were fun to watch.

    I don’t mind a fight if two players have an issue to settle, but now there’s retaliation if someone puts a good ,clean ,legal hit, a goon is soon after you.
    That is not part of the game,fighting to protect a player from a dirty hit , well that’s what fighting in the nhl is about.
    But if two people were to fight in the street it would be an assault and a matter for the courts ,legal and civil.

  21. Rick, can you do a poll about who thinks we will make the playoffs?

    And it is damn sad, that we are out by 1 point right now. You hear that Drury, 1 point!!!! Grrrrrrr.

  22. NY vice officer on

    what is disgusting is you calling the Rangers bush league. what are you, a pimp for Renney?

  23. After going through the 7 years without playoffs, I can call them whatever I wish …

    Look at the teams right above us: FLORIDA, CAROLINA …

    We have to battle to make the playoffs against those crap teams … it’s pathetic

  24. Leave it alone. This game is like 100 years old. Fighting has been a part of it since the beginning. It lets players take out their frustrations. If you restrict it, you’ll get many more boarding majors, guaranteed.

  25. Pavel
    March 11th, 2009 at 1:34 pm
    Leave it alone. This game is like 100 years old. Fighting has been a part of it since the beginning. It lets players take out their frustrations. If you restrict it, you’ll get many more boarding majors, guaranteed.


    100% agreed and more stick infractions.

  26. I would feel more confident if the teams we were battling with were sucking right now, but every team seems to be playing their best hockey, except for Buffalo. This really might go down to the last game of the season, and those 4 against the flyers are HUGE. Someone said it yesterday, the games against the flyers probably make or break our season. It is as simple as that.

  27. NY vice officer on

    big deal. most of the fans on this board also went through the 7 years outside the playoffs. the last 2 years they had to scramble at the end of the season to make the playoffs, so it is similar this year too.

    what is bush league is a supposed fan trashing his team because they are one point out of a playoff spot with 15 games left. who’s the quitter? it seems that you are.

  28. “This really might go down to the last game of the season, and those 4 against the flyers are HUGE.”

    yep and they really need to win all 4 of them.

  29. The officials are pathetic as well. I was just reading that one of the refs in a UFC event was really pissed off at himself after a fight, and he said he screwed up, and did a bad job.

    Why cant the NHL refs admit their fuggin mistakes when they screw up. The league lets them get away with screwing teams, it’s sickening.

    And god forbid the players should say something, they lose a bunch of money cause of it, how sad.

  30. Fighting
    I’m with Orr

    If the players want it it stays…if they want it out it goes..its them doing it; let them decide…enough preachering

  31. get back to me when you are the one out there paying >$150 a ticket to watch Redden lay eggs on the ice

  32. WTF IS GOING ON HERE? How in the hell refs are going to decide what is staged and what isn’t? Will it depend on what team the refs are rooting for? Ok, so players wont fight right after the faceoff… instead they will circle around for 5 seconds meet up and start the fight!! It just doesn’t make any sense! In the passion of the game its not always clear right away if the hit was clean or not… how will they determine that? From one angle the hit could seem clean…but from another it could very well look dirty… players will be confuse as what they should do…should they stick up for the teammate or should they keep back… and when the hit is dirty and players keep back afraid being called for a penalty… then what? Then, they’ll probably want to fight the guy who threw the dirty hit on the next shift anyway! And round and round we go…

    fire Buttman

  33. How ’bout we just make a rule that they turn off the security cameras in the players parking lot for 15 minutes after every game.

  34. ORR’s Right Hand + Sather, Redden, Gomez & Drury’s Jaw’s = Freedom !! March 11th, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    “This game is so pathetic. I really hope Bettamn falls and smacks his head on the ice when he’s presenting the Cup, cause that guy is a total loser.”

    Agreed… just so long as it doesnt involve The Cup to fall. That would be a travesty

  35. I like the occasional fight. However I get tired of the back to bacl fights in the 3rd peiod of the game. (Usually when there are 5 minutes left to go) by then I’m ready for the game to end.

    Maybe they could slap on a delay of game penalty with those fights

  36. I like the fights during a game they add alot to the intensity or more like they act as a release valve.
    Staged fights…I think they are kinda dumb, just meatheads beatin each other up…showing their skills

  37. Agreed… just so long as it doesnt involve The Cup to fall. That would be a travesty

    That would add to its storied history though!!

  38. We’ll make the playoffs by 2 points and upset our first opponent, you heard it here first

  39. “Leave fighting, and please get rid of the shootout and 2 ref system’

    That two ref system pisses me off for three reasons

    1)These idiots are always getting in the way now

    2)You have two different mind-sets reffing the same game…they all call things fifferent, so with one ref from game to game is different but now!! during the same game!!

    3)These idiots are always getting in the way now

  40. No Country For Old Rangers on

    EA Sports saw this coming years ago when they removed fighting from NHL 94. It made a triumphant return in 95 i believe. No blood though.

  41. what would be great would be a fight between the GMs who want to keep fighting as is, and those who want to end it.

    and the same with the media and fans. let the wimpy inkstained wretches defend their position vs the fans in a steel cage death match, winner takes all.

  42. How can you tell if a fight is really staged? Many fights are carried on to help the game move away from the momentum. Will these be considered stage fights? The game will stop and our coaches will demand a call to Toronto if the rule is implemented so they can assure the authenticity behind the fight.

  43. I would also like to add that a fight happens at times due to something that occured in a previous match up. Let say one player gave a cheap shot to an opposing player towards the end of their previous match. Now, their next match up the puck drops and they both fight. Should they be penalized for a “staged fight”? How are we going to define “staged fight”? Just because it happened in the beginning of a faceoff; it does not mean the fight was not warranted.

    Fighting sends a message to the other team; not to mess with our boys. It can actually change the whole momementum of a game. So, leave it alone and focus on the true issues of the game. Lack of scoring, high hits to the head, over-expansion due to Bettman’s greed (franchise fee’s), the trap, goalies having free reign, being on Versus, losing ESPN, putting all your Crosby’s in one basket (let’s promote other talented players please), inconsistent suspensions and stupid commercials.

  44. new paltz is a good time, I am actually jealous. Check out Half Time in Poughkeepsie, greatest beer assortment everrrrr.

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