Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fighting in Hockey...Start Dropping the Gloves

It has always been known as “part of the game”, and it is shown in almost every highlight one will see, but would you believe fighting in hockey is truly a necessity? Hockey is played by players who possess speed, skill and knowledge of the game.
Other players play the game to help motivate their team by winning a fight, or applying a big hit.

This topic has been discussed within the NHL (National Hockey League) and the NHLPA (Players Association) since 1994, when fighting and blood were taken out of the video game made that same year. They thought this was bringing upon violence and poor sportsmanship. This was the only feature not carried on from NHL 93 as the logos, rules and all the other aspects of the game were retained. This game was named as “The absolute height of hockey video games”.


An article from ww.Boston.com named NHL 94 the greatest sports video game.

This all being said without the ability to fight, or witness any blood on the ice. This was mostly because of the new features including penalty shots, four-player support and reverse angle instant replays.

Fighting and blood was re-introduced back into NHL video games in 1996. With the advancements in technology and graphics over the last 12 years, fighting has become more of a focal point in these games. Check out this clip from a newer hockey video game, NHL 07.

New features to the fighting strategy include a button for a face punch, body punch and one for uppercut. Have you ever played this game? If so, and have been part of a fight, did you feel the fight was too graphic, or was it entertaining?

How about hockey fighting in the real world? The media continues to portray it and make it look as important as the game itself. Just watch highlights of a hockey game and you are bound to see a fight being shown in one of them. In some cases, a fight will be shown rather than a goal. 38.46% of NHL games included at least one fight during the 2007/2008 season, which is a big increase from only 29.02% in 2005/2006. A total of 473 fights took place this season.
No punishments are made to fights during the game; the players only receive a 5 minute penalty, unless a player instigates the fight therefore receiving 2 minutes more and a game misconduct. Is a 5 minute major penalty nearly enough? Most players who get into fights can afford to miss 5 minutes as they do not produce big numbers offensively.
Scott Morrison, the recipient of the Hockey Hall of Fameis 2006 Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award, has been covering hockey for 25 years. He believes fighting is in the game of hockey but there are obvious risks. One of them he mentions is if someone drops their gloves, there is always the risk of injury, but it has always been that way.

The three leading fighters this past season were Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jarrod Boll with 27, Philiadelphia Flyers forward Riley Cote with 24, and Anaheim Ducks forward George Parros with 23. Boll only recorded a total of 10 points, Cote a total of 5 points and Parros also a total of 5 points. All three players recorded more fights than points. Does this tell you something? These players are simply brought in to spark their team, or raise ticket prices by starting a fight. They clearly have little offensive ability and do not play the game of hockey due to their skill.

Check out this clip from a fight last year between Leafs forwad Kris Newbury and Penguins forward Ronald Petrovicky. After viewing this, does this not give you a chill, is this truly needed in hockey? (Hate to rip up on the Leafs, but have to say it really is not that hard..)

Or this one....sorry Leafs fans

Other fights like the following can be very entertaining, and as shown at the end, both teams benches, and the fans are cheering on the combatants.

There is no definite answer if hockey will still be popular if fighting were to be taken out of the game. Many fans watch it just to see two guys beating up on each other, as others watch it for the love of the game itself. Those who are die hard fans of the game will continue to watch it with or without fighting. Being a hockey fan or not, do you watch the game simply for the fights, or do you fully respect the sport of hockey?


Sonya!AtTheDisco said...

personally i dont watch hockey nor do i intend to just for the fight. In the last clip how come the referee didn't stop the fight? what is wrong with him?? If you wanna fight someone join WWE..i thought people played hockey for the love of the game, not to fight people?

Anyways in the video games clip, i thought it wasnt realistic and didnt protray real life hockey fights. The referees usually stpo the fight before it gets out of hand.

In the other clips shown i thought it was stupid for the guy to fight when the faceoff happened. There was no point of it..

Lastly i think there should maximize the penelty when you fight some one. It should be more then 5 mins because maybe just maybe you could have killed the guy during the fight...maybe...?

Nickie said...

I used to watch Hockey. Hockey, to me, was always for the fun of the game, the skating, the shooting, the just-misses, and the great scores! Of course, Hockey was always ofset by the fighting. As a kid, I used to think 'Wow, people are fighting! This is the coolest thing!' As I got older though, and I began to appreciate the sport, rather than the fighting, it occured to me that these people are childish idiots who have no good reason for fighting.. like getting into a fight because someone accidentally brushed up against someone else, I mean come on people! These hockey players are supposed to be adults, no? Aren't adults supposed to set an example for children? If children see fighting on something as simple as a hockey game, what are they to think? I also agree with Sonya, Penalties should be extended for fighting, it's just sheer entertainment for people to watch the fighting, there is absolutely no point to it! For instance, my mom and brother (the two main reasons I don't watch Hockey anymore) only watch Hockey to see people fight, I swear to God! They even promote fighting like the hockey players can even hear them. Also, Hockey is the only sport I can think of off the top of my head that has that amount of fighting that isn't necessary. I do not think I have ever seen a hockey game that hasn't had a fight in it, and I haven't watched a whole lot of Hockey either, but I thought I would have the pleasure of watching a non-fighting game of Hockey, but I haven't had the pleasure yet. Hockey should not be such a contact sport.

Brandon said...

I don't watch hockey, but I have seen a few games. Hockey is a really good game. It's too bad people are focusing on the fights instead of the game itself. I've never watched hockey for the fights. I can't believe that video games have actually incorporated fighting into hockey! It's things like this that promote hockey violence.

I agree with Sonya. I think that they should have a more severe punishment than a 5-minute penalty. The fighters could get seriously injured. 38.46% of the games is just plain ridiculous. How can so many fights occur? I bet that the players that get into fight looked for the smallest things to start a fight.

If people weren't interested in fighting we wouldn't be seeing as much or any. They fight because they know they'll gain quick popularity from it. You can't blame them that much. They're just giving the audience what they want. For some reason people just love seeing others getting hurt...

Kayce said...

I've been to many hockey games and the violence is just rediculous. Personally, I find it entertaining sometimes, if it doesn't get too graphic and go too overboard. But seeing it as much as it happens, it kind of gets old. I do think that hockey is a sport that requires a certain personality that is able to hold back their anger and play fair, but that is just crazy to think that it will ever become that. People get so competitive and if someone does something as small as bumping into them on the ice and the other person takes it the wrongs way, they pretty much attack them. I think that if violence was cut back in hockey, the audience percentage would drop a large amount. As for the violence in the hockey video games, I think that's a little dumb too, cartoon men don't get "emotionally angry" so there's not really any excuse, it's just the player likes to watch it so therefore he's going to want to take part of it in his video game. Even at school, sooo many of the guys on the hockey team always just talk about how they're going to start a fight. A lot of them don't care as much about the game then they do with fighting in the game. Is it wrong? I think so, but I can't see it changing.

kelsey =] said...

I love hockey and play it myself and i like to watch NHL games but i definitely think that they take the violence and fighting way too far. Hockey should be about the skill levels of the players on each team but some people just watch it, so they can see the fights. There are so many people that as soon as they walk in to an arena, they say "oh there better be some good fights this game." But for some reason it is entertaining to watch. Everyone loves a good fight. But sometimes it's taken too far, for example, sometimes the referees don't even try to stop it, they just let it go on. And then they get a five minute penalty, which in my opinion doesn't really do a lot but they have to do something. But the amount of fighting is getting better "Fighting in the new-look NHL has dropped 42 per cent since 2003-04", but it will never stop, it's a part of the game.

forbzy said...

I say give the fans what they want when it comes to fighting. As long as the ref's keep control i think it is fine. Nobody is making the players fight and winning a fight can give your team the momentum. It has always been part of the game and i'd hate to see it be banned from the sport.

Sonya!AtTheDisco said...

so yea the fighting thing should stop. brandon said that some of them might fight to gain quick popularity..i think thats pointless...what are they trying to say; Lets have more fights so we could have more money and be more famous for it..or should i say infamous.

Also nickie's like the hockey players are suppose to be role models...omg! people should stop fighting..once again wat are they trying to protray for the younger audiences; Dont worry kids, its just a little fight with a little bit of blood? Wow!

]ΛvΛЯіччΛ said...

As much as fighting is a part of the game of hockey, I think lots of times it does go too far like Kelsey said. I really don't think you can ever ban fighting in hockey or any other sport. Even if it happened, people might still fight. However, I do think that the penalty time given when people fight should be increased like Sonya said. Five min. is a joke! Also, refs and coaches need to be more serious about fights. Maybe if there were stricter penalties, people wouldn't feel so free to fight for practically no reason.

I would never put on a hockey game just to watch the fights; much of it is pointless and pointless fights aren't my thing. Of course there are people out there who wouldn't watch hockey if there were fewer fights, and of course that would affect ticket sales, etc., but they're not true hockey fans anyway. If fighting is all they want, then wrestling is probably what they should be watching, not hockey.

If 38.46% of NHL games included at least one fight during the 2007/2008 season, I have a feeling younger kids are getting the wrong idea about hockey. Many kids out there look at up to hockey players and if pros are setting a bad example by fighting, kids are just gunna follow them. It's not just that “fighting is bad,” and so you shouldn't do it, but many people, mostly kids, don't realize that people can get seriously hurt.
As for violence in hockey video games... I sort of disagree with what Brandon says because I don't think that it's unbelievable at all that “video games have actually incorporated fighting into hockey”...All I can say is, if it's happening so much in real life, why not in video games? I know that sounds really bad because violence in video games is NOT a great thing, but I think what happens in real life with real people, influences people more than characters from video games. Even if we were to eliminate hockey violence in video games, it's still being promoted on NHL games on TV. Video games aren't the major issue here; they just add to promoting violence that's already taking place in real life. If real life violence in hockey decreased, hockey video game violence might also decrease.

Plus, it' not just fights in HOCKEY, I find that our society is obsessed with watching fights, no matter where they are. It seems that we've become immune to the consequences.

DavidParker said...

Well, people should be watching hockey for the love of the sport, that's what I watch it for, but if you sit and think about it, even when people watch hockey, their adrenaline starts to go wild. Imagine if fans at home on the couch are screaming, how the players must feel when they're out there, it's only escalated by the fact that it's their job, and they get paid to do well in ALL aspects of the game. Then again, those people who are only drafted for hitting and fighting, we could do without them

It wouldn't really matter to me if fighting was taken out of hockey, but I believe even if it's banned, tempers will flare, and fights will happen. Maybe stronger penalties should be enforced, such as misconduct for everyone who takes place in the fight. Entertainment is still entertainment though, and we know that people love violence, so it's bound to stay


Brandon said...

I'm not exactly sure what David is trying to say. He said "tempers will flare, and fights will happen" if fights in hockey are banned. If they're banned then that would mean that if any player gets in a fight they have to be kicked off the team. People would stop fighting because they want to keep their jobs, but I guess that it might cause fights if other players from the team of the kicked out guy get angry.

]ΛvΛЯіччΛ said...

I agree with Brandon about hockey players gaining “quick popularity” by fighting. When people watch fights, they do usually know whose in the fight. Here's proof: “...as a rookie last season, McGrattan made a name for himself by fighting some of the reigning NHL heavyweights.” (NOTE: “last season” is not literally “last season” This was posted in 2006.
If you ask me, why not risk a 5 minute penalty in order to gain some popularity? Once again, if there were better consequences, players wouldn't be so willing to fight?

I also have to say though that you have to look at the other side of things. If there were better consequences, players probably wouldn't be so willing to fight, but then that would likely result in more “cheap shots” and ppl would be complaining about that. I read on this website: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/morrison/2007/03/taking_fighting_out_of_hockey.html
that, “while concerned about the injuries occurring in fights, they [coaches] say the presence of a "threat" on the bench or the ice allows "skill" players to skate faster and be braver and be more comfortable.”

Also, “"In the past 8 to 10 years, fighting has almost disappeared," said Colin Campbell, the NHL's director for hockey operations. "We have less than one per game."” http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/12/20/sports/NHL.php
This was posted a couple years ago, but still, maybe this means that we are on a good path because after all, fewer injuries is more important than fewer tickets being sold.

briar. said...

If people want to watch fights, switch the channel to ufc or wwe. Hockey isnt a fighting, or contact sport its shooting the puck into the opponents net…so why are people anticipating a fight while watching hockey?

In the last video, there was chanting screams and clapping during the fight. This was all incouraging the fight that was going on, and wasting time on showing the players actually playing hockey. If I were at one of these games I would be disappointed if I had to sit and watch two guys fighting during the game, like ooh what did I buy UFC tickets instead of leafs tickets? lol.

To javariyya’s comment, I have to disagree I think interacting in a video game is worse then just watching it on tv. Your actually playing your fav hockey player in a video game while fighting the other teams player. Its more active, and I believe if tv or video games would cause violence in kids and teens it would be video games that are the issue.

i don’t agree with putting violence in hockey video games, and it doesn’t quite make sense to me. Hockey isn’t about fighting the other team, so why has it recently became about that? I think it’s the our love for violence , like david said. And I agree that it probably isn’t going anywhere.

kelsey =] said...

I like what Briar said, if you want to watch a fight on television switch to the UFC. Hockey should not be all about fighting people should want to watch it because they love the sport, not because they want to see someone get knocked out. It also is a waste of time for the players actually want to PLAY hockey and not waste their life fighting. And I also agree with David people love violence in hockey and it probably isn't going to stop and it is what a lot of the fans want so it doesn't need to stop completely. But hopefully it gets better because right now I think it's kind of ridiculous.

]ΛvΛЯіччΛ said...

The reason why I said that, "what happens in real life with real people, influences people more than characters from video games" was because in video games, although they are interacting with the characters, like Briar said, they know that what they're doing is not real, so that probably won't encourage them to fightin real life whereas seeing it in real life will. It all goes back to the argument of whether violence in video games promotes violence in real life.

briar. said...

Kelsey,to be honest i dont think the other hockey players watching the fight rly mind. because they sell more tickets when they fight and therefore earn more money.

i guess when hockey became more about earning money it became not so much about the game of hockey as a sport.

to javariyya, in video games people get rly into them and forget there even playing a game because it becomes so real. and you do all the same things in the video game as you do in life.

Harinder said...

Hockey is a brilliant game that uses a lot of strength and stamina but unfortunately hockey players are using their strength for the wrong purpose. They are focusing more on the violent side of the game rather than the fun, enjoyable and competitive part of it. The favourite part of the game for all players should be, having fun together as a team. Not all the players focus on fighting, there are many that do play for fun but I think that those that act violent do it to impress or perhaps motivate their team mates in a way.
I think that it would be wise to get rid of fighting in hockey. No one wants to see players taken off the ice on stretchers, with concussions, broken bones, anything that means a visit to the hospital. Getting rid of fighting in hockey could also help players focus more on their skills to use in the game so that they can redeem themselves. On the other hand, fighting also creates a big impact in the game as far as the audiences are concerned because most of them attend the game just to watch the violence. A positive aspect is that top players such as the NHL superstar Mario Lemieux don’t fight.

Kids World Inc. Hockey Fights. 2000-2008. Online Article

Matt Dean said...

i never really watched hockey nor do i like it much. i used to play street hockey when i was younger, i also played the hockey games on the N64. i noticed that in all the hockey games i played me and my friends were always trying to fight each other when we played and usually thought it was awesome. now that i'm older i kinda don't see the point of it. i also noticed that in the newer hockey games they have a specific fight system in the game making you do certain moves and punches etc.. they also added a little more blood to it too. in one hockey game i remember you could punch the referee's when they tried to intervene. but it doesn't really affect people much if it's in a game.

Matt Dean said...

The fighting in hockey is just unreasonable for the most part. they fight for the stupidest reasons (like someone looking at you wrong..or calling you a name...)(sticks and stones man!) it's pretty silly. i see no point in this anymore.

MICO said...

I think hockey is amazing. I useto watch it when i was little. As any game there are fights but i think hockey adopted the fighting as normal. I agree with Sonya and Brandon. Its sad to see a player that been practicing for 15 years get injured over one fight and end his career. I think that is a complete waste of talent and potential. To eliminate this i think fighting in hockey should be banned instead of just punished with a penalty. But there is violence in alot of sports not just hockey. Soccer hooliganism is hugeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee in Europe. Every single city in Europe has its own firm that represented its own team so it shows that violence and sports goes together no matter the game.It is normal for 2000 people to have a brawl at the end of a match because its excepted and is very hard to change something as it all ready been acknowledged. Its a huge problem that destroys public property and injures hundred of people every match and matches can occur 3 - 5 times a month.



Fighting has become a natural part of Canadian hockey in today’s society. Fighting is a natural part of the sport between certain rivalries between certain individuals. As we may not be aware that many people watch hockey because they recognize that this sport is action packed due to the amount of violence involved in this sport, also this separates this sports from the rest. Not many people realize that if fighting was not a part of certain sports teams that they would not be as recognized as other sports. I believe that fighting in hockey is very mature because both individuals which are usually apart of certain fights are men whom have sportsmanship for the sport. They both show things that admire about the sport, on the ice they are rivalries, yet off the ice they could be known as very nice individuals that possess excellent characteristics.


I believe that if fighting a major part of hockey was taken away from this sport, I believe that there could be various problems which could lead to this problem. Many people believe that fighting has become a natural part of the hockey culture; many athletes have known to drop their gloves during hockey games due to fact they have rivalry between one another. I believe that if fighting was not a part of the Canadian hockey culture that there would not be as many Canadians watching certain television sports because they do not contain a certain amount of entertainment as other sports may provide.