I miss fighting in the NHL. There, I said it. Now, this admission doesn't make me a neanderthal nor any less sensitive to the well being of hockey players. And I'm not here to grandstand or stomp my feet like a four-year old making outlandish declarations that "I'm done with this sport" or "I'll never spend another dollar on the NHL."
I use hockey for escapism. For a few hours on game night, I'm able to forget about all the ills of the world and focus on a game I really enjoy. No worrying about paying the bills, or the reaction of another Donald Trump tweet. No concerns about the Yankees till April.
I used to have season tickets in the notorious MSG "blue seats" Now that fighting has become all but extinct, I have noticed the current Blue seater’s have been reduced to parishioners taking in Sunday mass. It’s just not the same.
While not easy, I've come to accept the reality that Gary Bettman and the NHLPA have decided to phase fighting out of the game. But damn, I miss it. (not the staged ones). I feel the NHL has begun to pander to a newer fan base leaving some of us old school hockey fans behind. And don’t blame fighting for hockey’s concussion problems. Bare-knuckle boxing matches with almost exclusively punches to the head taking place on a sheet of ice over a slab of concrete make for a logical and convenient scapegoat. But statistics have shown most of hockey’s concussions aren’t coming from fights. I never want to see anyone get bloodied or hurt but a good battle is fun.
While the anti-fighting crowd may point to stats proving that fisticuffs don't improve a team's chance of winning nor shift the momentum of a game, I really don't care. It's inconsequential to me. Fighting is part of the fabric of the NHL. Its existence is one of the main aspects that drew many to the sport. It’s old school and added excitement to the game’s rivalries. Remember the Probert – Domi fight in 92? Dan Cloutier and Isles goalie Tommy Salo in 1998? How about Jim Schoenfeld and Wayne Cashmen (1972) or the Flyers and Senators back in 2004 where 20 players had been ejected and a record 419 combined penalty minutes were handed out. That was hockey!
So Yes, I miss the emotional roller coaster of an NHL hockey game. Fights and all.
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It's a somewhat tongue in cheek OPINIONATED sports blog that promises to cover baseball, football, hockey, basketball, and any other INTERESTING, stupid, and absurd STORY related to sports.