Monday, February 12, 2007

They Just Won't Be Happy I Guess

Until somebody gets killed...

If you're like me and keeping score at home folks, that's now twice in the last three NHL seasons that somebody has had to have been carried off the ice on a backboard and stretcher after a fight. While Robert Petrovicky did not mug Kris Newbury the way Todd Bertuzzi mugged Steve Moore, the result is all too similar.

Of course as we all know, the Ultimate Fighting on Ice fans tell us that nothing signifies the passion, emotion, and intensity of a hockey game as fight. And of course, there is nothing better to increase the passion, emotion, and intensity on the ice and in the stands of a hockey game than a fight that leaves a player prone on the ice in pool of his own blood and being carried off the ice on a backboard and stretcher.

I have to admit, it somewhat baffles me that a guy like Don Cherry is all for implementing the no-touch icing rule in the NHL but he insists that fights have to remain. Don believes that somebody, somewhere, someday is going to get killed in a race for the puck on an icing call. Former Cap Pat Peake had his career ended because of an icing race in Pittsburgh many moons ago. Maybe somebody out there can help me, but who else has had their career ended by an icing race gone wrong since Pat Peake? I'm hard pressed to think of players who have even been injured since Pat Peake by an icing race.

We all know Steve Moore has his NHL career ended by a fight and so did former Caps first round pick Trevor Halverson. Without doing any kind of serious research on my own, that's two careers for fighting, one for icing. And yet the anti-fighting people are kooks according to Don Cherry?

I could care less if the NHL went to no touch icing. But I think Don does have a certain point about it and he's right that somewhere, someday, somebody is going to get killed. Pucks flew into the crowd all the time in the NHL but it wasn't until the unfortunate Brittany Cecil incident that the nets behind the goals were mandated by the NHL. As somebody who prefers to sit behind the goal, the nets are a distraction but the "tradition" of the NHL has somehow managed to live on in spite of this change.

Make no mistake; I will not relish the end of somebody's NHL career or their death because of a fight. I sincerely do NOT want to have to do an "I told you so" post on that one. But sadly when the day comes that a player is killed in a fight, the UFOI fans will crow up and down the street about how this is an isolated incident and fighting shouldn't be blamed. How the "winner" in question clearly went outside "The Code" and blame the Liberal media for blowing the whole thing out of proportion. The question is though, who is the player that will have to pay the ultimate price?

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