Hockey fights

Why doesn’t he just go into boxing?

The way the refs just stand around and watch makes me think it’s more like the Jerry Springer show than a sport.

Yep. It’s come to be an expected and anticipated part of watching a hockey game. Even if it doesn’t happen at a given game, the sense that it might draws in some people*. If there was effective league enforcement to severely limit fights there’s the fear of a decline in the sport’s popularity.
*as with auto racing and crashes.

A look at fighting major totals and fights/game since 1970: (playoffs only)

Year Number Average/Game
1969-1970 29 0.85
1970-1971 29 0.67
1971-1972 25 0.69
1972-1973 15 0.39
1973-1974 36 0.95
1974-1975 40 0.78
1975-1976 35 0.73
1976-1977 25 0.57
1977-1978 46 1.02
1978-1979 30 0.67
1979-1980 81 1.21
1980-1981 72 1.06
1981-1982 80 1.13
1982-1983 65 0.98
1983-1984 103 1.47
1984-1985 102 1.46
1985-1986 103 1.43
1986-1987 105 1.21
1987-1988 124 1.48
1988-1989 59 0.72
1989-1990 32 0.38
1990-1991 61 0.66
1991-1992 25 0.29
1992-1993 11 0.13
1993-1994 23 0.26
1994-1995 17 0.21
1995-1996 18 0.21
1996-1997 28 0.34
1997-1998 20 0.24
1998-1999 9 0.1
1999-2000 17 0.2
2000-2001 9 0.1
2001-2002 16 0.18
2002-2003 7 0.08
2003-2004 20 0.27
2004-2005 Gary’s Alone Time
2005-2006 18 0.22
2006-2007 17 0.21
2007-2008 11 0.14

I won’t argue with the fact that it may be part of the culture, but it is frowned upon even in most low level adult hockey. In fact, in my league the perpetrators are banned for the season, if not permanently.

I disagree, I think most fights always have some element of retribution or revenge. In most cases these guys have fought each other dozens of times while coming up through the system, not to mention part of their role is to play on the edge in an attempt to draw penalties.
What you don’t realize is that these guys are not unskilled hockey players, some were scoring champions or defensive specialists in the minors, etc… Circumstances, such as their physical size and temperament, caused them to be groomed into enforcers. Believe me, these guys can play at a higher level than you think.

Ocassionally, there may be a mismatch of willing participants but in most cases non-fighters will turtle and cover up to avoid getting hurt and/or to draw a penalty. This is where the instigator penalty fails again…
Say some clown, (let’s call him Sean Avery) cheapshots your goalie and I decide to teach him a lesson, but he turtles as I pummel him. Now I get 2 minutes for instigating, 5 for fighting, and maybe even a game misconduct.
So… it’s not a "real fight"and it’s not as lopsided as you think.

There are fight in the playoffs but the players try to avoid handicapping their team. In most cases, like football, they take a mental note of the name and number and revisit the issue during the next season.

Then the NHL needs to step in and suspend Avery. The problem with this “teach a lesson” nonsense is that the vast majority of times, a player gets jumped for nailing a guy with a 100% clean check.

Yes, they should but we’re discussing fighting in the game not how the NHL suspends players.

You may disagree with how the players police themselves but I assure you to them it is not “nonsense”, they are protecting their star players from getting hit in general, whether it be a clean or not is of little consequence.
What do you consider a 100% clean check anyway? Do you mean legal within the rules?
How would you differentiate between a 100% percent clean hit and, say, an 80% clean hit? OMG, what if a hit was 49% percent clean but 51% dirty!

To fight, or not to fight: that is the question.
Players react instantaneously, they might not have even seen the check! They don’t have your convenience of watching replays, ad nauseum, and coming up with a judgement on whether a check was clean.

It remains an effective tool to slow down a more skilled team. Many goons can hang on for years as enforcers if they are not good enough skaters to earn their positions.

Nope, they wait until it gets decided. The refs come in when someone is down or when they can.

Sparky, I disagree.

I have seen videos of two guys agreeing to a fight before the face off. That is not real. There is nothing that is causing violence. This happens in most games and this is actually most of the fights in the NHL

When there is a real situation on the ice, the goons are almost never involved. When a player does something outrageous, the aggressor gets attacked. Usually the attempt to get revenge is so thorough, it ends up in a pile. One team vs the guy. There is no real fight or boxing.

You see this game after game. These are real fights because they are based on anger/revenge etc.

The other thing you see with 2 guys boxing or hanging onto a sweater is just guys being goons.

I see it all the time when the Kings play the Ducks. You are guaranteed a nice fight by Parros and Ivanans but nothing really matters. Even if they killed each other, it wold make zero difference in the game.

Yes, but I’m saying that the NHL, and only the NHL, should be doling out punishment for illegal plays.

I recall seeing a hockey fight video where the player beats the holy hell out of the other guy, and then skates over in front of the other teams bench and taunts them as if to say “who’s next? come get some!”.

Anyone know what I’m talking about? Is that Bob Probert or someone else?

Yes, I know what you are saying, and I agree the NHL has to take control but the original OP was asking about fighting so we’re discussing what does happen on the ice between the players not what the league should do about it.

If you’re talking about all the mugging, facewashing, punches, etc. that go on in a scrum these days, you may have a point. But I wouldn’t call it fighting.
Iv’e been playing and watching hockey a long time, and I’ve seen more than a few fights.
It’s true some orchestrated fights between goons aren’t very good and don’t make much difference but there are still times when a good fight does.
Don’t believe me? Try being at the Saddledome when Jerome Iginla drops the gloves. Go somewhere the crowd is “in” the game like Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Philly or any other die hard hockey town.
No offence but it is well known that the attendance and interest for hockey in Anaheim and LA is not the greatest.

So it’s something either like a ritual or tactical way of getting an advantage on the other team?

I haven’t ever seen one of them taken out on a stretcher.

These guys probably wouldn’t know controlled aggression if it smacked them in the face!

I think you might be thinking of this one- Cloutier vs. Salo. I actually forgot about this, one of the best goalie fights I can recall seeing; probably even deserves to be in that “best sports video thread”.

I am sorry but this kills me about hockey fans and especially Canadians.

The “I play hockey so I know” and “my city is a hockey city” fans are destroying the NHL. Why on earth would anybody want to participate with these sort of fans? The attendance of the local teams has zero to do with this issue and honestly, neither does your hockey career.

OK then dumbass, why don’t you tell us all that is wrong with the sport from your throne and the highlights you’ve seen from ESPN’s SportCenter.

FTR I am originally from Dallas.

That was it, thanks! Man, that guy is a badass!