Over 40 fights combined by these two last year.

In recent years, a large portion of the hockey community has taken interest in trying to avoid damaging the brains of hockey players, which I would agree is a noble cause. I don’t remember what it was like when we basically didn’t care (that’s not a good sign for my own brain), but I do know that when I see a player get concussed these days, I grimace a lot harder than I used to.

With head shots being wisely legislated out of the game, some people have turned their focus to the next target, the necessity of fighting, not the least of whom is national crankpot Don Cherry. You can guess which side of the argument he’s on.

Here’s the clip of Cherry’s rant – please note the end (rant starts at 4:50, fighting riff at 5:30), where he turns quite venemously on some former NHL tough guys, and what he thinks of them advocating for less fighting (which they’ve barely done, by the way).

How about Ron Maclean pretty plainly signing off with the “please don’t associate me with that bullshit” tone? Love that guy.

Ignoring the part where he shows men of his own sport unconscious after getting violently concussed and says “you’ll never get to see this again, it’s ridiculous” (just because it’s been heavily discussed) ….we turn our focus to fighting.

Is it on it’s way out? On the rise? Do you, like our own Daniel Wagner, kinda like it even though you feel like you shouldn’t?

We at Backhand Shelf came across a pretty cool infographic on the hockeymonkey.com blog that we thought we’d share, tracking the prevalence of fighting in the game over the past decade or so. I think the farther down you go, the better the info you’ll find.

Our favourite stat in there? Brendan Shannahan had 15 more Gordie Howe hattricks (17) than Gordie Howe (2). Fact not listed: a true Gordie Howe hattrick is a goal, an assist, and one opponent’s nose shattered with an elbow, of which Gordie had 214.

Also interesting: The St. Louis Blues had the most fights in the NHL last year with 78, and Detroit had the least with 13. There does seem to be some tie between a lot of fights and not great teams (save for Boston at #2 and the Pens at #3, the rest of the top ten is pretty “meh.”

Without any further ado, enjoy learning about the progression (recession?) of fighting in hockey. Oh, and please, checkout the Hockey Monkey Blog. They were kind enough to pass this along.

Comments (7)

  1. When will someone fight Don Cherie? Maybe he needs a fight to get him out of the 20 year concussion he’s been in.

  2. First of all congrats on getting a shot at the Score. Well deserved after your tenure over at Puck Daddy!

    I am my self a huge proponent of fighting and one of the reasons is that the live hockey I’m stuck with is the swedish Elite League. A league that has not and never had any tradition of fighting at all. And I’ve seen the result first hand for 30 years now. Head injuries and cheap shots (often using sticks) in abundance. The concept of on ice accountability is NOT a myth and swedish hockey is proof where the lack of such accountability means lack of proper on ice respect.

    I’d love to see someone do an extensive comparison between the still, relatively, fight filled NHL and the fight free swedish elite league and head injuries (and other injuries for that matter). As a fight fan I’m 100% confident that the result would benefit “our side” in the ongoing debate about the future of fighting in the NHL.

    Regards /Staffan

    (apologies for any abuse of the english language!)

  3. Thanks Staffan, that’s interesting to hear. I want to keep fighting in the game myself, I think it does deter some stuff (no fighting in college, a lot more talking).

  4. Errr…. #10 on the most fights list, Brad Staubitz, played for the Wild in ’10-’11…

    How many other errors are there?

  5. I love how often every Coach’s Corner involves Ron Maclean’s “please don’t associate me with that bullshit” tone.
    It’d be an awesome moment if one day he just threw his hands up in the air & walked away mid segment in a “I don’t even know what he’s saying either guys!” way. However I think Ron Maclean is much too professional for that.

  6. The first recorded use of the word “hockey” is found in the text of a royal proclamation issued by Edward III of England in 1363 banning certain types of sports and games.Most evidence of hockey-like games during the Middle Ages is found in legislation concerning sports and games. Similar to Edward’s proclamation was the Galway Statute enacted in Ireland in 1527, which banned certain types of ball games, including hockey………


    Kind thoughts

  7. I think it’s better not to provide social security variety.Do they called you ans ID?

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