I’ve never dropped the gloves. I’ve never been in a hockey fight. Like any other hockey fan I’ve seen my share of fights live and on TV. Hell I watched AHL in the early 80’s I grew up watching hockey fights.
Fast forward a few decades and I’m calling Major Junior hockey.
I’ve called and analyzed my share of hockey fights, but I’m no expert when it comes to that part of the game. You when it comes to fighting in the game of hockey it seems everyone is an expert. We all know opinions are like assholes everyone has one. The same can be said about fighting in the game. Everyone has their own opinion and let me tell you opinions vary. As the years go by my opinion on fighting in the game continues to change.
Sometimes change is slow, sometimes it travels at the speed of light.
Like anything else people are always quick to criticize change especially when it occurs in the game of hockey. For many people change scares them, it threatens their belief system which scares the shit out of them. How dare you talk about change?
How dare you talk about changing the “traditions” of the game? You see people are critical of rule changes in our beloved game because they think it will threaten the sanity of the game. The times they are changing and so is the game. The game is changing and it will continue to change whether we like it or not.
A matter of fact when it comes to fighting shouldn’t we be more worried or concerned about the players who feel compelled to drop the gloves rather than hurting the “traditions” of our sacred game. Don’t get me wrong a well timed fight can potentially change the momentum or even the outcome of a game and that’s where the problem lies. It can change the game, but ultimately it change those players lives. You could argue the “what if” scenarios surrounding the game for eternity. There’s just so many variables that can occur when junior aged players drop the gloves.
We are in the concussion era of the game. Kids coming up through the game are well aware of the impact and potential life changing consequences of brain injury. Nevertheless, they still believe that fighting is part of the game.
The times are a changing, but in many cases the game of hockey hasn’t. I love the game of hockey, I love certain traditions in the game. I love the game, but hate hockey culture.
We all can agree that needs to change, so why can’t we consider changing other aspects of the game that keep players safer and healthier?
When it comes to fighting my perspective is constantly changing. I never would have thought I would say it, but in my opinion it’s time things change with regards to fighting in the game. The times they are a changing,
“Come writers and critics Who prophesize with your pen And keep your eyes wide The chance won’t come again And don’t speak too soon For the wheel’s still in spin And there’s no tellin’ who That it’s namin’ For the loser now Will be later to win For the times they are a-changin’” Bob Dylan.
“The times they are a changing.”