There are those around the hockey world that think that fighting should be removed from hockey; that it has no place in the game, and is a black eye on the sport. These opponents of fighting in hockey either do not play the sport, or don’t compete with a level of intensity where victory is everything. These same people watch the game and expect athletes to compete with that intensity and sacrifice their physical well being to win the game, but obviously don’t understand that when emotions are that high that violence is often seething just beneath the surface. Put that adrenaline, emotion, determination, and a hockey stick all in a bubbling stew and you’ve got the recipe for serious injury.
Fighting serves not only as an outlet for emotion run amok, but as a deterrent to those whose violence is of the premeditated variety. A middleweight like Sean Avery is going to think twice about hacking down Saku Koivu if he knows that Georges Laraque is going to pummel him into jelly. So for those who’ve been on their soapbox, preaching to anyone that will listen that fighting should be removed from the sport, think about the consequences of what you are asking for. Instead of an honorable battle between two willing combatants you’ll get players running around using their sticks as a weapon to alleviate their frustration. You’ll see star players injured on a regular basis by fringe players who know they don’t have to fear retribution. In short, getting rid of fighting will escalate the violence, not eliminate it.
There, I’ve said my piece. I’m going to get off my soapbox now. Here at Hockey Hermit I will be regularly featuring some of the best videos of hockey fights from the present as well as classic hockey fights from days gone by. Today’s video features two guys who just don’t know when to quit. Zack Stortini and Krys Barch put on quite a show the other night in a battle that lasted close to two minutes. Stortini looked like he was going to end things early, but Barch managed to keep his feet and the two went at it until they could barely lift their arms. Check it out: