Fighting has always been tolerated in hockey, but we’ve reached the unfortunate and perhaps inevitable time in the sport when the pundits are saying- we want more fighting! In the Thanksgiving issue of the Standard Freeholder there were no less than three references asking, no demanding that there be more fighting in Cornwall Comets games.
The sports page, the editorial page, and even a Comets official laid it on the line. We want fighting in every game and not just one or two fights either! This is a very sad state of affairs in local sport when spokespeople in the community appeal to these aggressive instincts. In an exciting sport like hockey, does it take a series of fights to attract enough fans to fill the arena?
I’m anxious to see how this redneck attitude filters down to the young hockey players. I can just hear the youngsters in the change room talking about who is the best fighter on the team. The minor hockey leagues will have to change their philosophy I guess, and start condoning “fighting”. If it’s so important to “be a good fighter” in senior hockey, then we’re going to have to get them ready, aren’t we?
What kind of a message are we sending to our young people with this kind of attitude? Teachers and parents talk about eliminating “bullying” in the schools that has apparently reached epidemic proportions, yet we are encouraging it in hockey. This kind of reporting is a shameful indictment on the future of hockey. A well-played game can provide lots of entertainment for the fans; I urge officials and writers not to sanction this negative aspect of the game