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Has anyone else noticed a change in the league's attitude towards


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#1 micah

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 11:24 AM

For the last few years, the NHL certainly acknowledged that fighting existed, but it didn’t really promote that part of the sport. For example, a few years ago, there was a DVD released featuring the type of game played by Eric Cairns, Ian Lapperierre, Jim McKenzie and DMac – the DVD featured lots of interviews with these guys, as well as other players talking about how important the role of enforcer is and how they’re more likely to behave extra well so as not to have to answer to some thug – but the DVD didn’t actually show any fights, at least not in anything near their entirety. It showed the guys throwing off their gloves and grabbing hold of each other and then cut to something else. Similarly, NHL on the Fly on the NHL Network, a real-time highlights show, used to mention fights, but never show them. Now they’ve taken to showing just about all fights, even relatively boring hugfests, in their entirety. NHL.com never used to mention fights except in brief - now they also include entire fights in their highlights section, right along with big goals and big saves.

Have you noticed this phenomenon, and if so what do you suppose triggered the change?
"It was pretty interesting," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock. "We had May in exhibition for a couple of games and no one gets hacked or whacked. When we don't have him, we get run. We don't have a team that twists off helmets at stoppages. You get tired of seeing it all the time. It's just nice when you get someone to look after that stuff."

#2 stevkrause

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 11:33 AM

For the last few years, the NHL certainly acknowledged that fighting existed, but it didn’t really promote that part of the sport. For example, a few years ago, there was a DVD released featuring the type of game played by Eric Cairns, Ian Lapperierre, Jim McKenzie and DMac – the DVD featured lots of interviews with these guys, as well as other players talking about how important the role of enforcer is and how they’re more likely to behave extra well so as not to have to answer to some thug – but the DVD didn’t actually show any fights, at least not in anything near their entirety. It showed the guys throwing off their gloves and grabbing hold of each other and then cut to something else. Similarly, NHL on the Fly on the NHL Network, a real-time highlights show, used to mention fights, but never show them. Now they’ve taken to showing just about all fights, even relatively boring hugfests, in their entirety. NHL.com never used to mention fights except in brief - now they also include entire fights in their highlights section, right along with big goals and big saves.

Have you noticed this phenomenon, and if so what do you suppose triggered the change?

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#3 Hank Dats 'N Homer

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 12:08 PM

For the last few years, the NHL certainly acknowledged that fighting existed, but it didn’t really promote that part of the sport. For example, a few years ago, there was a DVD released featuring the type of game played by Eric Cairns, Ian Lapperierre, Jim McKenzie and DMac – the DVD featured lots of interviews with these guys, as well as other players talking about how important the role of enforcer is and how they’re more likely to behave extra well so as not to have to answer to some thug – but the DVD didn’t actually show any fights, at least not in anything near their entirety. It showed the guys throwing off their gloves and grabbing hold of each other and then cut to something else. Similarly, NHL on the Fly on the NHL Network, a real-time highlights show, used to mention fights, but never show them. Now they’ve taken to showing just about all fights, even relatively boring hugfests, in their entirety. NHL.com never used to mention fights except in brief - now they also include entire fights in their highlights section, right along with big goals and big saves.

Have you noticed this phenomenon, and if so what do you suppose triggered the change?


I dont know, i can agree and disagree with what you say. I've seen them show some fights on NHL on the fly and stuff, but i feel like each and everyday, more rules are being made to keep players from dropping the gloves. Bettman wants more goals and wants to speed up the game, so it seems as though he is trying to eliminate the enforcer and occassional fighter in general. Maybe NHL is showing more of the fights now because they are much less common? I remember 10 years ago when it seemed as though every game had at least one dropped gloves fight. Now adays, we are lucky if the refs allow the players to get a face wash in. I dont think taking fighting completly out of the game is the way to go, because i feel it draws as many fans in as goal scoring. Most of us have been fans for years and years, and i for one can say that as much as i freak out at a great Datsyukian Deke, i freak out equally great if i see a a guy drop the gloves and give us a great entertaining fight. I know it sounds barbaric and all, but violence sells. As much as i agree with what you are saying about the league making a big deal about a fight (even if it is just a hugfest) i think its because fighting is so much more rare. There are still big hits, but 10 years ago those big hits would be followed by a big fight from a teammate trying to avenge or protect his teammates. nowadays, a big hit happens we usually se a stopage in play due to a penalty or because the player stays down for a few seconds and the ref blows the whistle to prevent a fight. Dont get me wrong, i dont want players getting hurt, thats not what im saying at all. But, violence is a part of the sport that i feel draws alot of fans. I havent seen a whole lot of fights the past few years that have truly drawn my eyes. Alot of fights now adays are hugfests like you say. I feel Bettman has chased alot of players that are skilled in being rough and tough. And without this turning into another "Pro-enforcer" thread, i will just say again, that i dont think they are promoting fighting more than they used to, but they are making a bigger deal about it because its not as common.

#4 NGKEIB

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 12:20 PM

Living in Europe, I have never been able to watch as much NHL hockey as some of the rest of you have, so I have relied to a heavy extent on the highlights on NHL.com. I'm certainly in accordance with Micah that (was it last season, or the season before last?) when fights suddenly started appearing on those highlights. I don't think that it was because there were fewer of them, I think that it reflects a conscious change of attitude in the NHL's marketing/media office. I can only assumed that they recognized fighting as part of the game, and also as a very marketable one.

One way (actually the only way) in which it really annoys me is in the commentary - I'm so tired of hearing some blowhard announcer discuss what a great fight it was (when it was dull), how hard the punches were (when hardly any connected or had serious force behind them) and how it's a great example of the 'honour of the players'.
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#5 Doc Holliday

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 12:38 PM

I really haven't seen a difference.

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#6 BeeRYCE

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 01:21 PM

Not too much of a change, I'm just not a big fan of the "Rob Ray Rule." Jerseying players was a tradition when it came to fighting, it's like locking in a submission in the UFC.

#7 micah

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 01:34 PM

Not too much of a change, I'm just not a big fan of the "Rob Ray Rule." Jerseying players was a tradition when it came to fighting, it's like locking in a submission in the UFC.


I don't mean in the several years since the tiedown rule, I mean just in the last year or two. Not so much a toughening or loosening on the rules pertaining to fighting, but the internal rules on how much fighting should be hyped to the public. Formal NHL media went from having what apeared to be a policy of not showing fights in their entirety, to featuring fights on their websight and television channel, and almost overnight.
"It was pretty interesting," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock. "We had May in exhibition for a couple of games and no one gets hacked or whacked. When we don't have him, we get run. We don't have a team that twists off helmets at stoppages. You get tired of seeing it all the time. It's just nice when you get someone to look after that stuff."

#8 BeeRYCE

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 01:37 PM

I don't mean in the several years since the tiedown rule, I mean just in the last year or two. Not so much a toughening or loosening on the rules pertaining to fighting, but the internal rules on how much fighting should be hyped to the public. Formal NHL media went from having what apeared to be a policy of not showing fights in their entirety, to featuring fights on their websight and television channel, and almost overnight.


Well, how long has this rule been in effect? I thought it came into effect when the NHL got the new style jerseys which was 3 years ago. It didn't seem like it was that long ago when a player would jersey another player and just feed it to them.

#9 micah

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 02:33 PM

Well, how long has this rule been in effect? I thought it came into effect when the NHL got the new style jerseys which was 3 years ago. It didn't seem like it was that long ago when a player would jersey another player and just feed it to them.



My memory is foggy - but I'd guess at least 6 or 7 years ago.
"It was pretty interesting," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock. "We had May in exhibition for a couple of games and no one gets hacked or whacked. When we don't have him, we get run. We don't have a team that twists off helmets at stoppages. You get tired of seeing it all the time. It's just nice when you get someone to look after that stuff."

#10 Frozen-Man

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 03:03 PM

My memory is foggy - but I'd guess at least 6 or 7 years ago.


Yeah, I can't remember exactly when it was but at least 7 years ago and a little bit more if I remember correctly.

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#11 uk_redwing

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 03:10 PM

I've noticed this as well. NHL On The Fly shows every fight, as does the highlights on the NHL's youtube channel. I can only assume theyve realised that all the noise crowds made when there was a fight wasnt them screaming in anger that they wanted a powerplay, or perhaps that goalies shouldnt be allowed in certain parts of the ice but because they get as giddy and wild as Micky Redmond when two players throw down.

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#12 wings1110

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 03:31 PM

the marketing department at least partially taking their heads out of their asses

yea they still are f***in retards all of the nhl execs are

thats because alot of the more casual fans just watchi it for the fights, and EVERYONE enjoys a good scrap, and if you dont then f*** you

#13 Shoreline

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 09:52 PM

I haven't ever seen the league prop up fighting. I've seen the media do it. However, why should the league promote something that includes fighting when it's penalized? By the same right, they should be promoting slashing, hooking, diving, boarding etc.

#14 GMRwings1983

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 09:55 PM

I haven't ever seen the league prop up fighting. I've seen the media do it. However, why should the league promote something that includes fighting when it's penalized? By the same right, they should be promoting slashing, hooking, diving, boarding etc.


Because fans don't get excited over those other things.

I doubt there's some secret legion of fans that trades videos of hooks and interference penalties like there are fight fans that trade fight tapes and talk about enforcers incessantly.
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#15 micah

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 04:29 AM

Because fans don't get excited over those other things.

I doubt there's some secret legion of fans that trades videos of hooks and interference penalties like there are fight fans that trade fight tapes and talk about enforcers incessantly.



There it is.

Go to youtube, type hockey in the search bar - what autofill option pops up first, "hockey fights" or "hockey goals"?

The league would be foolish not to, well, highlight - the highlights of every game - the sick goals, the sweet saves and the crowd-pleasing fights. The league gets a lot wrong, but they've made a small change here for the better.
"It was pretty interesting," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock. "We had May in exhibition for a couple of games and no one gets hacked or whacked. When we don't have him, we get run. We don't have a team that twists off helmets at stoppages. You get tired of seeing it all the time. It's just nice when you get someone to look after that stuff."

#16 Drake_Marcus

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 05:10 AM

I've noticed this as well. NHL On The Fly shows every fight, as does the highlights on the NHL's youtube channel. I can only assume theyve realised that all the noise crowds made when there was a fight wasnt them screaming in anger that they wanted a powerplay, or perhaps that goalies shouldnt be allowed in certain parts of the ice but because they get as giddy and wild as Micky Redmond when two players throw down.


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