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unsaddleddonald

Are teams going to "bait" us into fighting?

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They might leave their enforcer in the pressbox, but only because they know they have other players that can bully the Red Wings. Someone like Backes or Weber for example. It is not because they are thinking "oh they are the Red Wings, they cant be intimidated or physical play will not work against them". Every team know the way to win against the Red Wings is by playing physical and high forechecking. I often see the argument that enforcer's are a thing of the past and that they are not a deterrent etc, but most teams still carry one and they are quite appreciated by their teammates. Yzerman for example used to be quite vocal about having someone willing to drop the gloves. The same goes for Lidstrom. I guess it is nice to know that if s*** happens there is this guy that will always come to your aid no matter what. Teams will definitely try and take advantage of this team, because it is their best chance to beat us. Might not be a huge deal for a game or two, but it will be very tough deep into the season when players are usually banged up after 50-60 games alone not to mention being at a physical disadvantage. It will be even tougher playing a 7 games series against a team like Boston. I'm not so sure I buy the hype that Detroit will revolutionize the Eastern game, I think that Holland will eventually need to add some big bodies to this lineup to compete in the long run. As suggested by Holland himself. Meanwhile, the Red Wings must play tougher than they are and adding a good enforcer to the lineup will be like adding ten pounds and 2 inches to every player on this squad.

Again comes this notion that the Wings get regularly bullied. Again, it's untrue. The single instance I can think of is 2007's game six against Calgary, and this was a whopping two penalties; and the team has more of a physical presence now than it had back then. More, the game has moved further away from such behavior in the past six years. Finally, the idea that the East is more physical than the West is a myth. This is clearly indicated by both facts and common sense.

The Wings regularly play against teams that forecheck hard and play physically, and win most of those contests. If it were so simple as you say, then the Wings would not have such a long streak of success in the regular season and the playoffs. More, I don't understand how this pertains to having an enforcer on the roster.

It's a bit odd that you're bringing up the old "the Wings can't beat ___ in a seven-game series" refrain. As I suspect you recall, people on here used to say the same thing about the Flames, the Sharks, and the Ducks. In a three-year span, the Wings ended up beating all three of them in the playoffs. It's a tired line that simply isn't true.

Red Wings have always been vulnerable to physically strong teams like The Ducks in 2003 and the Flames in 2004. They wouldnt allow the Red Wings to enter the slot but limited our forwards to perimeter shots. So did the Preds in 2012. I think that even during the Lidstrom era teams tried to forecheck high, only it was obviously more difficult then.

The primary reason the Red Wings lost to the Ducks in 2003 was Giguere, and the primary reason for the 2004 loss to the Flames was Kiprusoff. Dave Lewis's ineptitude was likewise damaging.

Anyway, I don't see how this pertains to having an enforcer on the team.

Well naturally there will be a correlation between scoring and winning... But if we look at powerplay as arguably being the best enforcer you will find that the stanley cup winner from the last three years are all in the bottom half of the pp% stats by a fair margin, while at the same time being in the top half of PIM/GP. Not for being goons, but rather being teams with a strong physical presence. I guess the world is a pretty whimsy place...

Again, wrong. First off, penalty minutes per game is not a good measure of physical play. The majority of penalties are for such transgressions as hooking, tripping, interference, high-sticking, and the like, with only a minority being due to boarding or charging. Second, boarding and charging calls rarely occur on the forecheck. Third, hits per game is a much better measure of physical play; and of the past four Stanley Cup champions, only one---the Kings---ranked high (#2) in hits per game in its winning season. The 2010 Blackhawks were #25; the 2011 Bruins were #21; and the 2013 Blackhawks were dead last. All three of these teams ranked below the Wings in hits per game.

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Again comes this notion that the Wings get regularly bullied. Again, it's untrue. The single instance I can think of is 2007's game six against Calgary, and this was a whopping two penalties; and the team has more of a physical presence now than it had back then. More, the game has moved further away from such behavior in the past six years. Finally, the idea that the East is more physical than the West is a myth. This is clearly indicated by both facts and common sense.

The Wings regularly play against teams that forecheck hard and play physically, and win most of those contests. If it were so simple as you say, then the Wings would not have such a long streak of success in the regular season and the playoffs. More, I don't understand how this pertains to having an enforcer on the roster.

It's a bit odd that you're bringing up the old "the Wings can't beat ___ in a seven-game series" refrain. As I suspect you recall, people on here used to say the same thing about the Flames, the Sharks, and the Ducks. In a three-year span, the Wings ended up beating all three of them in the playoffs. It's a tired line that simply isn't true.

The primary reason the Red Wings lost to the Ducks in 2003 was Giguere, and the primary reason for the 2004 loss to the Flames was Kiprusoff. Dave Lewis's ineptitude was likewise damaging.

Anyway, I don't see how this pertains to having an enforcer on the team.

Again, wrong. First off, penalty minutes per game is not a good measure of physical play. The majority of penalties are for such transgressions as hooking, tripping, interference, high-sticking, and the like, with only a minority being due to boarding or charging. Second, boarding and charging calls rarely occur on the forecheck. Third, hits per game is a much better measure of physical play; and of the past four Stanley Cup champions, only one---the Kings---ranked high (#2) in hits per game in its winning season. The 2010 Blackhawks were #25; the 2011 Bruins were #21; and the 2013 Blackhawks were dead last. All three of these teams ranked below the Wings in hits per game.

WAIT!!!!! HOLD THE PHONE!!!

The Bruins are the most physical team ever, blah blah blah, we should be scared of them...

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Huh? Most teams in the league have enforcers or some kind of fighters on their roster. More than us in any case.

You're ignoring that fact and saying that I'm yearning for some era that's gone. It's not gone. There's still fighting and tough guys in the game. Open your eyes.

Yes, there is still fighting, and there are still tough guys. But fighting does not play the same role as it did in the past; more, it is not nearly as common. In 1987-1988 season, fights per game peaked at 1.30. Ten years later, that number had dropped to .89. Ten years after that, the number .60. Last season, it was .52. This is not the era in which there was a fight nearly every game, It is becoming less and less common. And today's fights are, in their vast majority, between tough guys, and very often not because of any incident concerning another player.

The stats don't support your argument.

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Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle coached against the Red Wings for many years in Anaheim. He believes their toughness is underestimated.

“I don’t think you can say they don’t play a tough brand of hockey,'' Carlyle said. “I’ve coached a lot of games against the Red Wings in the Western Conference and they match up well any way you want to play it.

“Toughness isn’t always about fighting. I think there seems to be a misrepresentation about what team toughness is. Team toughness means to take a check to make a play, block a shot, get in the way of people in the tough areas of the ice and earn your space. And they do a good job of that.''

http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2013/0/red_wings_say_joining_they_won.html

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Yes, there is still fighting, and there are still tough guys. But fighting does not play the same role as it did in the past; more, it is not nearly as common. In 1987-1988 season, fights per game peaked at 1.30. Ten years later, that number had dropped to .89. Ten years after that, the number .60. Last season, it was .52. This is not the era in which there was a fight nearly every game, It is becoming less and less common. And today's fights are, in their vast majority, between tough guys, and very often not because of any incident concerning another player.

The stats don't support your argument.

The roster decisions teams make support my argument. Most teams still have at least one enforcer or some type of tough guy (say a Prust type). Sure fighting has gone down since the 80's and 90's, and yes I like those eras better, but that isn't stopping teams from still having these players around.

When fights go down to .10 per game, then I might rethink my argument and agree that I'm clamoring for an era that's gone by. As it stands, fighting and toughness is still part of the North American game, and Holland is in the minority with his philosophy on this issue.

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The roster decisions teams make support my argument. Most teams still have at least one enforcer or some type of tough guy (say a Prust type). Sure fighting has gone down since the 80's and 90's, and yes I like those eras better, but that isn't stopping teams from still having these players around.

You're taking a piece of ambiguous data---the continued presence of tough guys---and using it to support a very questionable interpretation. Sure, teams keep tough guys around, but fighting's role in the game has been steadily reducing over the past 20 years. Fighting is both much less important and much less frequent than it once was. Teams easily can and do get by and do well without a fighter now. You play off the presence of an enforcer on the roster as an important factor in success, but the facts disagree.

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You're taking a piece of ambiguous data---the continued presence of tough guys---and using it to support a very questionable interpretation. Sure, teams keep tough guys around, but fighting's role in the game has been steadily reducing over the past 20 years. Fighting is both much less important and much less frequent than it once was. Teams easily can and do get by and do well without a fighter now. You play off the presence of an enforcer on the roster as an important factor in success, but the facts disagree.

I never said it's important in success. It just adds better balance to a lineup. So it does help a team be more successful in the physical department, but it's not as important as say, having a top winger who can score or a defenseman that can play well.

How about you tell me why teams are dressing tough guys? Are all the GM's stupid or something? Or do they do it because it will add better balance to a lineup. I think it's the latter reason.

Edited by GMRwings1983

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I have a question...Who in all of the players in the NHL is the best at baiting the wings....The "Master" of "Baiting" if you will. ;)

Dats fought Perry

Cleary fought Pronger

Things you wouldn't expect from these players, and they did it against the Ducks. Id go with the team itself.

Edited by Superman54

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I never said it's important in success. It just adds better balance to a lineup. So it does help a team be more successful in the physical department, but it's not as important as say, having a top winger who can score or a defenseman that can play well.

How about you tell me why teams are dressing tough guys? Are all the GM's stupid or something? Or do they do it because it will add better balance to a lineup. I think it's the latter reason.

Are you suggesting that the GMs who don't ice tough guys are stupid? Give the attempts at deflection a break, please.

Some GMs choose to spend a roster spot on a tough guy, feeling that such a player is useful. An increasing number of others choose to instead use that roster spot for a player who is more capable on the ice. Both options have their respective merits. Those who go with the latter option do just fine, as it is no longer very important to have a dedicated fighter on the roster.

We are no longer in the 80s, or the 90s, or the early 2000s. The game has changed.

Edited by Crymson

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Are you suggesting that the GMs who don't ice tough guys are stupid? Give the attempts at deflection a break, please.

Some GMs choose to spend a roster spot on a tough guy, feeling that such a player is useful. An increasing number of others choose to instead use that roster spot for a player who is more capable on the ice. Both options have their respective merits. Those who go with the latter option do just fine, as it is no longer very important to have a dedicated fighter on the roster.

We are no longer in the 80s, or the 90s, or the early 2000s. The game has changed.

The game has only changed in yours and Holland's mind. I posed this question earlier, maybe you can answer it: name me how many teams, including Detroit, that have won a Stanley Cup in the last 30-40 years who have not dressed an enforcer for a minimum of 41 games (half a season, not counting shortened seasons).

Who knows what it means, because it does not exactly show up on the stat sheet; maybe it means a few less unprovoked hits or a more unified locker room, all I know is what I know, and I know that dressing an enforcer seems to pay some dividends. If you and Holland think you have a winning formula by using that roster spot for a Kopesky or an Emmerton, it has yet to bear fruit.

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The game has only changed in yours and Holland's mind.

I was tempted to stop reading here, as I am certain that the pool of people with this opinion is not limited to Ken Holland and myself.

I posed this question earlier, maybe you can answer it: name me how many teams, including Detroit, that have won a Stanley Cup in the last 30-40 years who have not dressed an enforcer for a minimum of 41 games (half a season, not counting shortened seasons). Who knows what it means, because it does not exactly show up on the stat sheet; maybe it means a few less unprovoked hits or a more unified locker room, all I know is what I know, and I know that dressing an enforcer seems to pay some dividends. If you and Holland think you have a winning formula by using that roster spot for a Kopesky or an Emmerton, it has yet to bear fruit.

I have no intention of doing that amount of research, but the 2013 Blackhawks, the 2006 Hurricanes, and the 1999 Stars fit that mold. More, there have been numerous Stanley Cup teams that did not ice a pure enforcer, but rather a player who could fight and also occupy a viable role in normal play; recent examples are the 2007 Ducks and the 2011 Bruins. This discussion deals not with such players, but rather only pure fighters.

Edited by Crymson

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Are you suggesting that the GMs who don't ice tough guys are stupid? Give the attempts at deflection a break, please.

Some GMs choose to spend a roster spot on a tough guy, feeling that such a player is useful. An increasing number of others choose to instead use that roster spot for a player who is more capable on the ice. Both options have their respective merits. Those who go with the latter option do just fine, as it is no longer very important to have a dedicated fighter on the roster.

We are no longer in the 80s, or the 90s, or the early 2000s. The game has changed.

The Wings are in the minority. Most GM's have a pure enforcer on the roster or in the system. Some will only dress guys like Prust or Clarkson. Very few teams will dress the roster the Wings have, with really no toughness outside of Tootoo. So we're in the minority here. You phrased it like it was 50/50.

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The Wings are in the minority. Most GM's have a pure enforcer on the roster or in the system.

Oh, so now it's that they have an enforcer on the roster or in the system, not that they actually play this enforcer on a regular basis.

The following teams do not regularly ice a pure fighter: the Sharks, Capitals, Wings, Blackhawks, Devils, Ducks, Senators, Bruins, and Islanders. You'll notice something that all of these teams but the Devils have in common: they made the playoffs last season. One of them won the Cup, another lost in the finals, and two others lost in game seven of the 2nd round.

Some will only dress guys like Prust or Clarkson. Very few teams will dress the roster the Wings have, with really no toughness outside of Tootoo. So we're in the minority here.

Ah, so the likes of Smith, Abdelkader, and Ericsson are no toughness. Let's not take into consideration, either, the coaches, GMs and players who say that the Wings play plenty tough and do very well without a fighter.

You phrased it like it was 50/50.

Now you're putting words in my mouth. Had I meant 50/50, I would have said 50/50. Instead, I said "an increasing number," which is indeed the case.

Edited by Crymson

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The following teams do not regularly ice a pure fighter: the Sharks, Capitals, Wings, Blackhawks, Devils, Ducks, Senators, Bruins, and Islanders. You'll notice something that all of these teams but the Devils have in common: they made the playoffs last season. One of them won the Cup, another lost in the finals, and two others lost in game seven of the 2nd round.

All those teams you listed have more fighters than us. Sens and Bruins? Seriously? Like I said, most teams will dress a pure fighter/enforcer, or a Clarkson type. Those teams you listed have one or the other. We don't have either, unless you count a 5'9 guy that shouldn't be fighting as much as he did last year.

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All those teams you listed have more fighters than us. Sens and Bruins? Seriously? Like I said, most teams will dress a pure fighter/enforcer, or a Clarkson type. Those teams you listed have one or the other. We don't have either, unless you count a 5'9 guy that shouldn't be fighting as much as he did last year.

We were previously talking about pure enforcers. You are now talking about capable players who will also fight. That is a different story. Tootoo is the former rather than the latter, so exactly what are discussing here?

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The game has only changed in yours and Holland's mind. I posed this question earlier, maybe you can answer it: name me how many teams, including Detroit, that have won a Stanley Cup in the last 30-40 years who have not dressed an enforcer for a minimum of 41 games (half a season, not counting shortened seasons).

Who knows what it means, because it does not exactly show up on the stat sheet; maybe it means a few less unprovoked hits or a more unified locker room, all I know is what I know, and I know that dressing an enforcer seems to pay some dividends. If you and Holland think you have a winning formula by using that roster spot for a Kopesky or an Emmerton, it has yet to bear fruit.

I would like to pose you a counter offer. since you believe the game has not changed find me the average fights per team per year, from the 80's, 90's, 2000's, and 2010's please, and tell me that from those stats fighting hasn't drastically decreased

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I was tempted to stop reading here, as I am certain that the pool of people with this opinion is not limited to Ken Holland and myself.

I have no intention of doing that amount of research, but the 2013 Blackhawks, the 2006 Hurricanes, and the 1999 Stars fit that mold. More, there have been numerous Stanley Cup teams that did not ice a pure enforcer, but rather a player who could fight and also occupy a viable role in normal play; recent examples are the 2007 Ducks and the 2011 Bruins. This discussion deals not with such players, but rather only pure fighters.

Blackhawks had Bollig, and to a lesser extent, Carcillo, though I think he only fought once. I mentioned the '06 Hurricanes in my previous post as one of the exceptions, but added that they were also a fairly tough team without one. The 2011 Bruins had Shawn Thornton, and while not an enforcer or "pure fighter" per se, Lucic. The '99 Stars had Severyrn, but he only played 30 games. And they were also a pretty tough team themselves. And I hope you were kidding about the 2007 Ducks, because who didn't fight on that team? They had Parros, Brad May, Shawn Thronton, Todd Fedoruk, Travis Moen, etc, etc. Some of them were used in a limited role, but you get my point.

And you don't have to do the research, because I can assure that the teams that have won a Cup without a regular season enforcer are few and far between. Even if it appears to you not to matter, it must.

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I would like to pose you a counter offer. since you believe the game has not changed find me the average fights per team per year, from the 80's, 90's, 2000's, and 2010's please, and tell me that from those stats fighting hasn't drastically decreased

This is not the 80's NHL anymore, no one is saying that it is. But to imply that fighting is a thing of the past is delusional. Fighting is trending downward, no doubt about it; but it's not going anywhere. And the most fights in a season in the 90's was the '96-97 season with 907, with Detroit and Colorado contributing a few. Didn't hurt Detroit that season, did it.

My point is, dressing an enforcer does nothing to diminish your chances of winning. Only the opposite, actually, as only a few teams have won the Cup in the last 30 or so years that did not dress an enforcer during the regular season, extrapolate from that what you will. If you have a team full of enforcers, then yeah, it would probably hurt your chances, excluding the '07 Ducks.

Nothing wrong with protecting your stars, enough of this "our powerplay is our enforcer" BS!

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I think this article is relevant to this thread, and gives an insight to what the Wings' players, coaching staff, and Kenny Holland think:

http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2013/09/red_wings_say_joining_they_won.html

edit: I just saw that Dabura already linked this article in the previous page, and included an excerpt from Randy Carlyle in his post (sorry if I steal your thunder D). Still worth the read if you haven't already.

Edited by Echolalia

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Blackhawks had Bollig, and to a lesser extent, Carcillo, though I think he only fought once. I mentioned the '06 Hurricanes in my previous post as one of the exceptions, but added that they were also a fairly tough team without one. The 2011 Bruins had Shawn Thornton, and while not an enforcer or "pure fighter" per se, Lucic. The '99 Stars had Severyrn, but he only played 30 games. And they were also a pretty tough team themselves. And I hope you were kidding about the 2007 Ducks, because who didn't fight on that team? They had Parros, Brad May, Shawn Thronton, Todd Fedoruk, Travis Moen, etc, etc. Some of them were used in a limited role, but you get my point.

You were talking pure enforcers. I told you which teams did not have a pure enforcer. As I have mentioned, players who can fight AND play are an entirely different story from guys who can only do the former. Those who can fight but not play are less valuable than those who can play but don't fight.

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This is not the 80's NHL anymore, no one is saying that it is. But to imply that fighting is a thing of the past is delusional. Fighting is trending downward, no doubt about it; but it's not going anywhere

I don't see the correlation between "fighting is trending downward" and "fighting is not going anywhere." Fights per game are at just over half of what they were 15 years ago, and a bit shy of a third what they were 25 years ago. Fighting is not a thing of the past---it will continue---but its old role is absolutely a thing of the past.

And the most fights in a season in the 90's was the '96-97 season with 907, with Detroit and Colorado contributing a few. Didn't hurt Detroit that season, did it.

The difference between 1997 and 1998 was .03 fights per game. Not exactly huge. And as is habitually mentioned, this was the past. It's the distant past, by this stage: we're more than 15 years down the line from that '97 Stanley Cup.

My point is, dressing an enforcer does nothing to diminish your chances of winning.

Are we once again straying into discussion of guys who can play and also fight? We were talking pure fighters, so let's stick with that. There's no proof that having such a fighter increases a team's chances of winning, nor that not having such a player decreases a team's chances of winning.

Only the opposite, actually, as only a few teams have won the Cup in the last 30 or so years that did not dress an enforcer during the regular season, extrapolate from that what you will. If you have a team full of enforcers, then yeah, it would probably hurt your chances, excluding the '07 Ducks.

Again, you're making a correlation that has no factual basis. Your logic is backwards. The simple fact is that teams have dressed tough guys for a very long time. The fact that so many Stanley Cup-winning teams had one is the direct result of that trend---one that teams have only begun to buck in the post-2006 lockout years---rather than from any belief in the vital importance of having a tough guy on the roster. The idea that the presence of a tough guy was a vital component in those championships is absolutely circumstantial and likely untrue.

Edited by Crymson

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You were talking pure enforcers. I told you which teams did not have a pure enforcer. As I have mentioned, players who can fight AND play are an entirely different story from guys who can only do the former. Those who can fight but not play are less valuable than those who can play but don't fight.

Boston and Ottawa have pure enforcers (maybe your definition is different than mine). But I'm also counting guys who are fighters that do other things (Clarkson, Erskine, Clowe).

No matter which definition of fighter/enforcer/pure/unpure, etc., I can't think of any teams that have less fighters than our team. No other GM is as against dressing fighters (whether they're pure goons or guys that can contribute as well as fight) than Holland does.

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Boston and Ottawa have pure enforcers (maybe your definition is different than mine). But I'm also counting guys who are fighters that do other things (Clarkson, Erskine, Clowe).

No matter which definition of fighter/enforcer/pure/unpure, etc., I can't think of any teams that have less fighters than our team. No other GM is as against dressing fighters (whether they're pure goons or guys that can contribute as well as fight) than Holland does.

I think you are a bit off base on this one. Tootoo, Downey, DMac, Lapointe, Kocur, and a few others. Yes we don't have a huge list, but Holland certainly does not have a history of not wanting to dress fighters.

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I think you are a bit off base on this one. Tootoo, Downey, DMac, Lapointe, Kocur, and a few others. Yes we don't have a huge list, but Holland certainly does not have a history of not wanting to dress fighters.

Many of those players were in Detroit before Holland arrived.

I'm not saying he never dressed tougher players. I'm saying he's done it less than any other GM I can think of. True, we've had lots of success in the past, but the last few years, this team hasn't been anything special, and no longer has a great 3rd/4th line, where you can't afford to take players off for tougher guys. GM's around the league are drafting guys who can fight and contribute on the scoreboard, but Holland hasn't exactly been developing guys like Lucic, Kassian, Clowe or Clarkson in the system.

So no one can argue that we have less tough guys than any team over the years. One also can't ignore that most GM's in the league still believe in having tough guys of some sort on the roster. The league has changed, but that part of the game still exists.

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The game has only changed in yours and Holland's mind. I posed this question earlier, maybe you can answer it: name me how many teams, including Detroit, that have won a Stanley Cup in the last 30-40 years who have not dressed an enforcer for a minimum of 41 games (half a season, not counting shortened seasons).

Honestly, talk about reaching to make a point. I'm sure Aaron Downey's 56 regular season games were the key to our 08 cup :glare:

Anyway, as usual, a fighting thread has devolved into those who believe fighters should also be able to play vs Downey/May/Norton.

Edited by Nev

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