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Does the Frozen Road Lead to Oz or Somewhere More Dangerous? March 20, 2007

Posted by reddlissa in Hockey.
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The Instigator

The Instigator’s take on Jordan Tootoo’s punch to the face of Stephane Robidas on Saturday night.  The attack left Robidas unconscious and earned Tootoo a 5-game suspension.

While the cartoon is worthy of a chuckle, the growing trend of dangerous violence in NHL is not.  Most hockey fans will agree that on-ice fighting is an exciting and expected part of the game and I agree.  I think a good fight every now and again is a good thing, as long as the players maintain some sense of control and don’t seriously injure one another.  Land a few punches and rattle the other guy’s cage a bit but make sure everyone involved can skate off the ice unassisted when the smoke clears.  Some teams even sign players for the unspoken and unofficial job of “enforcer.”  These guys make sure that the team’s prize players aren’t man-handled and any dirty hit can earn an opponent a quick visit with the enforcer’s flying fists.  I understand this is a necessary aspect of the game and I honestly don’t have a problem with it . 

Having said that, I see hockey becoming more violent in a very disturbing way.  Anyone watching ESPN or any NHL game in the past 3 weeks knows about the vicious hit Chris Simon laid on Ryan Hollweg on March 8.  Obviously Tootoo and Simon are 2 players who can’t control themselves and have taken the hockey player’s “god given right to fight” to a dangerous level that I don’t think has any place in NHL hockey.  Clean fights have a great place in hockey but a unchecked retaliatory violence does not. 

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