Hockey: 'Stangs coach weighs in on fighting

"In the OHL, the players are aged 16 to 20 and in university, they're typically 21 to 26, and their view on fighting is usually different. As they get older, they don't see fighting as showmanship any more.

"It's not used as a tool in our league. You're not going to get me to say fighting should be banned outright in hockey but it's not part of our game."
Clarke Singer, Western men's hockey coach, in the London Free Press
It's a pretty good read from Ryan Pyette on why there's no fighting in Canadian university hockey, just as there's none in international play. Pyette talks to a Western prof who notes acculturation process is different when you represent a school or a nation, rather than the 20 people in the dressing room.

Singer also noted that the 28-game schedule and the fact a game misconduct means you sit out the next game too — the equivalent of sitting out three games in an 82-game NHL or AHL season — is also a pretty good deterrent. Most university teams have a taxi squad of 5-7 players, and if you have to sit out a game, you might not get it back.

A counter-argument could be that, well, university hockey has no fighting and it struggles to draw spectators. In the wake of Don Sanderson's death, no one's going to try to advance that line of reasoning, so-called.

OHL grads adjust to university rules (Ryan Pyette, London Free Press)
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


  1. Tim in London1/17/2009 10:57 pm


    I'm not going to say that hockey would be worse w/out fighting. I like legit fights, not the WWE type that you get occasionally. My concern if you remove it is the refereeing. If you've seen university hockey you see the impact of no fear. Little players sticking opponents w/ no fear of retribution, and the refs cannot control the stick fouls. If you could promise me the game would be controlled by the officials, I'm all in. But, it isn't going to happen. Happy New Year by the way!

  2. Tim,

    It's not the worse thing as a honest outgrowth of emotion. My honest feeling is hockey fights will die out of their own accord. There's just less tolerance for physical violence in society in general.

  3. Tim in London1/18/2009 9:09 am


    I agree completely.

    /randomly punches Sager in jewels