Goon has been raging debate over the past week about the issue of no fighting in college hockey. For those of you who follow him, you know his stance on this issue. For those of you who don't, let me bring you up to speed on what our resident homer Sioux fan thinks about the subject.
Goon is a fan of old time hockey. Old time meaning guys squaring off and throwing down, sometimes multiple times a game. Goon likes fighting in hockey. He's not alone. A lot of hockey fans enjoy the fighting aspect of the game. Then there are others, like myself, who think fighting, while it has a place in hockey, should not be a the forefront of it. To me, fighting is more of a gimmick. A way to draw causal fans to the arena. My argument is supported by the many minor league hockey teams who promise things like "a fight or your money back". I mean, really? Hockey is a skill game, a game of finesse. To dumb it down for the masses is ridiculous. I don't care if less fighting draws less fans. To me, I'd rather watch a battle of skill then a battle of fists. And I'm a huge boxing fan.
Now, Goon, in fairness, has some points to back up his argument. His thought regarding the ban on fighting in college hockey is causing more injuries. To beat a dead horse and make it deader, let's bring up the Marvin hit on Genoway (maybe the last time, maybe not). Marvin put a vicious, deliberate hit on Genoway that nearly ended his college hockey career. Marvin showed a history of bad hits, and was able to continue to do so thanks to the inability to teach him a lesson. If fighting was allowed in college hockey, one of the Sioux's enforcers (they really don't have any right now...maybe Forbort?) could go and beat him down, thus ensuring he would pay for his actions. This is an interesting point, but the question is, would a beatdown deter him from making this type of hit?
Joe, my friend and blogger, is also a fan of old time hockey. He can go toe-to-toe with anyone on fighting trivia in hockey. His stance on fighting is that it has a place in the game, but in college hockey, guys aren't mature enough to understand what a fight is all about. They are too hot-headed. They'd see a hit on one of their players and immediately want to drop the gloves. This would lead to many ejections and really, amount to nothing.
My personal stance is I do not want to see fighting in college hockey. It's a unique level where you see incredible talent; yet the game is not tainted by stoppages in play every 9 minutes with someone dropping their gloves. There's pushing and shoving, sure, but that's at every level. Hell, in high school, that was a common occurrence. It's not a big deal. But Goon does have a point that there are goons in the leagues that can make hits and hide. How can you deal with these players? Simple. Increase the penalties for vicious acts.
When Marvin hit Genoway, I don't care that it was a St. Cloud player. He should have been suspended for at least 1/2 the season. A hit like that is inexcusable and there's no question in my mind Marvin should have paid dearly for it. A St. Cloud fan will tell you he did his time. Sure...long enough to knock out the Badger captain late in the season. I'm not saying ban these guys from playing immediately, but some sort of severe punishment system would deter these guys from making hits that are dangerous. Knowing they could potentially lose a season of eligibility should be enough of a scare tactic.
But hey, what do I know? I'm just a fan of the game.