Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why College Hockey Needs to Consider Changing Rules on Fighting

I know this is a taboo subject for the NCAA. They don't want anyone talking about the idea.

However, it's time for them to take a good, long, hard look at the world we're living in. Hockey is different than it used to be. Players are generally bigger, faster, stronger, and even dirtier. As we learn more about hits to the head and the impact they can have on people who get hit high, player safety is more important than ever.

Changing the strict rules on fighting certainly doesn't look like something that promotes better player safety.

In fairness, though, the fact that the NCAA strictly prohibits fighting and automatically suspends players who fight doesn't help. There's a fine line between promoting fighting and banning it altogether, and college hockey would be wise to find that happy medium.

After all, look at the downside to not having fighting in the college game.

The memories of this hit:

... spoil over into this incident.

Then, when the players aren't allowed to settle things on the ice, this happens:

You can blame Garrett Roe for diving around all you want, too. Roe is that kind of player, no matter what you may think of his scoring ability. It's totally understandable why he would be under the skin of opponents with his propensity for embellishment.

However, Darcy Zajac was out of line, and the WCHA was probably wrong not to consider supplemental discipline for his actions.

Anyway, perhaps this totally preventable sequence of events will give people a good idea why fighting in hockey is rarely a bad thing.


Anonymous said...

Bruce: Did this really happen? If so, how did he avoid jail?

Goon said...

Bruce really awesome blog post. Anonymous that story is true.