Blog Entry

Shanahan: NHL 'looking closely' at fighting

Posted on: September 30, 2011 4:55 pm
 

By Brian Stubits

Since Brendan Shanahan has taken over, the eradication of head shots in the league has been priority No. 1. Clearly, it is keeping him busy as eight players have been suspended in the last eight days.

Down the priority list is the possibility of removing something else from hockey: fighting. We stress possibility because he didn't come out and say he wants to get rid of it, just that the NHL is "looking at [it] closely."

Specifically, here's what he had to say to CBC show Mansbridge One on One that will air next week.

"We're definitely very serious in making advancements in studying blows to the head; we have to also look at fighting," Shanahan said. "What the final decision is, I can't tell you now. That's something we're obviously going to have to look at, but there's no way we would ever deny that it's not something we're looking at closely."

So far, just about everything Shanahan has done has been almost universally praised. But that would change in a heartbeat if fighting were taken out of the game under his watch. Again, to clarify, in no way is he pushing for it to be removed, just that the league will keep a close eye.

This has become a Lightning rod of a topic this summer after the deaths of three former enforcers, Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak. No connection can be drawn between their on-ice roles as fighters and them taking their own lives, but that hasn't stopped plenty of people from doing just that. Three times smells an awful lot like a trend.

We don't want to rehash the discussion on fighting in the sport, that's already been done. We had an informal poll up over the summer and about 75 percent of users are against abolishing fighting.

I sincerely doubt the NHL is much closer to doing anything on fighting in the sport yet, but if nothing else they are scrutinizing it more.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Comments

Since: Feb 3, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2011 8:41 am
 

Shanahan: NHL 'looking closely' at fighting

Funny, Shanahan never had a problem pummeling an opponents face...




Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: October 1, 2011 8:31 am
 

Shanahan: NHL 'looking closely' at fighting

Shanny if you take fighting out of hockey Im burning my #14 Wings jersey and you will officially supplant Bettman as public enemy #1 - and I didnt think that was even possible



Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2011 8:14 am
 

Shanahan: NHL 'looking closely' at fighting

Stop trying to make hockey a pussy sport. Fighting is part of the game. A game that's been doing fine with fighting for 100 years. I agree on the hard hits to the head and whatever but let the boys fight.



Since: Oct 1, 2011
Posted on: October 1, 2011 12:26 am
 

Shanahan: NHL 'looking closely' at fighting

If I remember correctly, Shanahan could handle himself.  



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: October 1, 2011 12:16 am
 

Shanahan: NHL 'looking closely' at fighting

As a die-hard fan of the sport of Hockey, if they take fighting out of the game, you can say goodbye to a large percentage of fans.  Fighting has always been part of the game and it has its place.  I don't watch the games for the fighting, but the players do fine policing it themselves.  I hope this never happens.


What fighting? Fighting has basically been eliminated by the NHL for years now, haven't you noticed?  Yeah, you have the odd brawl, VERY ODD brawl but other then that 90 percent of the so called fights are wrestling matches and most of the time it's either good players going at it or players that aren't even relevant in the NHL and never will be. The NHL has taken so many steps to take fighting out of the game, what else do you need to see to stop watching?

When they took the center ice line out of play it resulted in a faster game, less off side stoppages. They brought back the delayed off side which brings the number of stoppages down even more.  The instigator penalty changes everything as well, it has been a long time since players policed themselves like you want them to do.

This isn't the same league anymore.... personally I still love the NHL. I don't like some of the changes they made but hey, it is what it is.



Since: Jun 1, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2011 11:05 pm
 

Shanahan: NHL 'looking closely' at fighting

Sidney Crosby wasn't cheap-shotted by either Steckel or Hedman.



Since: Jun 1, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2011 11:03 pm
 

Shanahan: NHL 'looking closely' at fighting

As a die-hard fan of the sport of Hockey, if they take fighting out of the game, you can say goodbye to a large percentage of fans.  Fighting has always been part of the game and it has its place.  I don't watch the games for the fighting, but the players do fine policing it themselves.  I hope this never happens.




Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2011 8:43 pm
 

Replying to STARBLAZER---

Since this website doesn't allow you know who the replies are directed towards.   

So if you LOVE Hockey  than you must love it the way it is.  Who cares if it is the only sport that allows fighting players to stay in the game.  The NFL is the only league where you can tackle someone, Baseball is the only sport where you can hit someone in the head with a projectile (on purpose0 and stay in the game, and the NBA is the only game where their collective barganing agreement realizes that many people smoke pot..........and basically allows for the smoking of the weed.  I give the NBA ten years before it folds......... 



Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2011 8:37 pm
 

HERE WE GO. A Kinder Gentler NHL....

This guy-- ( who has dropped his gloves a few times) will now try to ban fighting due to knee jerk reactions syndrome.  It will cost less skilled players money, and jobs.  And on a side note, I sat 3 rows behind Shanahan at a WBA sanctioned fight in 1999.  He seemed to enjoy it.  Stop with the dumming down and Wuss"iffying" of AMERICA and sports.



Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2011 8:30 pm
 

Shanahan: NHL 'looking closely' at fighting

Shanahan didn't complain when Bob Probert  and Scott Stevens protected his butt
How many games did Shanahan play with Stevens or Probert?Tongue out


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com