Now today I saw something I just can no longer ignore. In an English hockey league game, a player was being escorted off the ice by officials when he turned and charged the goalie. Now of course, goalies being sacred, this resulted in an all out bench-clearing brawl. It even brought out players from the penalty box. This is getting despicable and of course actions like this are simply shrugged off as being “part of the game”. Well I don’t buy it. When people first put on skates and put together this game, which I love by the way, fighting was not part of it. Fighting has become an incurable, sick part of the game that is commonly accepted like an incurable disease. It’s INBRED into the culture of hockey and that is a shame because to me all fighting represents is a lack of respect and lack of honour for yourself and everyone else involved. Especially when the pros are doing it and empowering the millions of young men and women all around the hockey playing world to act in the same disrespectful manner.
The worst part of this whole debacle is that the culture can change and fighting can cease to exist in the game but people have to want that change and no one in hockey circles is stepping to the forefront and being brave enough to stand up to this “monster in the closet”. I can see into the future and two things are going to end up killing this game that we dearly love; 1)the cost of playing hockey at any level and 2)the violence that has destroyed how great the game once was. I understand that energy levels get heightened and adrenaline begin to control the brain but there is a better way. The game can be physical and aggressive and graceful all at the same time but fighting does not have to be a part of it. It all has to start with a few brave souls willing to stand up for what is right to get the game back to its intense and amazing potential.