Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



If you want an argument for banning fighting in hockey, watch the video below from Sunday’s exhibition game at PPG Paints Arena: The Penguins’ Jamie Devane vs. Columbus’ Ben Harpur. Devane drops Harpur with a stiff right. Harpur is hurt. 

It’s a preseason game. It’s two fringe players trying to make an impression. I don’t blame the participants. 

But why does the NHL still allow fighting? 

Yeah, I know: Everybody likes a good scrap, the game needs to police itself, blah, blah, blah. That’s stuff said by knucklehead Canadians and loudmouth Massholes. 

But the potential is there for gratuitous injury, and it’s not relevant to the game. Only about a fifth of NHL games feature a fight. Fighting is at an all-time low. When is the last time a fight had legit effect? If so, how so? 

Fighting isn't a deterrent. The threat of fighting wouldn't prevent the New York Rangers' Jacob Trouba from hitting foes high. Only better refereeing and more stringent discipline by the NHL can do that.

Fighting in the NHL is more tradition than anything. It serves no purpose except to titillate a bunch of goofs from Ontario, Western Canada and Boston. The Spittin’ Chiclets bro crowd, too. 

The NHL should ban fighting. 

On a lighter note, this fight had to be the first time two guys both wearing No. 57 dropped the gloves. It should have been sponsored by Heinz.

Sunday was the Penguins' 10th annual "Free Game for Kids." Over 18,000 tickets were donated to youth organizations, including amateur hockey programs. That fight was exactly what those kids shouldn't see.

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