Fighting has become an issue. Following Fedorak getting KO'd last Wednesday and having to be taken off the ice on a stretcher, the issue of whether fighting has a place in the NHL has been renewed. Colin Campbell, idiot extraordinaire, has decided it's time to question the role of fighting. Even more shocking, MacT has agreed with him.
Actually, it was NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell who first dropped the gloves by suggesting it might be time to at least ask the question: do we still need bare-knuckle bouts in hockey?
Edmonton Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish yesterday agreed, and good for him.
The fear is players are bigger and stronger and better trained as fighters these days, making a toe-to-toe scrap more dangerous than it's ever been.
I'm not sure if MacT only agrees that it should be addressed or if he truly believes fighting should be removed from hockey. I'd be quite disappointed with him if it's the latter.
"He was bang on," said MacTavish of Campbell's comments about questioning fighting in hockey. "A guy in his position has to ask the question. I know we were all watching it live and it was a pretty ugly situation. It left a knot in all of our stomachs just watching it."
I love Don Cherry's response to all this and, in particular, Colin Campbell's assertion that the players are bigger today.
Does anyone except the liberal media want fighting removed from hockey? Majority of players and fans want to keep it. Isn't that all who matters? The NHL needs to quit screwing around with the game. I've had to endure the addition of the embarrassing shootout, but please, stop it.
I agree with Brian Burke, just because one player ends up on a stretcher, a debate should not be triggered. Fighting has already been reduced and it's a shell of what it used to be. I'd like to see it bulked up to be honest. Get rid of the instigator rule for starters. It's not just fighting that has been reduced, it's the hitting. While I enjoy the skilled play, I miss the physical part of the game.
Oh and the Oilers lost again last night, shut out once again. Ales Hemsky returned on Friday but did not play last night. What a difference between the two games. Hemsky is the catalyst. His return on Friday was absolute magic. While the boys still played a respectable game early on last night before going down 4-0, Hemsky was sorely missed.
We have also seen the return of Tom Gilbert, a defenseman who is going to make the team next year. I'd be surprised if he didn't. I would love to see Greene shipped out of town. I'm not sure that will happen, because MacT has an inexplicable hard-on for him.
Our defense for next year will have Smith, Staios, and Smid for sure. Hedja is a possibility as is Gilbert. I'm assuming a trade/free agent signing will bring in someone to play on the top defense pairing. That's 6 players, and Greene could be the 7th guy (or trade him and add Roy as the 7th). Greene's minus rating (third worst) and penalty minutes (leads the team) would not be missed.
So the Oilers will head out on a season-ending six game road trip. Will they win again? That is THE question.