Will fighting in the NHL take a body blow?
While most people have been watching the trade deadline, fighting in ice hockey is being debated once again. Will this affect the Chicago Blackhawks if it ends up in the NHL?
As reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) said it was going to vote on whether or not to ban fighting from the league, but then said they were postponing the vote until the summer. Why does this matter to the Chicago Blackhawks?
Quoted in the article was former Blackhawks defenseman, now a politician in the province of Quebec, Enrico Ciccone. (Pictured above)
“Every morning I get up and I still wonder, is it going to happen to me? Do I have CTE? Am I going to lose my memory?” Ciccone told reporters Wednesday.
“This is something that I live with because of my colleagues and the players that I played against that have committed suicide, that have problems these days, that have died.”
The concerns about long-term injury from playing hockey has been an ongoing issue, and even Blackhawks great Stan Mikita was found to have signs of CTE. (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).
Everyone wants the sport to be played hard and intensely, but no one wants to see a career cut short by preventable injuries.
Players come through QMJHL and into NHL organizations often. For Chicago, Matthew Highmore was playing for a QMJHL club when they signed him. Current goalie prospect Alexis Gravel plays there.
In fact, according to a list compiled for the NHL the projected number one pick, Alexis Lafreniere, is currently playing there.
The league is a development league, and the history of the league will show you some of the players that have come through it.
The QMJHL can be a step directly into a serious pro career for young players, but the game has changed. Even if fighting has seen a decline, is it time to ban it?
Not everyone thinks so. While the QMJHL may be mulling whether or not rid the league of fighting, some current NHLer’s don’t see anything changing anytime soon, as Kyle Clifford said in a CBC article,
“It’d be a while before you see that,” said the bruising Toronto Maple Leafs winger. “Eventually, I’m sure they’ll go that way.”
Many people, such as ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski, have already pointed out that fighting has decreased in the NHL, and that trend probably isn’t going to reverse itself.
Love it or loathe it, fighting may be taking a step towards being on its way out. If a league that prepares young players to become professionals bans fighting, what does that say for fighting in the NHL?
What do you think?