This is a new feature which will run on Blueshirt Banter. Anytime you see an author's take in the headline it's a column from that specific author. All stories posted as columns are the views of the author and not necessarily anyone else on the site. Enjoy ...
Derek Boogaard took punch after punch after punch after punch. The head, the face, the chest, the punches hit just about everywhere. Derek Boogaard took those punches because that was his job at the time. For the best interest of his health, however, those punches should not have been taken. Boogaard should not have fought, and Boogaard should not have had to deal with the post-fight affects of the fights.
On a personal note, a friend of mine was playing in a College hockey game three years ago. He's not the best hockey player out there, so a lot of times his coach will send him out with one mission, "give the team a lift." He knew what that meant the day he suffered his first concussion. Trying to duck from a punch to the face, the punch instead hit my friend square in the forehead, as his helmet was off. As far as I'm concerned, my friend has never been the same.
Join me after the jump for more.
Fighting in hockey seems a lot simpler than it is. You fight, the crowd goes nuts, you serve your five minutes, repeat, or don't play much. The devastating reality is that each time a player goes through that cycle they are endangering their own, and their opponents lives.
With the research we now have following the deaths of many fantastic hockey players-I cannot fathom how players are still allowed to bash each others brains out. For what, money? To "lift their teams?" To give them a "role in the NHL?" To continue "NHL tradition," and not "wuss out?"
If fighting is allowed for monetary or historical reasons, I can't see how anyone involved with the decision making process can look at themselves in the mirror and not be disgusted. If it's to give the players jobs, are they really being helped? Hiring someone to increase their chances of serious injury is worse than not hiring them at all, if you ask me.
Every time I see Brandon Prust fight, I cringe a little. What if Ryan Callahan goes out to fight to spark his team, and suffers a concussion? What if he comes back from that concussion too soon? The players want to win and will do anything to win. The job of the decision makers should be to protect the players from themselves as much as others. That job is not being done well enough.
I understand that fights are fun to watch, and a part of hockey, and all of that, but the health of the players should reign supreme over all other factors.
Should, but will it ever?