Wednesday, March 11, 2009

BGL thinks the NHL is run by a bunch of fucking pussies

HF4 will be along with a game review a bit later. In the meantime, I thought I would mention I loved some of Big George Laraque's comments to TSN's Darren Dreger in light of the GMs' efforts to curb fighting in the NHL. They want to have a 10 minute misconduct for "staged fights" (but those are the best kind!), and that really pissed him off:

"Stupidest thing ever!"
"I think it's a joke"

BGL thinks the proposals will lead to the elimination of the enforcer:

"This will take the one-dimensional player out of the NHL because that's who they will say starts a staged fight."

Like, say, you?

BGL is also annoyed that no enforcer is involved in these decisions:

"No one in that meeting does it (fights) for a living. Why am I not there, or Boogaard, or a player who this is directly going to impact?"

Yes, that's what Committee meetings need, more Boooooogaard!

To close, BGL said he just doesn't give a shit anymore:

"I'm aware of the criticism I will face for speaking up and being vocal. I'm trying to protect the other guys. I'm at the end of my career, for me it doesn't matter."

We haven't really had any fighting debates around here. This seems like a good a time as any. My opinion? I'm puttin' on the foil as we speak.


Gino Tomac said...

I wish BGL brought that anger to the dressing room.
Imagine getting ready for a game and BGL is right beside you bashing his head into his locker over and over while saying, "There will be blood tonight."

Now imagine how thankful you'd be not being the opposition.

It's too bad that isn't who BGL is. His presence on the ice should always cause the other team to shit themselves. Instead, he's just a player that let's you skate by while he tries to have a chat with your enforcer. Ho hum.

Chris Nilan said...

Good fight last night between Belak and Brashear:

lights out

Big Boy said...

I'll rip off my own comment from another blog:

Fighting is bad for business.

As soon as the NHL truly bans fighting with real penalties, the REST of the family will be interested/allowed to watch the games. Until then, NHL hockey's appeal will be limited to Dads, basically, especially in emerging tropical hockey markets like Phoenix.

Personally I don't really mind fighting, but I also don't want my 10 year old to get the idea that that is what is authentic about the sport, that that is what "real" hockey players do.

Unfortunately fighting is what most people associate with the game; those same _most people_ who do not watch games because of it and who in the last years have moved over to NASCAR/Soccer/Golf/Curling/younameit.

PS I'll fight anyone who disagrees with this comment.

shamos said...

....It's a part of the game. I get pissed when people get all these great ideas to make the game better. (aside from the red-line rule) they're all pretty silly in my opinion.

I'm not a fan of the instigator rule, I think Hockey is a game that can manage itself. think about when a game gets chippy and rough, I think it's better hockey and more exciting than any other sport.

In closing I think that fights should be like penalized in "Blades Of Steel" fashion, loser goes to the box.

Anonymous said...

That's fucked, I don't understand why the "dad" can't explain to the kid that fighting is bad, and you should only do it to defend yourself and your friends. Kids aren't that simple, they can understand what's right and wrong, they just need proper guidance. "Only do it if push comes to shove" sorta thing. Fighting is great when standing up for others. Why sit back and invite someone to put a stick upside your head...

Get hockey out of those tropical areas! The reason no one watches is because college football and basketball beat them out. The only reason they go to a hockey game is to get out of the heat.

saskhab said...

My favourite quote of BGL's in there was about how if this rule came into effect, then why should enforcers even bother to show up to training camp.

What I found funny about that was that BGL seemed to take that exact same attitude towards this year's training camp w/r/t his poor conditioning level.

Although I'm with Georges for his criticism... they should've focused on the safety issues first, and they didn't address those at all. They missed the mark again.

Chris Nilan said...

Top 5 fighters of all time:

Big George
Bob Probert
Larry Robinson
Gordie Howe
Dave Brown

HabsFan29 said...

@Chris - don't sell yourself short! You were up there!

Tom said...

Until then, NHL hockey's appeal will be limited to Dads, basically, especially in emerging tropical hockey markets like Phoenix.

Don't let the facts get in the way of your argument. If you actually look at the crowd in Sunbelt markets you'll clearly see a high proportion of women and children in the crowd. I don't know where you are getting the idea that it's an all-male crowd when that couldn't be farther from the truth.

In fact I think I remember reading a couple of years ago a marketing survey that showed the NHL has the highest ratio of female fans among the major pro sports -- "fan" meaning someone who actually follows a team, not just someone who puts on a cute skirt for the Super Bowl party.

Big Boy said...

Thanks for proving my point, Tom. At least there ARE superbowl parties and the mainstream is aware of football's existence. Hockey could aspire to such heights.

I guess I am just speaking from experience. My wife, for example, had an interest in college hockey where the game was fast and almost entirely without fighting. When it comes to the NHL, she has little interest in watching mostly because of the fighting and demurs when it comes to letting the kids watch.

Anyway, as I said, now that you disagreed with me, we are going to have to fight. Put 'em up! The wives can watch.

TH said...

Re best fighters...It was fun watching people think about going after Wendell Clark and then think better of it when they saw that look in his eye that said "If you drop your gloves, I'll rip off your arm and beat you to death with it". Fun times, those.

Ian Vitro said...

There isn't THAT much fighting in the NHL (0.62 fights/game according to In any case I'm a lot less upset about kids seeing BGL squaring off face-to-face with someone than I am about them seeing Sidney Crosby suckerpunching some dude in the nuts like 3 times.

Well, theoretically, anyways, seeing as how BGL doesn't actually fight anyone anymore.

It doesn't really matter what the GMs or BGL think about fighting, the 1-dimensional player in the NHL is pretty much dead anyways. BGL has shown us that this season...

kevincrumbs said...

Great, ban fighting in the NHL and we can end up like the fucking NBA with all the posturing in the world and these "fighting" where grown thugs push each other around like they're in the third grade.

The fights themselves aren't that exciting to me as so many of them just look like some bizarro version of Dancing With the Stars but I am glad that hockey has the option of fighting.

This is off topic but basketball totally sucks. I hate living in a market where we only have one NBA team and everyone is considered about Rudy Fernandez's injury. YAWN.

Baroque said...

I don't like fighting because it seems like a sideshow that just slows down the game.

The clock stops, everyone stops skating and passing and actually, you know, PLAYING the game and watches two guys circle each other like crabs waving their claws to see who is bigger, then there are a few seconds of wild flailing followed by both guys falling over, at which point the sticks and gloves are picked up off the ice, they have a nice sit-down for a few minutes, and everyone else actually resumes the game - which was the point of the two teams meeting, anyway.

On the plus side, I know that if I grab a snack or toss another load of laundry in the dryer, I won't miss anything important - like a goal or a big save, for example. I don't hate fighting so much as find it silly and boring.

And I don't think there is any reason to ban fighting, as it seems to be gradually leaving the game on its own as every player on the roster has to fill some kind of role on the team. If he's useless most of the time, he's going to make incredibly little and not play very often because he doesn't help the team win. Let the evolution of the game take its less-fighting course and stop arguing about it - instead concentrate on the more important issues - like head shots (which again the GMs screwed up on).

Number31 said...

I'd like to see the Boogie Man in a commitee meeting. That would be interesting...

Anyway, I don't like staged fights but their suggestions are stupid anyway. Heat of the moment/punish an idiot/defend yourself 'cause a caveman attacks you are the only kind of fights for me. Stewie is the new Chris Nilan. Woo!

Tom said...

Thanks for proving my point, Tom. At least there ARE superbowl parties and the mainstream is aware of football's existence. Hockey could aspire to such heights.

BB, I think that has more to do with the laundry list of negative marketing factors:
- Worthless TV contracts
- Every 10th season lost to lockout
- Extremely poor on-ice product between '95 and '05
- Disproportionate marketing of one superstar above all others
- Dynasties in Detroit and New Jersey instead of NYC and LA
- The fact that hockey is, realistically, never going to come close to football in general popularity

Fighting is pretty distant to any of those in terms of costing the NHL a wider audience.

Sorry to hear that your wife doesn't buy in -- but remember that in the Sunbelt there are currently very few college hockey programs at all, so in those areas the idea of hockey without fighting is like baseball without wooden bats.