Do you still consider boxing to be the most violent sports game? What about hockey? Don’t be surprised: hockey fights are packed with honor and respect for the opponent. It is not just naked emotions and empty attempts to inflict physical damage, but a moral shock and revenge for injustice to the team. Where did hockey fights come from and why is it considered normal? On the dangerous games below
From the beginning, when hockey was still a street game, fights were an integral part of the game. Battles increased in intensity, some players were even being picked up by the police. The worst is the criminal cases and deaths of the players:
1. Toronto goalkeeper Chuck Tyner beat a referee who admitted to taking the goal. Tyner went to court.
2. In 1905, Allan Loney killed Alcide Laurin. Laurin slapped Loney in the jaw and in response received a stick in the temple. This is the first recorded death of an ice hockey player after a fight. Loney was charged with murder, but after five hours of discussion, the jury reversed the verdict to “manslaughter.” Defense witnesses said that Loney’s strike was either instincts or self-defense. The court dropped the charges and the case was dismissed.
3. In 1907, Owen McCourt died similarly. Ottawa forward Charles Masson was charged with murder. McCourt got a stick in his head and died the next morning. Witnesses spoke in defense of Masson and stated that he had been hit several times before the deadly incident. The jury acquitted Masson and suggested that the law be strengthened for those who provoke and fight.
The NHL appeared in 1917, but by this time aggressive behavior and fights had increased and it became a natural phenomenon in hockey at the amateur and professional levels. The NHL took five years to shake the familiar environment: in 1922, a five-minute penalty for ice fights appeared.
Over the past 10 years, the number of fights in the NHL has decreased by 70%. According to the NHL hockey fights, the 2018/19 season recorded a historical low of 226 fights / less than 0.2 per game. Now, this is an exceptional measure. Two years before, there were 372 fights. In other US leagues, a noticeable drop: 0.45 fights per match in the 2008/09 season, 0.25 over 10 years.
Today the game mentality has changed. This is a change in the philosophy of the game. Awareness of health as the main human value has changed the game.
You can also read about Manson’s latest fight at play here