Fighting in the NHL has always been the subject of criticism within some circles, but it has nevertheless remained a part of the game. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr might want to change that, based on a CBC/Radio-Canada report.
Recently, he’s been meeting with players on the issue and brought it up in an April 25 meeting with agents.
Please note that all quotes were originally in French and have been put through Google Translate.
“Nothing concrete has been announced to us, but I felt that Fehr was motivated by a genuine desire to address the issue of fighting,” said agent Robert Sauvé.
Former NHL player Gilles Lupien, who isn’t happy about the state of violence in hockey, was also in attendance.
“Fehr told us he was trying to understand the dynamics of fights and he was struggling to understand an athlete can get to defeat another or to injure him in the course of a game. It is a culture that has not known when was working in other sports,” Lupien explained.
Lupien wants to see coaches pushed for their players fights, believing that will address the problem.
Meanwhile Sauvé dismissed the argument that reducing fighting might hurt interest in the NHL.
“Look what’s happening in the QMJHL. Some measures have been taken in recent years to reduce the number of fights. There never was so little, and the audience have never been higher!”