Since I have been a fan of the game, I have been a fan of fighting.
We learned of it from video games, from Don Cherry’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em tapes, and from watching the warriors on the ice. It was part of the game, it was part of the violence, it was part of what made it the toughest game on earth in a fans eyes. There was nothing like it in any other sport, and maybe that is part of what drew us to it as fans.
Weeks back — nearly three to be exact — Ken Dryden lent his vast knowledge of the game, and knowledge in general, to the project that Bill Simmons et al have taken up over at Grantland. The article is not only a great piece of writing, something we have come to expect from Dryden, but astonishing in its ability to bring to light the issues we face today from someone who was present during expansion-era NHL play. While many of the “old school”-ers from years passed would be reluctant to speak out on the issue, often chalking up the rough play to, “the way the game is,” Dryden faces the issues head on and takes a stand voicing the need for change.