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The Fifth Estate: The Code


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Interesting documentary on fighting. Features Don Cherry, Bob McCown, Marty McSorley, Nick Kypreos, Georges Laraque, Donald Brashear, father of Don Sanderson, possibly one or two others (in no particular order).

If you're in Canada, you should be able to view it online: http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Shows/the_fifth_...5/ID=1452468449

I just ordered the book, I think it's based on the book. Not sure I want to wait for the book or watch it and read the book after. <_<

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I couldn't resist, I had to watch it. I've been so pumped to read this book, hope it comes soon.

They bring up some good points, but I believe that fighting is a part of hockey. I don't agree with the "staged fights", but I do believe without fighting, hockey would be much dirtier.

If it wasn't for McSorely, I'm pretty sure someone would've taken a run at Gretzky in the 80's, cutting his career short. Having McSorely by his side, sent the message, "you touch Gretz, you'll have to answer to me...".

I think the issue we have today-just like with the Brashear incident-players aren't going by or respecting the code anymore. And it should be taught at a young age, the rules for fighting(the unwritten code). We don't need fighting for entertainment value, we're already watching a hockey, that's the entertainment(a good fight is just a perk). The enforcer and fighting is meant to keep players in line. Like I started to say, the rules concerning fighting should be enforced at a young age(no pun intended or maybe it was :P ). You go after a guy cos you simply don't like him, well, you're going to be benched for a shift or 2 (which translates to not very much icetime if you're an enforcer). You go after a guy cos he sent your captain into the boards head 1st, then you're doing your job. You continue to fight for the wrong reason (like Patrick Roy's son-which was completely unnecessary), you sit out a few games. It's situations like in the "Q" with Roy, that gives fighting a bad name and causes confusion for younger players.

Keep fighting in the game, but go back to the code and respect it! You only fight to protect a teammate or to save face. Let's face it, an enforcer that backs down from a fight, won't be very intimidating. What makes an enforcer effective, is the intimidation factor. If you step out of line he'll kickc your butt.You need to keep that intimidation to keep other teams in line.

Larry Robinson early on in his career, set the tone. In his 1st year, he took on some pretty big heavy weights. After that 1st season, all he had to do was stare down a player or point his finger and the point was taken. He didn't fight very often, he didn't have to. He showed in his rookie season that he could trade punches with the best of them. Not to say he never fought again, but in most cases he didn't have to. When teams started to take liberties, Robinson would drop the gloves and reminded everyone why you didn't touch the Habs stars.

Unfortunately for BGL, he takes on too many causes, which in a very big way, crippled him and seriously handicapped his intimidation factor and his game. When Bettman started to talk about taking fighting out of hockey, BGL (the always ready and willing spokesperson of any cause) stepped up to the plate and became the poster boy for enforcers. He didn't do it for himself, he did for all the young enforcers in the minor leagues looking to break into the NHL with their fists. It was BGL who approached Bettman and asked him for a chance to prove that fighting could stay in the game, if players respected the rules. So, Bettman put forth a list of demands, which BGL had no choice to respect if he wanted to keep fighting in the NHL. I'm sure during his time here, BGL would've loved to grab a guy for taking liberties with his teammates. But unfortunately for BGL (and the ultimately Habs), he had Bettman taping him on the shoulder and whispering in his ear, "remember our deal... Got to play by the rules...".

It was a noble thing he did, but in the end it did more harm than good. Teams around the league knew that BGL was the enforcer spokesperson and he had his own set of rules (put forth by the league/bettman), that he had to respect and follow to a "t". So, they knew they could take liberties with the Habs players and if BGL came up to them, all they had to do was turn down his invitation to fight and there was nothing that BGL could do. It's unfortunate cos the Habs payed the most for the deal BGL made with bettman.

Georges Laraque took a lot of heat in Montreal. I'm sure that at least 80% of the people who criticized him, weren't aware of the deal he made. He sealed his fate when he made this deal with bettman, he basically tied his own hands behind his back. Which made him less effective and the least intimidating enforcer in the league.

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I also strongly agree that staged fights are bull crap....need to be abolished from the game.....so sick of that .
Yeah, I don't get the staged fights. Seriously, people pay good money to see a hockey game, it's not like there has to be a fight every game. You want to see a fight, go see a boxing match or wrestling/grappling/ultimate fighting.

I believe bettman deep down, doesn't want to take fighting out of the NHL. The physical aspect of the game (fighting) is a drawing point for many Americans. It helps sell the game in the states. But he had to do something, fighting in the minor leagues was getting out of control, he was getting a lot of pressure.

I always wondered if Lemieux would've had a longer career, if he had a bodyguard like Gretzky did. Given his size, most thought he could take care of himself. But he didn't like all the rough stuff. I know his cancer had a lot to do with cutting his career short, but it was also the fact that he was an open target. Because he was big and most believed he could take care of himself, he often dragged defending players with him to the net. He has since said, that it caused him a lot of back issues.

Or if the rocket had a bodyguard like McSorely, would he have been suspended that fateful night?

Since the NHL started, it's always been open season on stars. Bobby Orr's career was cut short due to this, you just couldn't stop the guy, so defending players looking for anyway to slow him down, started to target his knees-which in the end, did the trick. And like with Richard, the league let it happen, which is why the players started to police themselves.

If they take fighting out of the league (get rid of enforcers), it'll be open season on lil players and stars like Gionta, Parise, St Louis. They can take it out of hockey, but I think it'll drastically change the game, for the worse.

I agree with Cherry and Burke on this one.

Just look back, since the 70's, all our cups were won with an enforcer in the roster. Maybe not a heavy weight, but they had someone who would protect and punish anyone who took liberties with our stars.

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I couldn't resist, I had to watch it. I've been so pumped to read this book, hope it comes soon.

They bring up some good points, but I believe that fighting is a part of hockey. I don't agree with the "staged fights", but I do believe without fighting, hockey would be much dirtier.

If it wasn't for McSorely, I'm pretty sure someone would've taken a run at Gretzky in the 80's, cutting his career short. Having McSorely by his side, sent the message, "you touch Gretz, you'll have to answer to me...".

I think the issue we have today-just like with the Brashear incident-players aren't going by or respecting the code anymore. And it should be taught at a young age, the rules for fighting(the unwritten code). We don't need fighting for entertainment value, we're already watching a hockey, that's the entertainment(a good fight is just a perk). The enforcer and fighting is meant to keep players in line. Like I started to say, the rules concerning fighting should be enforced at a young age(no pun intended or maybe it was :P ). You go after a guy cos you simply don't like him, well, you're going to be benched for a shift or 2 (which translates to not very much icetime if you're an enforcer). You go after a guy cos he sent your captain into the boards head 1st, then you're doing your job. You continue to fight for the wrong reason (like Patrick Roy's son-which was completely unnecessary), you sit out a few games. It's situations like in the "Q" with Roy, that gives fighting a bad name and causes confusion for younger players.

Keep fighting in the game, but go back to the code and respect it! You only fight to protect a teammate or to save face. Let's face it, an enforcer that backs down from a fight, won't be very intimidating. What makes an enforcer effective, is the intimidation factor. If you step out of line he'll kickc your butt.You need to keep that intimidation to keep other teams in line.

Larry Robinson early on in his career, set the tone. In his 1st year, he took on some pretty big heavy weights. After that 1st season, all he had to do was stare down a player or point his finger and the point was taken. He didn't fight very often, he didn't have to. He showed in his rookie season that he could trade punches with the best of them. Not to say he never fought again, but in most cases he didn't have to. When teams started to take liberties, Robinson would drop the gloves and reminded everyone why you didn't touch the Habs stars.

Unfortunately for BGL, he takes on too many causes, which in a very big way, crippled him and seriously handicapped his intimidation factor and his game. When Bettman started to talk about taking fighting out of hockey, BGL (the always ready and willing spokesperson of any cause) stepped up to the plate and became the poster boy for enforcers. He didn't do it for himself, he did for all the young enforcers in the minor leagues looking to break into the NHL with their fists. It was BGL who approached Bettman and asked him for a chance to prove that fighting could stay in the game, if players respected the rules. So, Bettman put forth a list of demands, which BGL had no choice to respect if he wanted to keep fighting in the NHL. I'm sure during his time here, BGL would've loved to grab a guy for taking liberties with his teammates. But unfortunately for BGL (and the ultimately Habs), he had Bettman taping him on the shoulder and whispering in his ear, "remember our deal... Got to play by the rules...".

It was a noble thing he did, but in the end it did more harm than good. Teams around the league knew that BGL was the enforcer spokesperson and he had his own set of rules (put forth by the league/bettman), that he had to respect and follow to a "t". So, they knew they could take liberties with the Habs players and if BGL came up to them, all they had to do was turn down his invitation to fight and there was nothing that BGL could do. It's unfortunate cos the Habs payed the most for the deal BGL made with bettman.

Georges Laraque took a lot of heat in Montreal. I'm sure that at least 80% of the people who criticized him, weren't aware of the deal he made. He sealed his fate when he made this deal with bettman, he basically tied his own hands behind his back. Which made him less effective and the least intimidating enforcer in the league.

Really great posts FirstStar. I haven't watched the video yet (I'm at work), but I LOVE the point you made in the part that I bolded.

I used to really enjoy going to watch my local QMJHL team, the Mooseheads. I wouldn't say I was a really devoted fan or anything (Habs always come first :)) but it was a great, relatively inexpensive way to enjoy a night of exciting junior hockey. The crowd was always into it and even when I went with friends who weren't generally hockey fans we always had a good time.

Nowadays, though, it's a bit of a different story (and not just because they're a terrible team right now :P). When you go to a Mooseheads game you're pretty much guaranteed to see two or three fights a night, and they're rarely about 'protecting' anyone. Depending on which team is in town and the history that they have with the Moose, three fights in a game can end up as being a conservative estimate.

Opening face-off? Fight. Player goes near a goalie? Big scrum in front of the net. Someone gets checked legally with any force whatsoever? Fight, followed by scrum. Legitimate scoring chance with a few guys battling in close to the net? Scrum, followed by a few fights and the goalies circling out to glare at each other near centre ice. It's pointless, it's juvenile, it slows down the game and most of all it's BORING. I came to watch a hockey game, not a schoolyard 'rumble'. There's no flow to the games whatsoever, there's no intensity, and as a result there's no entertainment. And that's coming from a hockey fan... good luck getting anyone who doesn't love the sport already to come back and watch another game.

Now don't get me wrong, I love a good, spirited tilt as much as the next guy. But back to the players themselves, it hardly seems that their hearts are in it during half of these 'fights'. It's like they feel that fighting is some sort of obligation they have to fulfill in order to be a hockey player. I hate to wax nostalgic, but I think we really need to find some way to go back to the days of guys like Robinson and McSorely, guys that actually intimidated the other team into behaving better. I don't know if someone's teaching these kids to play like this or if they're just doing what they see on TV, but someone should sure as Hell teach them to stop.

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