There’s a big discussion going on right now in the world of hockey about fighting. Recently, the QMJHL decided to tighten its rules around fighting. When they announced their decision, a spokesperson for the league said that general managers and coaches have been understanding and that it’s an absolute necessity to reduce the concussions players get during their careers.
The ban on fighting is expected to take effect in the summer, ahead of the next campaign. And with the ban, many have also discussed whether it should be applied in the NHL.
Well, who better to ask than one of the best fighters in the NHL? Ryan Reaves is a great enforcer and someone who is known for his physical play and his toughness on the ice.
Although there are bigger stars in the league and players who are more skillful and score more goals, Reaves is an important part of the Minnesota Wild, and his physical presence ensures that his opponents don’t get too dirty.
In light of the recent developments in the QMJHL, Reaves was interviewed to share his thoughts on what’s happening, and he had some brilliant things to say.
”That’s not gonna work at all,” Reaves said in the interview with NHL insider Jackie Redmond.
”If you’re gonna say there’s a penalty after a clean hit for a fight, so now only staged fights allowed? Or you’re just trying to get rid of fighting all together?”
Reaves also thinks that banning fighting would be a risk for the league’s star players.
”You’re trying to get fighting out of hockey; I’m telling you, some of these superstars will be laid out. You’re going to be missing guys like, you know, Crosby, he might catch a knee if there’s no repercussions for it, and then all these GMs are going to be begging for fighting to get back.
”I think it’s a slippery slope the way they’re going right now.”
Reaves also sees another risk with more strict rules. Two things may happen, according to him. In the first scenario, nobody would do anything after a hit, meaning more injuries to star players. And the other is that the team who lays a clean hit gets rewarded with a powerplay, as it wouldn’t be allowed to fight at all.
”Absolutely. So I guess my question for them is, ’When is the appropriate time to fight then?’