HOCKEY FIGHTS. I posted here in praise of the National Hockey League’s emphasis for the last 5 years on the precise enforcement of the rules and the resulting improvement in skill level. This article by Kevin Clark in the Wall Street Journal is a reminder that hockey fights have not been eliminated. It’s about Kevin Boogaard, who has gone 222 NHL games without scoring a goal. Nevertheless, Boogaard was a highly-sought free agent this year and signed a four-year $6.5 million contract. He is valued because he is six foot eight inches tall and a respected “enforcer.” He has also taught enforcement skills to young players. Clark says: “Three years ago, he put on a hockey fighting academy in Regina, Saskatchewan, a four-session workout in which he showed fighting videos to campers, then brought them on the ice to try for themselves while wearing mouth guards, face shields and boxing gloves. Ninety children attended.” For those who are interested in hockey fights, there is a website devoted to them. For example, this log at the site records fights on a daily basis with fans voting on who won and rating how good the fight was. The log I linked to reports on preseason hockey games.

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