When A Dream Actually Comes TRUE!!

We all dream.

Dream of what we will one day become. Some dream of being a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer. While others dream of being a professional athlete (MLB player was my dream). The latter, is nearly impossible. Only the most talented and luckiest of the lucky become professional athletes. Sure, there are the stories of LeBron James and Sidney Crosby. The phenoms who made it. But every so often, a professional athlete takes the road less traveled.

Meet Scott Foster….

Scott Foster is a 36-year old accountant from Oak Park, Illinois. He also dabbles in some hockey from time to time. Foster played for the Petrolia Jets in the Western Ontario Hockey League in 2000-2001 and also played at Western Michigan University from 2002-2006. And his current team:

Johnny’s IceHouse in a Chicago Rec League!! 

johnny-s-ice-house

You can’t make this stuff up.

Foster has attended 15 Blackhawks’ games this season as their emergency backup goalie. That means that in order to get into a game, both the starting and backup goalie would have to get hurt on the same night….

Enter Scott Foster…. 

On Thursday night, March 29th, Starting goalie, Anton Forsberg, injured himself during pregame warmups, forcing Collin Delia to start the game. This launched Foster into the backup role, meaning he was one more injury away from making his NHL debut. And with 14:01 to play in the 3rd period, Delia left the game as well. This was Foster’s moment. He would be responsible for preserving a 6-2 lead over the Winnipeg Jets. Preserve he would. Foster went 7 for 7 on saves, and the Blackhawks won.

Foster, obviously, was named the 1st Star of the game!!

Check out Foster in action:

Following the game, Foster had this to say:

“A few hours ago I was sitting on my computer typing on the 10-key, and now I’m standing in front of you guys, just finished 14 and a half minutes of NHL hockey. From my perspective, this is a dream regardless. This is something that no one can ever take away from me, it’s something I can go home and tell my kids.”

 

Share your dreams in the comment section below….

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.

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Who Said There’s Nothing To Talk About?

The NBA Finals have come and gone, and baseball hasn’t hit its full stride yet. Within the dog days of summer lie a time with very little to talk about in the world of sports. However, Monday brought about an eventful day of sports news and action. Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals crowned a champion, while a former Wimbledon champion fell unexpectedly. A window of opportunity has opened for the much deserving Brian Shaw. And lastly, as I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, Aaron Hernandez has himself in some hot water.

With Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals being played in Boston, it was almost a certainty that the Bruins would force a decisive Game 7 in Chicago. This series had been so closely contested (with half of its games going to overtime), that a Game 7 seemed inevitable. With just under a minute and a half to play that looked like the case, but the Chicago Blackhawks had other ideas. The Bruins were winning 2-1 after Milan Lucic scored the go ahead goal midway through the 3rd period. They looked like they were going to cruise to a series tying victory until Brian Bickell put in the game tying goal with 1:16 left in the game. Boston had to be deflated but at least they had a chance to win the game in overtime, right? Oh No, no no, they were not granted that opportunity. Just 17 seconds after the game tying goal came, the game winning goal by Dave Bolland followed. And just like that, victory was snatched right out of Boston’s hands. Players are used to losing, but to be so close to victory and lose in heartbreaking fashion is never easy to get past. I’m sure the Bruins players will need some time to fully recover from a loss of this magnitude. Doesn’t it seem eerily similar to the Game 6 loss by the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals? When there is a loser there must also be a winner. Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks on winning the 2013 Stanley Cup.

An absolute stunner is the only way to describe Rafael Nadal’s first round loss at Wimbledon. This is the first time he has EVER lost in the first round of a Grand Slam. His loss came in straight sets at the hands of the 135th ranked player in the world, Steve Darcis. Who? Exactly, I’ve never heard of him either. If you watched the match, the camera continued to follow Nadal’s taped up knee, and the commentators kept harping on the fact that he couldn’t track down balls he once called routine gets. Yes, I’ll admit that Nadal did not look his usual gritty self, but injury or not a player of his caliber should NEVER lose to Steve Darcis. Nadal simply did not have any fight in him on Monday, and he simply mailed in his performance once he was down 2 sets to none. While I’ve never personally been a Nadal fan, it still would have been nice to watch the great Roger Federer spank him in the quarter finals. I guess we’ll have to settle with Federer mopping the floor with John Isner in the quarters. Will there be anymore shocking upsets in Wimbledon? Only time will tell, but I see Roger Federer and Andy Murray playing a hard fought semi finals to see who has the right to lose to Novak Djokavic in the finals. Enjoy the tennis.

To the hardwood we go. The second the NBA season ends, head coaches get the ax (deservedly or not). As the off season progresses, those coaching vacancies slowly get filled. Monday, the Denver Nuggets filled their coaching vacancy with a name that has been floating around the rumor mill for quite some time. Brian Shaw, the former assistant of the Indiana Pacers, is now the new head coach of the Denver Nuggets. Shaw’s name has been on many executives lists for coaching possibilities over the past couple of years, but Denver has finally pulled the trigger. Denver just cur their tenure with George Karl short in the same season he won Coach of the Year, so I wouldn’t get too comfortable if I were Shaw. Good luck Brian, you deserve it.

And last but certainly least, we move on to Einstein himself. Nope, sorry, I meant Aaron “the rocket scientist” Hernandez. Aaron Hernandez has been a very good tight end for the New England Patriots, and had a very bright future ahead of himself (emphasis on the word HAD). Rather than use his potential to enjoy his future, he decided to entangle himself in a murder mystery. No, not the make believe Law And Order type of mystery, but the hey I actually murdered someone and tried to cover it up type of mystery. As of right now Hernandez has not been convicted of a crime or has even been arrested, but there has been the possibility of an arrest warrant hanging over his head for about 5 days now. See, Hernandez intelligently destroyed his home surveillance system, smashed his cell phone to unrecognizable pieces, and had a professional cleaning crew come leave his house spotless. Yeah, this should end well. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions, but I will. Hernandez obviously either murdered this guy, ordered the murder to take place, or has proof of the murder and is trying to cover it up. Either way his life is in shambles, and I highly doubt it’s going to get any better anytime soon. Man, don’t you wish you, an intelligent responsible person, had the talents these numbskulls have? You surely wouldn’t waste it and throw your life back into the sewer that they most likely came from to begin with. It’s such a shame. You can follow ESPN for daily updates on the Hernandez situation.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Big Weekend In Sports

This was a big weekend in sports that just passed us by. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and their Father’s Day. If you spent some time on your couch with your television like I did, than you definitely enjoyed yourself. There were 3 major sporting events going on, and I’m going to give you a quick rundown of what took place in each one. First you had Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday night. Then you had the finish of golf’s U.S Open Sunday Evening. And last but certainly not least you had Game 5 of the NBA Finals Sunday night. None were more exciting than the hockey game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins.

If you saw Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals than you already know how epically great that game was, and how competitive this series is going to be. Quickly for those who don’t know, the Blackhawks took Game 1 in triple overtime! It was a game for the ages and it set the table for game 2. How could Game 2 live up to the expectations that Game 1 laid on top of its napkin you ask? Well, they mustered up another exhilarating overtime thriller, that’s how. The Boston Bruins evened up the series at 1 game a piece by winning 2-1 over Chicago. Boston allowed a lonely goal in the 1st period and then tightened up the defense for the rest of the contest. You can catch what should be another exciting game on Monday night on NBC. The puck drops at 8:00 p.m. in Boston. Enjoy!!

Now, ever since Thursday morning’s rain delayed U.S. Open got started, everyone was wondering and waiting for Tiger to make his push towards his 15th major. The only problem was that the push never came. Tiger didn’t start out too badly but played progressively worse as the week went on. Tiger finished with a career worst 72-hole score of +13. I guess we’ll all have to wait for the British Open to see if Tiger can end his 5 year drought without a major victory. His last major came at the U.S. Open in 2008 after beating Rocco Mediate in a ’19’ hole playoff. While Woods struggled with Mr. 3 Wiggle all weekend, Justin Rose minimized his mistakes and gutted out his 1st major victory. He won by 2 strokes (+1) over 2nd place finishers Jason Day and Phil Mickelson (both were +3). This is Phil’s 6th 2nd place finish at U.S. Open. Man that’s gotta suck! Anyway, job well done Justin Rose, and better luck next time Phil.

Sunday night’s NBA Finals Game 5 was one that was certain to bring big drama. The San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat have exchanged wins all series, but everyone was expecting the Heat to carry their momentum from game 4 into game 5 and finally put this series out of reach. Boy were they wrong. Despite another solid performance from Dwyane Wade, the Spurs were simply too good for Miami. They basically carried the lead from wire to wire and won the game by a score of 114-104. San Antonio’s ‘Big 3’ hopped in their time machine and pulled a performance somewhere out of 2003. They scored a combined 67 points while arguably the Finals MVP at the moment, Danny Green, added 24 points of his own. Green hit another 6 3-pointers and surpassed Ray Allen as the all-time leader for 3-pointers in an NBA Finals. Manu Ginobili was inserted into the starting lineup and hit the Spurs first shot. He was off and running from there and never looked back. While the Spurs seemingly couldn’t miss, Lebron James went ice cold in the 2nd half. For the game he went a putrid 8-22 from the field, and will need to play a whole lot better if they plan on raising any more banners in Miami this year. You got what you asked for Lebron. Now all you have to do is execute. Good luck buddy, you’re going to need it.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

NHL Playoff 1st Round Predictions (better late than never)

I think I’m coming down with a fever, and no I’m not sick. I have that playoff hockey fever thats going around. After a lockout shortened season, the playoffs have finally arrived, and I for one am excited. If you want to gear up for the NHL playoffs too, you are going to need to know when the games are. Here is a quick look at the schedule:

First Round

WESTERN CONFERENCE

1 Chicago BLACKHAWKS
8 Minnesota WILD

Game 1: at CHI, Tue., April 30, 8 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 2: at CHI, Fri., May 3, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 3: at MIN, Sun., May 5, 3 p.m., NBC, CBC
Game 4: at MIN, Tue., May 7, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 5: at CHI, Thu., May 9, TBD, CBC*
Game 6: at MIN, Sat., May 11, TBD, CBC*
Game 7: at CHI, Sun., May 12, TBD, CBC*

2 Anaheim DUCKS
7 Detroit RED WINGS

Game 1: at ANA, Tue., April 30, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 2: at ANA, Thu., May 2, 10 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 3: at DET, Sat., May 4, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 4: at DET, Mon., May 6, 8 p.m., CNBC, TSN
Game 5: at ANA, Wed., May 8, 10 p.m., TSN*
Game 6: at DET, Fri., May 10 TBD, TSN*
Game 7: at ANA, Sun., May 12, TBD, TSN*

3 Vancouver CANUCKS
6 San Jose SHARKS

Game 1: at VAN, Wed., May 1, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 2: at VAN, Fri., May 3, 10 p.m., CNBC, TSN
Game 3: at SJ, Sun., May 5, 10 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 4: at SJ, Tue., May 7, 10 p.m., CNBC, TSN
Game 5: at VAN, Thu., May 9, 10 p.m., TSN*
Game 6: at SJ, Sat., May 11, TBD, TSN*
Game 7: at VAN, Mon., May 13, TBD, TSN*

4 Saint Louis BLUES
5 Los Angeles KINGS

Game 1: at STL, Tue., April 30, 8 p.m., CNBC, CBC
Game 2: at STL, Thu., May 2, 9:30 p.m., CNBC, CBC
Game 3: at LA, Sat., May 4, 10 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 4: at LA, Mon., May 6, 10 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 5: at STL, Wed., May 8, TBD, CBC*
Game 6: at LA, Fri., May 10, TBD, CBC*
Game 7: at STL, Mon., May 13, TBD, CBC*

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1 Pittsburgh PENGUINS
8 New York ISLANDERS

Game 1: at PIT, Wed., May 1, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 2: at PIT, Fri., May 3, 7 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 3: at NY, Sun., May 5, 12 p.m., NBC, TSN
Game 4: at NY, Tue., May 7, 7 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 5: at PIT, Thu., May 9, 7 p.m., TSN*
Game 6: at NY, Sat., May 11, TBD, TSN*
Game 7: at PIT, Sun., May 12, TBD, TSN*

2 Montreal CANADIENS
7 Ottawa SENATORS

Game 1: at MON, Thu., May 2, 7 p.m., CNBC, CBC, RDS
Game 2: at MON, Fri., May 3, 7 p.m., CNBC. CBC, RDS
Game 3: at OTT, Sun., May 5, 7 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Game 4: at OTT, Tue., May 7, 7 p.m., CNBC, CBC, RDS
Game 5: at MON, Thu., May 9, 7 p.m., CBC, RDS*
Game 6: at OTT, Sat., May 11, TBD, CBC, RDS*
Game 7: at MON, Sun., May 12, TBD, CBC, RDS*

3 Washington CAPITALS
6 New York RANGERS

Game 1: at WAS, Thu., May 2, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 2: at WAS, Sat., May 4, 12:30 p.m., NBC, TSN
Game 3: at NY, Mon., May 6, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 4: at NY, Wed., May 8, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 5: at WAS, Fri., May 10, 7:30 p.m., TSN*
Game 6: at NY, Sun., May 12, TBD, TSN*
Game 7: at WAS, Mon., May 13, TBD, TSN*

4 Boston BRUINS
5 Toronto MAPLE LEAFS

Game 1: at BOS, Wed., May 1, 7 p.m., CNBC, CBC, RDS
Game 2: at BOS, Sat., May 4, 7 p.m., CNBC, CBC, RDS
Game 3: at TOR, Mon., May 6, 7 p.m., NHLN, CBC, RDS
Game 4: at TOR, Wed., May 8, 7 p.m., NHLN, CBC, RDS
Game 5: at BOS, Fri., May 10, 7 p.m. CBC, RDS*
Game 6: at TOR, Sun., May 12, CBC, RDS*
Game 7: at BOS, Mon., May 13, CBC, RDS*

*If Necessary

Now that you know the schedule and the matchups, let’s breakdown each series and predict the winners. I’m going to start in the Western Conference. Why the Chicago Blackhawks are in the Western Conference I’ll never know, but they are, and they are clearly the best team in the NHL. You might remember them from their record breaking “winning” streak earlier in the season. They will handle the Minnesota Wild without a hiccup in the first round (4-0). As for the Anaheim Ducks vs. the Detroit Red Wings, I think we are going to hop in my time machine and go back about 10 years (ya know when the Red Wings were the best hockey team in the world). I see the Red Wings defense stifling the Ducks and winning a highly competitive series in 7 games. On we move to the Vancouver Canucks vs. the San Jose Sharks. This series is going to be a low scoring defensive affair. San Jose has the better defense, and they won the regular season series with the Canucks 3 games to none. Look for San Jose to continue their success and win this series in 6 games. Ah yes, the oh so difficult to predict 4 vs. 5 matchup. This year in the West we have the St. Louis Blues taking on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings. The kings swept the regular season series against the Blues(3-0). I think that the Kings will carry the momentum of their solid play late in the season to advance to the 2nd round. It should take 6 games for the Kings to oust the Blues.

Let’s take a road trip back to the East coast and take a look at the Eastern Conference matchups. The first look we will take is at the top seeded Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the 8th seeded New York Islanders. Now I am an Islander fan, but even I can be objective; sometimes. The only way the Islanders remotely have a chance to win this series is if Sidney Crosby doesn’t play, and they beat up half of the Penguins starting line. Otherwise, they have little to no chance of advancing. I do believe that Sid the Kid is going to sit this round out, however it won’t be enough for the Islanders to move on. While the world will learn just how talented John Taveres is this week, he won’t be able to take the Penguinos down singlehandedly. Look for my Islanders to hang tough and lose this series in 6 HARD FOUGHT games. Lets Go Islanders!! (objectivity shmobjectivity). The second seeded Montrael Canadiens should handle the anemic offense of the Ottawa Senators in 5 games. Don’t look for any miracles in that series. I know I know, you want to see some upsets in the East too. Don’t worry they’re coming up right now. Let me preface this next series preview by saying that I strongly dislike the New York Rangers. However, they will take down the Washington Capitals in 6 games. You heard it here first. Lastly, the 4 vs. 5 matchup in the East should be equally as exciting as the 4/5 matchup in the West. All I have to say is, “Boston Strong Baby!” The Boston Bruins will do away with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 7 tough games.

Check back for 2nd round previews and predictions. Enjoy the NHL playoffs everyone!!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

We’re Going Streaking!!!!

History is being made right before our eyes.  The Chicago Blackhawks and the Miami Heat continue to extend their impressive winning streaks.  The Blackhawks have now earned at least one point in 24 straight games.  During this streak they have now won 11 games in a row.  Not all of their games have been easy, but they keep finding a way to win night in and night out.  Last night the Blackhawks scored 2 goals in the 3rd period to earn a come from behind victory; 3-2.  The game winning goal came from Daniel Carcillo with just under 50 seconds left in the game.  The Blackhawks will continue to keep their points and winning streak alive on Friday night when they visit the Colorado Avalanche.  The Blackhawks should be able to win that game easily, as the Avalanche have one of the worst records in the league.

Another streak that continued Wednesday night was the Miami Heat’s winning streak.  A win against the Orlando Magic brought their streak to 16 games.  The Heat continue to pile up wins and are an amazing 27-3 at home this season, but they should be a little concerned that they nearly blew another big lead against a sub-par team.  They were up by 15 at halftime, and by the time they were heading to the 4th quarter they were only up by 3 points.  They did the same thing against the Sacremento Kings, blowing an 8 point lead with only 1:12 left in regulation.  It was also nice to see Lebron finally hit a game winning shot for the Miami Heat.  It was his first with the Heat, and by my recollection his second of his career (it’s about time buddy).  For his sake, hopefully he can add clutch to his resume in the near future.  As of now that’s just about the only thing missing from his resume.  The Miami Heat will look to keep their winning streak alive Friday night at 8:00 P.M. against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Both of these streaks are extremely impressive.  How far do you think each streak will go?  Which streak do you think is more impressive?  Leave me your feedback in the comment section below.  I look forward to hearing your reactions.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well.  Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

How Bout ‘Dem Islanders

Tuesday was a great night for New York hockey.  The New York Islanders defeated the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 6-3, while the New York Rangers took down the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2.  With the win by the Rangers, they have slipped into the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.  The win by the Islanders brings them within 2 points of that same playoff spot.  As for the Rangers game, they jumped out to a very early lead scoring a goal in the first minute and a half.  The flyers bounced back with 2 goals of their own, but before the end of the 1st period the score was tied 2-2.  After a scoreless 2nd period, Rick Nash scored both of his goals in the 3rd period to seal the victory.  Henrik Lundqvist played a nice game saving 23 of 25 total shots on goal.  The stars of the game for the Rangers were Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan.  Nash finished the game with 2 goals as Callahan added 2 goals and an assist.  I feel that the Rangers are definitely going to make the playoffs this season.  They are too talented of a hockey team to be watching the playoffs from the coach.

Now the Islanders had a tough match-up last night against the 1st place Montreal Canadiens.  It was a quiet 1st period where the Canadiens came away with one goal.  On the other hand, the 2nd and 3rd periods saw a bit more action.  In the 2nd period the Islanders scored 3 straight goals in a span of 11 minutes.  The Canadiens answered back with one goal to bring the score to 3-2 (Islanders) at the end of the 2nd period.  When the Canadiens tied the game at 3 I started thinking, oh no here come the Islanders I’ve grown accustom to.  But I must admit I was wrong.  Maybe this team of young talent is showing us, right in front of our eyes, the potential this franchise will have for years to come.  The Islanders stormed back and scored 3 unanswered goals and won the game 6-3.  I really want to believe in my heart that they are going to make the playoffs too, but if I’m going to put them in the playoffs I would have to take someone else out.  Out of the teams that are currently in the playoff picture in the East, I could see the Islanders catching the New Jersey Devils.  The Devils have lost 6 games in a row and 8 of their last 9, and I don’t see a sign of them turning their season around anytime soon.  They have a lot of games left against the top teams in the Eastern Conference and the way they look right now, they can’t beat anybody.  The final game of the season at the Rangers could prove to be the difference in their (the Devils) season (way to go NHL with your scheduling skills!!).

Can’t wait to catch the Rangers and Islanders in action for their next game?  Well, you won’t have to wait long, and you’ll be able to find them in the same place.  The Rangers come to Nassau Coliseum this Thursday night at 7:00 P.M to take on the Islanders.  Let the rivalry continue.  The season is hitting its stride, and I think this game will live up to its expectations.  I like the Islanders to win in an overtime thriller 5-4.

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well.  Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

You gotta fight..for your right..to fiiiiggghht!!(Thanks Beastie Boys)

Hey hockey fans don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you. Everyone I talk to is excited to have hockey back, and I don’t blame them. The Chicago Blackhawks have started out on fire winning 10 out of their first 13 games, as they are still the only undefeated team in regulation left in the NHL. The New Jersey Devils have also gotten off to a nice start this season as they head up the Eastern Conference. And as usual, My Islanders are hanging out in the bottom of the barrel(there’s always next year). On a serious note, Islanders fans may have something to get excited about. They will be moving to Brooklyn after the 2014-2015 season. This move should give the New York franchise a badly needed fresh start. The Nets of the NBA can tell them how nice it is to call Brooklyn home. Personally, I haven’t been to The Barclays Center, but everyone can’t get over the awesome atmosphere inside the arena. This move should also help attract talented free agents. Another headline early on in the season is the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings getting off to an extremely slow start. They have played 8 of their first 11 games on the road, so they shouldn’t be as worried as their fans are.

The story grabbing all the headlines so far in the NHL is the same issue plaguing the NFL. Of course I am talking about player safety. Hockey like football is a very physical sport, however hockey is not a violent sport by nature. Some of you, if you could see me, would probably be looking at me like I have 4 heads. Hear me out now. Fighting in hockey is a tradition. It is as much a part of the game as line changes or shoot outs. Let me be the first to say that I would stop watching hockey entirely if they banned fighting. Fighting in hockey serves a purpose. It’s not just there for the sheer entertainment of the fans(even though it is a huge part of the attraction for casual hockey fans). See, it’s kind of like a retaliation pitch in baseball. When a baseball player shows up an opposing team or player, they get thrown at in their next at bat. When done respectfully and not done out of anger, it accomplishes something important. It’s the same in hockey. This tactic is used when an opposing player does something uncalled for or out of line(in layman’s terms: when you do something dumb you get punched). This solves problems quickly, and it can be part of a teams strategy. Fighters and instigators also have their own place on NHL rosters. A fighting ban would certainly put some NHL players out of work. These guys simply make a living playing that role. It is the same as a defender or rebounder in the NBA who lacks offensive skills. A prime example is Dennis Rodman. He played to his strengths and filled an important role for his team. There are guys just like that in the NHL. Their only role is to rough people up, retaliate, or instigate. To take fighting out of hockey would be like taking charges out of basketball, it would change the culture of the sport.

When NHL players were asked about this issue, 97% of them said they’re against banning fighting. That is an astonishingly high number! I also guarantee you that if you polled hockey fans, at least 95% of them would want to keep fighting in hockey as well. I understand that player safety is a real issue that every sport should take seriously, but this is not the right issue to take a stand.

I am also a contributing author @ intheneutralzone.com. If you enjoy my writing, please check out more of my work there.