Players noncommittal on debate over fighting in the NHL

TSN.ca Staff
10/2/2013 1:34:16 PM
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While Montreal Canadiens forward George Parros' injury suffered during a fight on Tuesday night drew a plenty of attention and concern, the jury's still out on whether it would change the way that players think about fighting in hockey.

Vincent Lecavalier - whose Philadelphia Flyers host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night - told reporters after the morning skate that it does make him think twice about the subject, but stopped short on saying if it should be taken out altogether.

"Yes," he said when asked if the Parros-Colton Orr tussle made him question fighting. "Sure, people will be talking about it for weeks, (but) fighting is part of the game"

Parros, a long-time NHL enforcer, was taken from the ice on a stretcher after being pulled face-first to the ice during a fight with Orr on Tuesday night. Parros' face hit the ice heavily, and he was bleeding and looked woozy as a team of trainers spent several minutes treating him on the ice. The Canadiens announced that he was released from hospital on Wednesday morning and is out indefinitely with a concussion.

"I personally think you need fights in hockey to keep every one honest," said Flyers captain Claude Giroux on Wednesday. "But you get sick to your stomach seeing stuff like that."

Parros, playing his first game for Montreal in the NHL season opener against Toronto, was in his second fight of the game with Colton Orr when he was injured. The two players have gone toe-to-toe before, most notably in a game on Jan. 20, 2011 when Orr suffered a concussion after smacking his face on the ice at the end of a first-period fight with Parros - who was then playing for the Anaheim Ducks. 

"It definitely makes you think twice about it for sure," said Flyers defenceman Luke Schenn, who saw the fight in that game as a member of the Maple Leafs. "But at the same time it's part of it."

Some of Parros' teammates are also hesitant to conclude that the incident should reignite a debate about fighting.

"I see more players get hurt from hits, collisions, from pucks, than I do from fights," said Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges on Tuesday. "I don't think saying because a player got hurt in a fight that now we have to talk about taking fighting away. And I bet that if you ask George (Parros), he'll be the first to agree with me on that one too."

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