Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hey NHL Take Off Your Mittens and Hit Somebody

The other day I’m catching up on some sports videos when I come across good ol’ Richard Zednik catching one dangerously close to the jugular. You’ve probably seen the video already so I just linked it, but if you haven’t it’s a good one. As I was watching it I blurted out “ I’ve been waiting years for that to happen” and not to be insensitive to Zednik’s neck, but haven’t we all? Now follow my train of thought here… Big Czech goes down from a blade to the neck… I think injuries like that (not exclusive to the neck) should happen more often…wait why don’t fights in hockey happen more often. Then it hits me. My pops told me about a hockey match he went to where players got bonuses to fight (I’m not looking this up to check it as a fact because I don’t want to be disappointed when it’s not true). So I send him an email asking what the name of the league was only to get this response:

Can't remember the name of the league or even the teams as that was almost 10 years ago, but it was in Quebec City where I saw the match and it was a home game.

First off…10 years ago? Zednik triggered an LSD style flashback about my love for grown men on skates punching each other.

So after 10 seconds on google I came across Ligue Nord Americaine De Hockey in all of its glory. Lets get down to a couple quick stats comparing the LNAH to the NHL.

2007-2008 Season Top 3 Leaders in Team Fight Totals
NHL (Through 56 Games):
Calagary Flames: 50
Philadelphia Flyers: 50
Anaheim Ducks: 49

LNAH (40 games):
Saint-Hyacinthe: 195
Summum-Chiefs de St-Jean: 167
Radio X de Québec: 161

Top 3 Leaders in Individual Fights
NHL (56 games):
Jared Boll (Columbus Blue Jackets): 19 (0.3 Fights Per Game)
George Parros (Anaheim Ducks): 18
Riley Cote (Philadelphia Flyers): 17

LNAH (40 games):
Sean McMorrow ( Saint-Hyacinthe): 46 (1.15 Fights Per Game)
Curtis Tidball (Radio X de Quebec): 38
Neil Posillico (Trois-Rivières): 34

NHL: 0.2 Fights Per Game
LNAH: 1.8 Fights Per Game

The best part about the LNAH fights is the fact that they are actual fights. I’m talking about skate around eyeing each other up while taking off the helmet and mittens and squaring off.

Don’t take my word for it look at the clips:

Here is a good one of McMorrow who even though he loses the fight at one points pushes a referee out of the way to keep fighting and is pointing in another’s face to get out of the way before he receives the knock down blow.

Here is a compilation of LNAH fights

Or you can just head over to a fan site of the Summun Chiefs. Here you can find a video of every fight during the season. Just to see the number of fights is worth the visit.

So I hate to say it, but the French Canadians have given us the league that dominates one of every man’s favorite things…the Hockey Fight. Never thought I’d say those three words in one sentence. Oh and if we had fighting incentives maybe the NHL wouldn't feel like it has a cult following in the U.S. instead of real fans.

4Real Out…