In Tuesday’s game, Bieksa and Fisher were tangled up after a whistle in the Predators’ zone and came to blows. According to HockeyFights.com, Bieksa has had more than 50 fights in the NHL, while Fisher’s battle with Bieksa was the 31st time he had dropped the gloves in his NHL career. The tilt itself was quite substantial, lasting more than 30 seconds with both players exchanging pucnhes. The moment Bieksa will remember, though, came early in the scrap when Fisher connected with a short right jab: Read more
The National Hockey League is lucky, in a way.
What was once a major issue – fighting – has all but taken care of itself.
Fighting is down significantly, to the point where the only time people really talk about it these days is to mention that fighting is, well, down.
In 2012-13 there were an average of 0.96 fighting majors called per game. It slipped to 0.76 in 2013-14 and 0.63 in ’14-15. This season through games played Nov. 12, 0.46 fighting majors have been called per game.
It is not the result of a league mandate. And commissioner Gary Bettman didn’t have to threaten to send serial fighters to Winnipeg for the remainder of their careers if they didn’t cease their antisocial behavior.
One of the most ironic things about the fact that Tie Domi authored an autobiography is that he’d have a very difficult time reading it. As a former beat writer for The Toronto Star, I covered Domi’s career for eight years and I never knew he was dyslexic. I also didn’t know that he was also a celiac with a gluten allergy. Of course, at the time, neither did he.
There are some fairly startling revelations in Shift Work, which was co-written by Jim Lang and is available now. If you liked Domi before this book, you’ll probably like him more now. Written from a personal perspective, of course some of the history is revisionist, but all in all, the book is an entertaining, fast-paced read that has some nuggets of information that pull back the curtain on his career. Domi goes to great lengths to point out how he might not have had book smarts, but he worked harder and had more mental toughness than almost anyone ever in the history of the world. He makes the point early and often, but if Manny can be Manny, then we’ll give some latitude for Tie being Tie.
What was most amazing watching Max Domi buzz around the ice at Air Canada Centre with the Arizona Coyotes on Monday wasn’t the fact he was able to score his fourth NHL goal in his former home away from home. It was remarkable the ease and comfort he displayed showing off his considerable skills.
If you didn’t know he was a 20-year-old rookie, you’d think he had been in the NHL for years. Domi, who used to hang out at ACC when his dad, Tie, kept opponents honest as an enforcer with the Maple Leafs, went about his business in his ninth NHL game as one of the go-to players for a team that is a longshot to make the playoffs.
Same goes for Domi’s 20-year-old teammate Anthony Duclair. While Domi was tied with Connor McDavid for the rookie scoring lead with four goals and 10 points in 10 games, Duclair, who played 18 games with the New York Rangers last season, had five goals and seven points in 10 games.
* Here’s the best reason for John Tortorella success prospect in Columbus from my pal Alan Greenberg. “He reminds me of my Army drill sergeant. I hated the S.O.B. but he made a better soldier of me!”
* I love Steven Stamkos but he should get it over with and sign already. This delay on his part is totally unnecessary and downright annoying.
* Put this in your ‘Guaranteed to Happen’ notebook: By April 9th Vladimir Tarasenko will have out-goaled and out-pointed Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.
Welcome to California, Milan Lucic. No one said it would be easy.
The erstwhile Boston Bruins bruiser joined the Los Angeles Kings via trade this summer, making L.A. even tougher to play against. So it was a bit of a shocker that San Jose’s Logan Couture was the one bringing the thunder on Lucic in the season opener:
Make no mistake, the NHL created the Raffi Torres who drilled his shoulder into Jakob Silfverberg’s head over the weekend. It created this player by continually slapping him on the wrist for being the kind of predatorial player he became. It created this player by enveloping itself in a culture of violence and hate, and justified his behavior with ridiculous “hitting zones” and encouraged it with its “finishing his check” mentality.
In that respect, it definitely has blood on its hands here. The league’s department of player safety is being lauded, as it should, for handing down a 41-game suspension to Torres for his most recent transgression. It was a long time coming and few would have complained if it had even been more. Torres will lose the right to play the game he loves for half a season and will miss out on almost $441,000 in salary. (Shockingly, even though this is the fifth suspension of Torres’ career, he’s not considered a repeat offender.) It’s a steep price to pay to be sure, and maybe, just maybe, Torres will get the message this time.
Family and friends will gather later today in St. Louis for a private funeral to celebrate the life of former NHL enforcer Todd Ewen. Some 800 miles away, Dr. Charles Tator is waiting for Ewen’s brain to arrive in hopes that it will provide some clues that will bring something positive from his suicide.
THN.com has learned that the Ewen family has agreed to donate Ewen’s brain to the Canadian Sports Concussion Research Project, where it will be examined for signs of possible brain degeneration or chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). It is an initiative spearheaded by Tator, which will now have the brains of 19 former athletes. Tator hopes to examine at least 50 brains of former athletes. The majority of the brains Tator has for his study are of former Canadian Football League players, but there are some hockey players, most notably Steve Montador, who died last February at the age of 35.