Flyers\' Todd Fedoruk lies on the ice after a fight with fight Rangers\' Colton Orr. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Fedoruk, who spent the night in hospital earlier this week after being at the wrong end of a nasty knockout, says maybe NHL tough guys should wear padding on their hands under their gloves. "You look at extreme fighting, they've got those four-ounce gloves on," Fedoruk said.
Such padding would lessen the blows, he argued.
Despite being knocked out cold by Colton Orr of the New York Rangers on Wednesday night, Fedoruk doesn't want fighting to be taken out of the game.
"If you want to change something, do something to lessen the blow," Fedoruk said in an interview with The Canadian Press. "If it takes a three-ounce glove or something like that, that role players have to wear which would only cover the knuckle part, maybe that's something you can do. But I just don't think you can take fighting out of the game."
The small gloves that fighters wear in mixed martial arts is an idea that Fedoruk embraces.
"They're trained fighters and a lot of the NHL guys are trained fighters," he said. "I myself do a lot of training in the off-season that has to do with fighting. If they (the NHL) think too many bad things are happening to us, maybe that's a solution. But taking fighting out of the game is definitely not a solution.
"You just can't do it. It's ingrained in the roots of hockey."
NHL tough guys have become so big and so strong, there's concern in some quarters about the damage they now inflict on each other.
No argument from the 6-2, 240-pound Fedoruk.
"Well yeah, I'm proof of it," he said. "Not only what happened with Colton Orr but what happened earlier this season with (Derek) Boogaard."
Boogaard smashed Fedoruk's face in during an Oct. 27 fight. He required surgery.
"It was close to ending my career but luckily it didn't," said Fedoruk. "Yes, the guys are bigger. But I just think it's our choice to do this. There is a reason for it. Orr came after me the other night because the game before I hammered (Jaromir) Jagr. Orr was only doing his job. And I'm more than willing to deal with it. It's my job."
Take out fighting and it's no longer hockey, Fedoruk said.
"I think if fighting was banned the NHL would like what the all-star game looked like this year," he said. "Back and forth, goal after goal, nice play after nice play ... You going to watch that for 60 minutes? It gets a little boring."
Tough guys have an important part on each and every club.
"If you were in the dressing room you would really see it," said Fedoruk. "The respect that tough guys get from the other players and the type of role that the tough guy plays in the room, most tough guys on every team are good guys, they're the glue, they keep the team together. ...
"They bring a light-heartedness to the dressing room, they keep the team tight, they look after everybody and I think that's a big role on a hockey team."
He points to his days in Anaheim last season when rookies Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were happy to have him around.
"Having that tough guy really helps out the young guys on the team," said Fedoruk. "Being in Anaheim, that was a really young team and I played with Getzlaf and Perry and they were really appreciative of the comfort level they feel. Because if they don't feel comfortable, they can't play their game. And I think that's what the tough guys bring."