Friday, November 10, 2006

No Fighting Policy?

Well, this revelation from The Hockey News and Coach Laviolette certainly explains why there was a lack of retaliation against Garnet Exelby and the Thrashers the last time they and the Canes met.

Carolina coach Peter Laviolette makes no bones about the way he expects his players to act in games.

“I have a very strict no-fighting policy for our team,” Laviolette says. “Last year in the playoffs (defenseman) Mike Commodore got into a fight and I said, ‘OK, that’s it. No more fighting.’ I simply cannot afford to lose a player like Mike Commodore to an injury he may sustain in a fight.

“Take a guy like Erik Cole. If we allowed him to fight, I know he would do it. Now if he gets hurt in a fight, our team has lost a very valuable asset. How do I justify that? I can’t. It just doesn’t make sense to me to allow our guys to fight.”

Instead, Laviolette elected to dress skilled players on his fourth line, guys who, in a pinch, could fill in on one of his top two lines. A player such as Chad LaRose, for instance. LaRose, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound speedy winger, couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag, but he scored 61 goals and 117 points in 67 games for Plymouth in his final year of junior and helped the Hurricanes by skating an occasional regular shift and killing penalties. Laviolette also worked skill players Andrew Ladd and Josef Vasicek into the lineup.

So...lemme ask you this Lavy: Would it make ANY LICK OF SENSE if Staal and/or Wardo were hurt/injured by Exelby or another team's goon?

I'm very well aware that we are (unfortunately) approaching the day and age of hardly, IF any fighting in NHL games. But crap like what Exelby did somewhat recently is why I feel that some semblance of fighting/retaliation should remain. As much as I respect Lavy and all he has already done for the Canes, I'm afraid that I have to strongly disagree with him on his "No Fighting Policy".

Current Music: "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five" by Paul McCartney and Wings

Edit as of November 11th, 2006, 10:35 AM:

Laviolette further explains the "No Fight Policy" in this morning's N&O...

Laviolette instituted the policy after the first game of the second-round series against the New Jersey Devils. In the third period of that game, with the Canes on their way to a blowout 6-0 win, Devils tough guy Cam Janssen picked a fight with Mike Commodore in front of the Carolina bench.

Commodore answered the call -- Janssen was hit with extra penalties for instigating the fight -- but Laviolette decided at that point there was little gain worth the risk of losing a player like Commodore to a broken hand.

"If the other team is down 4-0 in the third period and looking to fight, players sometimes feel pressure," Laviolette said. "I'm not looking for it. Don't do it."

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