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Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Jets players believe hockey needs fighting

Posted: 10/2/2013 2:50 PM | Comments: 0

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The injury to Montreal Canadiens tough guy George Parros may have stoked the debate on fighting’s place in the game again, but a quick poll of the Winnipeg Jets’ dressing room yielded a unanimous result:

There is still a place for guys who drop the gloves and police the game.

"If they take fighting out of the game it would be a whole different dynamic. It wouldn’t be the same," said Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian. "Fighting should always be in hockey, no matter what.

"(Without it) you’d have guys running around playing a lot tougher than they normally would. It keeps everyone honest. It’s definitely scary when you see something like that happen (to Parros). You never want to see somebody get hurt. But I don’t think something like that should be a topic for taking fighting out of the game."

Parros, playing his first game with his new club, was twice involved in a fight with Toronto Maple Leafs’ tough guy Colton Orr, a Winnipeg product. In the second fight Orr appeared to lose his footing and as he fell Parros came down with him and landed face first on the ice. He had to be taken from the ice on a stretcher, but was released today with a concussion.

Not surprisingly, the incident has the discussion on fighting’s place in the game heating up -- on the first night of the 2013-14 National Hockey League season.

"I think there’s still a place if it is in the right time and moment of the game. It’s part of the game," said Jets’ winger Anthony Peluso, who certainly isn’t afraid to drop the gloves. "Nobody wants to see somebody get hurt, but there is a time and a place for it.

"If you look in history at how many fights have happened in the game… realistically, there’s been a small percentage of instances like that that do happen. Of course, everybody wants the best for players, nobody wants to see them get hurt. It could happen to anybody in any sport, really. There's injuries that are going to happen and that’s just one of them."

Added Michael Frolik:

"I think it still belongs here. In Europe, we never did that, but in the NHL I think it’s still a little bit a part of it. You need those guys if something happens on the ice, there is somebody that can step up and make sure your teammates are safe."

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

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