More On Brian Burke Fighting In NHL


While not a playoff shoe in by any stretch, Wilson’s Leafs have done what they always do, just when you think they are going to nose dive, they win three in a row including one vs. a very good Red Wing team.

So since we last spoke, lots of folks have chimed in on the demise of the goon in the NHL. Here are some examples:

File this from the Toronto Sun under just the facts:

“They do.

Through 1,230 games last season, the NHL’s 30 teams combined for 55,911 hits, according to research on

Through 583 games this season, the players had pounded each other to the tune of 25,347 hits, which, when projected over an entire season, works out to 53,477.

That’s a projected decline in hits this season of 2,364.”

Damien Cox, nailed the Burke story in my perspective:

“So to me, today’s Burke presser was about feeling bad for Orr, missing the way the game used to be played and regretting sending an NHL salary to the minors for no pressing reason other than he needed to open a roster spot and Orr was the least valuable guy on the team.

Nothing wrong with any of that.”

Over at The Hockey News, Ken Campbell took Burke to town:

“What should have Burke’s stomach churning even more is that he so badly misread where the game was going that by the end of next season he will have paid $4 million to a player who has been, for all intents and purposes, utterly useless as an NHL player. In his 133-game career with the Maple Leafs, Orr has averaged just 6.1 minutes per game in ice time. This season he played just five games and a total of 22 minutes and 24 seconds, roughly what teammates Dion Phaneuf and Carl Gunnarsson play in one game.”

Steve Simmons of the Sun chimed in today:

“The book on Colton Orr as a Leaf: Two and a half seasons and next to no impact. He fought 37 times in a Toronto uniform, won 18 of them definitively, lost 13, had six draws (purely subjective scoring). For the record, the Leafs won only 14 of the games Orr managed to fight in … ”

Kelly McParland at the National Post has a good editorial on the subject:

“As autocrats have learned across the globe, you can’t beat respect into people. All you do is fire their thirst for revenge, and an escalation of the violence. The more Colton Orrs you have, the more you have to put up with the Sean Averys, who specialize in respecting nothing and no one. It could be that removing the staged battles from hockey returns a sense of responsibility. You don’t need a heavyweight to take care of pests; players did that before enforcers came along, and they can do it again once they’re gone.”

Not surprising that the PA’s propaganda pusher has an opinion on it too:

“When people such as Tortorella and Toronto general manager Brian Burke bemoan the loss of the day when players could “police” the game themselves, you wonder whether they have any memory of the pre-instigator rule era in which thugs routinely slashed, hacked, speared and by any other means attempted to goad stars on the opposition into dropping their gloves.

Maybe those in that camp should watch tapes of a few Islanders-Flyers games from that era and take a gander at what Behn Wilson and his ilk constantly pulled against Mike Bossy in the days of wilding and bench-clearing brawls.

The instigator has nothing to do with people like Carcillo or the repeat offenders who are a liability to the league. Beyond that, the 2-minute minor plus the 5-minute fighting major and 10-minute misconduct that are charged against an instigator provide no meaningful barrier to prevent a teammate from protecting/answering for an assault victim.

There may be no easy answers in the crusade to end head-hunting in the league, but elimination of the instigator is no answer at all.”

Ken Dryden has another good piece over at the Globe, pack a lunch before you sit down it’s long:

“We learned in Canada what England has never learned. We learned that to win: match them with skill; beat them with will.

The debate about head shots and fighting is not a debate about Canada, Canadian hockey or the Canadian spirit. It’s about giving up the fighting; keeping the fight. ”

James Mirlte took a unique angle on the whole Orr thing:

“What’s worth noting about all of the bodies the Leafs have sent to the minors of late is that some of those decisions had at least a little bit to do with where Toronto is against the salary cap.

In the last week, Toronto has shipped Philippe Dupuis, Colton Orr and Matt Frattin to the AHL, three players who had spent the majority of the season in the NHL and make a combined $2.5-million (not including Frattin’s entry-level bonuses). ”

The computers here at Toronto Sports Media are very busy tabulating the totals from our annual MSM power rankings. It will be coming out soon.

Curious, Sydney Crosby remains out, if he is done for the year, despite being incredibly sad (which it is for all hockey fans), does anyone outside of Pittsburgh care?

How many days left until the start of the 2012-13 NHL work stoppage?

Had lunch with a friend here in Seattle yesterday. His question to me, “So why are the Maple Leafs still the worst run team in all of professional sports? Do they not care about winning?” When we talked about the change in ownership his response “Oh, your screwed, isn’t Rogers the guys who own the Blue Jays???” Discuss amongst yourselves.

Happy Sunday!


About the Author