For the neutral viewer it can become quite obvious why the sport of ice hockey is perceived as violence first and a sport second. However, don’t let that detract you away from the fact that this is one of the most intense and enjoyable sports in the world.
The proposition of regular fighting during NHL games was brought forward as a way of increasing exposure outside the major markets in North America: New York, Detroit, Chicago and, of course, all of Canada. But, it seems the introduction of a far more physical aspect of the game has been to it’s detriment – at least towards those who aren’t regular viewers.
…the league is actively trying to outlaw…
Please don’t allow yourself to confuse the element of fighting with the far more serious issue of head injuries – something the league is actively trying to outlaw with seemingly relentless bans and fines, and one which has been a huge dent in the careers of many, most notably Sidney Crosby.
Yes, there is a running joke among all hockey fans that all we’re doing is going to a rink to watch a group of toothless Canadians fight it out in the hope that a hockey game breaks out. But, there is so much more to the game than just the physical aspect.
…the world’s most spectacular athletes…
A game which lasts 60 minutes of playing time in total is highlighted by some of the world’s most spectacular athletes demonstrating more than one skill, while at the same time ensuring that hockey audiences are entertained. Fast paced, highlight reel attacking and goaltending, and the showcase of the largest percentage of likeable athletes in one sporting league, I honestly can’t remember the last time I got bored watching a game.
And all of this comes before we even get onto the physical side of the sport.
Join us tomorrow as we conclude our exploration into whether ice hockey is really a sport or just an excuse for quick-fire boxing.
Images courtesy of the NHL