Fighting the Good Fight: Why On-Ice Violence Is Killing Hockey

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9781118092224: Fighting the Good Fight: Why On-Ice Violence Is Killing Hockey

A veteran hockey writer takes on hockey culture and the NHL—addressing the game's most controversial issue

Whether it's on-ice fist fights or head shots into the glass, hockey has become a nightly news spectacle—with players pummeling and bashing each other across the ice like drunken gladiators. And while the NHL may actually condone on-ice violence as a ticket draw, diehard hockey fan and expert Adam Proteau argues against hockey's transformation into a thuggish blood sport. In Fighting the Good Fight, Proteau sheds light on the many perspectives of those in and around the game, with interviews of current and former NHL stars, coaches, general managers, and league executives, as well as medical experts.

One of the most well-known media figures on the hockey scene today, famous for his funny, feisty observations as a writer for the Toronto Star and The Hockey News and commentator on CBC radio and TV, Adam Proteau is also one of the few mainstream media voices who is vehemently anti-fighting in hockey. Not only is his book a plea to the game's gatekeepers to finally clamp down on the runaway violence that permeates the sport even at its highest level, he offers realistic suggestions on ways to finally clean the game up.

  • Includes interviews with medical experts on head injuries and concussions, as well as with other members of the media
  • The author not only wages an attack on the value of fighting in hockey—but also on the establishment hockey culture

Covering the most polarizing issue in hockey today, Fighting the Good Fight gives hockey fans and sports lovers everywhere a reason to stamp their feet and whistle—at a rare display of eloquence and common sense.

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From the Back Cover:

"If any pacifist can convince the warmonger world of hockey to examine its priorities, it's Adam Proteau. If you love a good hit or a good fight, read Fighting the Good Fight and then we'll talk."
Michael Landsberg, Host of Off the Record on TSN

"These are life-altering decisions we're making...players have to realize it's not a knee injury and you can't just shake it off and keep playing through blurriness and dizziness.... Because of concussions, I have friends that had trouble taking a shower a couple years after they retired...there's no replacing a brain."
Mathieu Schneider, former all-star NHL defenseman and Special Assistant to the Executive Director, NHL Players' Association

"Players are competitive. We sell hate. Our game sells hate."
Colin Campbell, Director of Hockey Operations and former chief disciplinarian for the NHL

Hockey has always been laissez-faire in policing its athletes, but now the game is more dangerous than ever before. Concussions are threatening to end the careers of some of the NHL's best players—including Sidney Crosby, the league's biggest marquee superstar—and a significant percentage of all NHLers are dealing with head injuries. While medical experts and others speak out against the lack of sufficient player protection in hockey, the best hockey league in the world has simply not moved quickly enough to address this issue. Although fighting and senseless aggressiveness are unhealthy for hockey, the league doesn't believe the game will sell without them.
From Fighting the Good Fight

On-ice violence has become a major issue, polarizing and even threatening to fracture hockey. Fighting the Good Fight probes this potential crisis in the game and argues for change at hockey's highest levels, shining a bright light on:

  • Why "The Code" that romanticizes fighting in hockey is indefensible.

  • Why the argument that players know the risks they're signing up for and what they're getting into doesn't hold water.

  • Why there should be much tougher penalties and suspensions in the NHL for all acts of violence.

  • Why the sport's gatekeepers (the NHL) have failed to treat the issue of player safety with the gravity it deserves, risking their stars and assets nightly.

  • Why minor hockey is losing kids to the fear of brain injuries at an unprecedented rate.

  • Why the entire game loses when on-ice violence is condoned, or at best lightly and inconsistently punished, at the NHL level.

  • How fan reaction and public opinion can force change in the sport

About the Author:

Adam Proteau has made a name for himself in the hockey world thanks to more than a decade of feisty, funny observations about the game. In addition to his job as a columnist for The Hockey News, his work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and on websites ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, MSNBC.com, Sympatico.ca and many others. He also appears regularly as an analyst on national news networks, sports talk radio stations across North America, and as a regular panelist on the popular Canadian TV show Off the Record. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association; in 2006, he won the PHWA's award for best column.
Follow Adam: twitter.com/Proteautype

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