Dangerous check in Owatonna-Winona game ignites fight

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 7, 2012 - 7:47 AM

A hit similar to the one that paralyzed Jack Jablonski set off an all-out brawl, prompting 10 players to be ejected.

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swmnguyJan. 6, 1210:02 AM

All contact sports, at every level, are going to have to examine themselves deeply. My hunch is that the vast improvements in the safety equipment have given players and coaches a false sense of security. I think the players have gotten bigger and faster, and with all that armor they're delivering hits the human body just can't withstand if it's in the wrong position by a fraction of an inch. Maybe we should take away all the hard-surfaced pads and leave only soft padding that protects the player and can't be used as offensive weaponry. Rugby is an awfully rough sport, with almost no protective gear, and rugby players aren't suffering the devastating injuries we're seeing in football and hockey.

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wagn0404Jan. 6, 1210:06 AM

There's a reason that a block in the back is penalized in football--because hitting someone from behind, with a large amount of force, puts them (and their head/neck) in a position where it is difficult to protect themselves. If you make the penalties stiff enough, checking from behind will stop. A certain amount of risk has to be accepted in any contact sport, but being forcefully hit into the boards from behind shouldn't be one of them.

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BallFourJan. 6, 1210:17 AM

That was a good solution to perceived violence. More violence.

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milan33Jan. 6, 1210:18 AM

I know this is going to sound completely ludicrous, especially here in the State of Hockey, but maybe it's time that the sport starts to evolve toward getting rid of boards altogether. That sounds like a crazy idea, being that the boards are considered the "sixth man" and an integral part of modern play. But if we want to view sports more as a healthy vehicle for youth development and less as a barbaric arena for violent entertainment, we should let the sport evolve to eliminate its most dangerous factor. Body checking is fine, but the boards turn these kids into stock car drivers without a car.

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hockeybiasJan. 6, 1210:27 AM

An ugly event, but VERY glad to see any tolerance for hits from behind is finally eroding. Shanahan and the NHL really need to show more leadership on this issue as that is who the kids look up to.

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bill9844Jan. 6, 1210:46 AM

Life is dangerous!

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mulefarmJan. 6, 1210:49 AM

How does the paper know it was the same type of hit that happened to the Benilde player? Checks from behind are cowardly and Burke has a very good point. There is very little checking from behind in hockey these days, but you will never eliminate human error in judgement.

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scott4343Jan. 6, 1210:57 AM

Given the fame/fortune that NHL fighters are given, is it a total surprise? This paper wrote a story just the other day about the latest enforcer for the Wild. Do the math.

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jamue11eJan. 6, 1210:59 AM

It just goes to show that some kids, and their parents apparently either didn't learn a thing from what happened last week, or they have short term memory problems. I can tell you as someone who was pulled over watching the ambulance and fire truck pull into the Rec Center where he game was going on, seeing all the buses out front, your heart sinks because you know a kid, A KID got hurt. They don't run in and carry a back board in for bad cuts. The player that checked is a kid in high school. Since when do high school kids make awesome decisions all the time? It is up to the parents and coaches to guide them. Looking at a few of the comments here, it isn't going to get better until a few of the parents get attitude "checks".

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percyroy12Jan. 6, 1211:02 AM

hockeybias..I couldn't agree more with your Shannahan comment. The guy is a joke. Youth players do look up to NHL players, and when they see guys like Cody McLeod and Zach Bogosian check PMB and Spurgeon from behind and in both cases cause injury and not get suspended what kind of messeage does that send to youth players? It sends the message that checking from behind is ok. I think it is time to do away with checking in youth hockey in MN. Lou Nanne, whom I respect deeply and knows a lot more about the game than I do, or most commenting on here do, thinks it should be done away with, thats good enough for me. For those that think checking is a vital part of the game, let me ask you this: Who are the best players in the game today? Stamkos,Crosby,Toews,Giroux among others. They aren't neccesarily getting paid to check players are they?

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