Following his team’s 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks last Thursday, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty told LA Kings Live reporter Carrlyn Bathe that the highlight of the game was when his teammate Kurtis MacDermid and Ducks winger Nick Deslauriers dropped the gloves. Doughty said that was the spark his team needed to pull out the win and then went into a rant on why the NHL “needs fighting” and what will happen if they completely abolish it from the game.
“It can’t make its way out of the league,” Doughty told Bathe. “We need fighting. I know people don’t like it, some of you, but then you’re just going to have all those meatheads running around, little guys being rats out there, and that’s just the way it’s going to go. So we need fighting. People need to be able to protect their teammates and themselves,” he continued. “When it’s safe like that and no one gets hurt, that’s the best way.”
Prior to his team’s tilt with the Kings Tuesday night, Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand was asked about and then apprised of Doughty’s thoughts on fighting.
“Is he fighting a lot now is he? Does he even have a fight? I’m sure he wasn’t talking about me!” Marchand quipped when told about the “rats” comment as well.
All kidding aside though, Marchand agrees with Doughty and also thinks the league needs fighting to keep the attention of the American audience.
“I do agree,” Marchand said. “I think especially if they want to continue to have Americans interested in the game. A lot of people that I talk to about the game, especially down south, all they care about is the fighting. That’s what they look forward to, so I think you’ll lose a lot of people over that.”
Like Doughty, Marchand believes it will be pure chaos and lead to plenty of injuries if players aren’t allowed to police themselves.
“But he’s not wrong with being able to protect yourself and your teammates,” Marchand pointed out. “When you take that out of the league, there will be more dangerous plays and people feeling like they can take liberties in other ways. …which I think is what the league is trying to crack down on now, but it’s part of the game, it always has been. I don’t think you need to take it out of the game and it’s already being limited to a very small amount compared to what it used to be.
So you gotta keep it there, I’m sure they will, but they put enough rules in place to protect guys and the refs are doing a really good job of jumping in to make sure guys don’t get hurt during fights. They try and get in as fast as they can and it’s not like we have heavyweights like we used to in the league where guys are fighting every single game. It might happen a couple times a year, but you can’t take it out of the game.”