Hurricanes’ Brad Malone Q&A About Role of Fighting in Game
CarolinaHurricanes.com: What are your thoughts on fighting in hockey?
Malone: I think there’s room for it in the game. I think you need it. With the decline, that role is kind of diminishing. Teams want four lines that can score and play instead of having [an enforcer] as the strongest asset on a line. You need some honesty within the game. I think fighting keeps it. I don’t know where it’s going to go.
CH.com: How valuable is it to have an enforcer on the roster?
Malone: I’d like to think it’s valuable. Being a guy that takes pride in bringing energy to the bench and to the rink, that’s something I can use to my advantage. As long as my teammates know that I’m willing to stick up for them and go to battle, I think that’s something that I take some pride in. In years past, when I’ve had other guys on my team that I know would go into the corner for me and take a punch or whatever it is, you can kind of play a little more free and confidently knowing someone’s got your back.
CH.com: Without fighting in hockey, what would happen?
Malone: If you watch college hockey, that pace and the way everyone kind of runs around looking for the big hit because after that you don’t really have to answer any bells. If that were to happen, that’s when guys would almost be in a more vulnerable position to get hurt because guys running around aren’t conscious of if they throw a big hit they have to fight.
CH.com: And in hockey, you’re essentially carrying a weapon in your hands at all times.
Malone: Yeah. You lose that code of if you put an opposing player in a bad position, you’re supposed to answer the bell. If you lose that code and everyone is allowed to keep their gloves and helmets on, I think you bring your stick back in as a factor.