One of the biggest stories in the NHL at the moment is the brutal knockout of Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik after he got into a fight with Boston Bruins bruiser Shawn Thornton. Orpik was carted off the ice after the fight ended and has since been place on IR with a concussion but the reactions to the fight are still coming in.
Pens captain Sidney Crosby spoke out about the fight today and while he didn’t say it was wrong that Thronton and Orpik fought, he objects to the level that Thronton took things in savagely knocking out Orpik.
“I don’t see a problem with Thornton going over to [Orpik] and asking him to fight. That’s the response,” Crosby said. “But to do what he did was totally unnecessary. It’s terrible. I’m sure he knows that more than everybody. He’s made a living at protecting his teammate and sticking up for them. But to confront [Orpik] and ask him to fight, I think every team wants a player like that. There’s nothing wrong with that. But to do what he did to him is not acceptable.”
The incident has reopened the discussion about fighting’s place in hockey, as those opposed to continuing to allow it as part of the game keep finding more and more reasons to be upset. This latest incident wasn’t called out by Crosby because of the fighting aspect but because of what it led to which highlights the fine line in the debate being had.