Proof of the fact that fighting belongs goes back quite a ways. Would you agree that some of the best players of all time are Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman? Hard to argue with that list. Well let's look at some of their teammates. Orr had John Wensink. Gretzky had Marty McSorley follow him from Edmonton to Los Angeles. Lemieux had Ulf Samuelsson keeping opponents honest. Steve Yzerman had one of the best ever in Bobby Probert. Do you think Gretzky ever walked into Glen Sather's office and suggested they move McSorley? Hell, during Gretzky's tenure as Head Coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, guess who he employed? None other than super pest Daniel Carcillo. Here are some of history's greatest players. All of them had an enforcer.
Go ahead and yell at Ron Rolston for putting John Scott out there after the Tropp / Devane fight. People yell about Tropp getting hurt as his head hit the ice and how awful it is for the game. Well guess what, Tropp knew the risks. Everybody who plays hockey knows the risks, and if they don't, once they figure it out, they should quit if they don't like them. I am a big Corey Tropp fan. He had a choice to fight. What happened to him is regrettable, but it happened. Now, I'll tell you why John Scott went out after that. Two years ago, Milan Lucic ran Ryan Miller and nobody did anything about it. The whole Sabres team got ripped. Miller was visibly pissed off and came very close to flat out saying it to reporters. Analysts and former players were disgusted with the Sabres. How can you not protect your goalie? It was pitiful watching the next game as Paul Gaustad grabbed Lucic and he attempted to settle the score. It was too late. The damage was done and the team might as well have imploded. John Scott went on the ice last night to show that that wasn't going to happen again. For everyone screaming that the Sabres didn't protect each other that night, now everyone is screaming that they were involved in a brawl.
Stop talking about "the code". Stop talking about how terrible fighting is for the game. Check out the stands the next time a fight starts - the whole place stands up and screams. I don't condone cheap shots or sucker punches, but standing up for your teammates is a part of the game and it always should be. To those who have large platforms for which to speak to the injustice of fighting, I suggest you step down and take in the game for what it is. Stand by while a linemate gets pummeled. See where that gets you with your team. Stand there and take your beating and refuse to stand up for yourself. Sometimes, "the code" goes out the window. Sometimes, shit happens. Sometimes, you need to stand up and fight.