2/5/2009 10:24:04 PM
Georges Laraque vividly remembers the fight with Raitis Ivanans and admits it’s a classic example of the ”staged” fight NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly would like the NHL to get rid of.
Laraque called Kelly Thursday morning to throw his support behind the PA’s fighting related safety initiatives, even though he understands rule changes may result in the extinction of the one-dimensional fighter.
Laraque recognizes he’s part of the problem, but before he leaves the league, this outspoken enforcer wants to see change. He wants the NHL to implement new helmet regulations specific to fighting and flatly states, ”if you wear a visor you can’t fight… period.”
Laraque says the league needs to make the wearing of helmets in fights mandatory.
”Every fight a guy ends up on the ground and risks hitting his head on the ice. It’s simple. If the helmet comes off, or a player purposely takes it off, the ref should come in and stop the fight..It should be automatic…when the helmet comes off, the fight is over and if a guy throws a punch at a player without a helmet, he should get an extra penalty for that, too.”
Don Sanderson’s death changed everything for Georges Laraque and because of that the 12 year NHL heavyweight believes the NHL has no choice.
”The whole world is watching because someone in our sport has died. The Ontario Hockey League made changes, so what examples are we providing? If we don’t adjust, we’re a bush league!”
Laraque refers to NHL enforcers as a ”brotherhood” and understands less fighting may eliminate jobs and he is bracing for criticism from those who will say he’s made a fortune from being the player he’s suggesting needs to face restrictions.
But Laraque says, ”I want to protect and help the young players of the future.”