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No Room In The League For Guys Like Conor Stokes...

With guys like this in the league, there's no wonder why fighting is gaining a bad reputation throughout the hockey world. 

It began with banning the removal of the helmet prior to the fight because of one death in over 100 years of hockey. Now it's gone even further with the CHL's new rule regarding pre-staged fights, suspending players who drop the gloves off the opening face-off of a period. 

And with guys like Conor Stokes pulling moves like these game after game, it proves that one or two guys can ruin it for everyone - and it shows the lack of honour and mutual respect that enforcers are expected to have. 

This first video shows Stokes throwing a late, dirty punch that earned him a misconduct and a suspension, and below is a clip of his most recent fight against the Niagara IceDogs' Johnson Andrews, where Stokes proceeded to throw haymakers when the players both tumbled to the ice. 

The punches landed and bashed the IceDogs player's head off the ice causing severe bleeding, and Stokes was awarded a mere five minute fighting major. It is known among enforcers as an unwritten rule that once the fight reaches the ice, it's over. 

These types of actions are what cause people to doubt the necessity of fighting in hockey - and trust me, without the fight in the game of hockey, it is not hockey. It's already sad to see fighting majors decline due to the no buckets off rule; now players fear breaking their hands on the shield or helmet. For the amount of deaths or injuries caused by fighting with no helmet, there has to be plenty more beat up/broken hands by leaving them on. 

Back to the point, the gutlessness shown by Stokes should strike the league as a foreshadow of what this kid is capable of - no one I know personally in the sport would carry out actions like this, and if the kid is merely tapped on the wrist for these actions, I don't want to think about what he is capable of in the future. 

This is not how the game of hockey is meant to be played; grit and physicality is great, but dishonour and disrespect cannot be tolerated. 

If Michael Liambis was expelled from the league for his hit from behind as a repeat offender, I think Stokes' time should be soon. The fact he even wears an "A" on the Frontenacs shows that his behavior is obviously encouraged or supported by the team and coaching staff, which is totally shocking. 

If a player who continually throws cheap shots while fighting and carrying out his role is a leader on your team, something is going wrong.

So instead of making senseless rules that effect the enforcer that wants to do things right - we should re-evaluate what gives fighting in hockey controversy, and that's classless players like this...

View the videos and judge for yourself. 

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