Hockey Fights- A Player’s Perspective: Brennan Evans


Sep 21, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brennan Evans (51) defenseman Brian Lashoff (23) battle for the puck against Boston Bruins center Ryan Spooner (51) and left wing Matt Fraser (25) during the second period at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

For those who are wondering how George Parros is doing after his spill, Marc Bergevin, the Montreal Canadiens general manager, said on October 9th to the Montreal Gazette that he was almost symptom free from his concussion. There is no rush to get him back into the line up and although he is feeling better concussions aren’t always a straight forward recovery.

The Parros incident was just another in a long string of incidents that cause people to reexamine hockey fights and their place in the game. People can debate the subject all day long but unless they are the ones out there living it it shouldn’t matter to them what the rules are. This is why I have been talking to those that are in the thick of it. Not to prove people wrong, but to help them understand what fighting in hockey is really about. (Check out Part 8 for the links to 1-7)

In this installment I talk to Brennan Evans of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the AHL affiliate to the Detroit Red Wings. Brennan has been in 120 AHL fights in his career and 2 NHL fights in the 2008-09 preseason for the Anaheim Ducks. Last season he had the second most fights on the Griffins with 14.

Here is what Brennan Had to say:

What is the purpose of fighting in hockey?

I think it’s to a point to police ourselves. To keep people accountable for dangerous actions on the ice. Without fighting there would be a lot more cheap shots because you could get away with it without repercussions, you just sit in the box for two minutes and that would be it. I think the threat of a fight or having to answer the bell stops guys from doing certain things.

Hitting causes the same amount if not more injuries than fighting, why do you think most of the negative attention is focused on fighting rather than hitting?

I think right now there is a lot of negative stuff on it because of what happened recently with George Parros hitting his face on the ice. When somebody gets hurt in fighting it’s very graphic. It can be very gut turning to see someone’s face slam off the ice. Whereas like you said said just as much if not more punishment or injury can be caused by a big hit. I think it’s just the visual of the fighting.

Do you think the Parros incident will change players’ stances on fighting?

No, I don’t think so. The guys that do the fighting, we know the risks that are involved just like anything else, they’ve been doing it for a long time. Stuff like this has happened before . I don’t think that one fight will change anybody’s stance on fighting.

Do you have a favourite fight in hockey history that you remember watching as a kid?

Don Cherry Rock em Sock em videos were very popular when I was a kid, they always had a lot of good fights in there. I don’t think I have one in particular. Maybe some from Bob Probert when I was young.

Is there a fight in your career that stands out to you?

Yeah, when I was a junior I got knocked out. That stands out to me. Not necessarily as a positive thing. It was pretty graphic, I was in a fight and I got knocked out unconscious on the ice. There was a huge pool of blood, you could see this pool of blood coming from the cut on my face and I’m laying on the ice not moving.  A night in the hospital, that stands out.

*Note* I want to thank Brennan for answering my questions and Alan Cross for setting up the interview.