Hockey Fights- A Player’s Perspective: Zach McKelvie


Apr 19, 2013; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames fans and mascot Harvey the Hound during the third period between the Calgary Flames and the Anaheim Ducks at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a while since we’ve done a hockey fights. This one is going to be short and sweet. It has been a fun ride so far and in case you have missed the rest of the series here are the links:

Part 1: Chris Thorburn:

Part 2: Eric Selleck:

Part 3: Jared Boll:

Part 4: Steven Oleksy:

Part 5: Cullen Eddy:

Part 6: Mark Louis:

Part 7: Triston Grant:

Part 8: Mark Borowiecki:

Part 9: Brennan Evans:

Part 10: Jody Shelley:

Part 11: Darren Kramer:

Part 12: Dan Maggio:

Part 13: Zack FitzGerald:

Part 14: Bobby Robins:

Part 15: Paul Bissonnette:

What I’ve been doing is asking some of the fighters in the NHL and AHL what their perspective is on fighting because they are really the ones that should have the biggest say in the debate that is fighting in hockey. I wanted people to see that fighting is about more than just fighting. It is an important part of the game and needs to stay.

In this installment I talk to Zack McKelvie of the Abbotsford Heat, the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames. Zach has been in 16 fights in his 2 seasons in the AHL. 12 of those were last season making him 1st on the team in fights.

Here is what Zach had to say:

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding fighting in hockey lately, as a player who has been in numerous fights, what is the purpose of fighting in hockey?

Multiple reasons. It is a way to keep the game and players honest. It’s a way to try and swing momentum.

If fighting was taken out of hockey how would that change the game? 

Potentially it could become a dirtier game. Some players may take liberties because there is no fear of retaliation. With that being said there is some great hockey that is played without fighting such as the Olympics and College, both still produce entertaining hockey.

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? 

The intent in a fight is to hit your opponent in the head. The intent when checking your opponent should be to separate him from the puck or the play. So there is a big difference in the two which I think is the reason fighting gets all the attention.

What is your favourite fight in hockey? 

Cannot say I have one, but the fights from a few decades ago were pretty entertaining.

What fight in your career are you most proud of? Why?

None in particular stick out. The fights I’m most proud of for myself or my teammates is when the fight is a result of guys sticking up for one another.

*Note* I just want to thank Zach for answering my questions and Brandon Astle from the Heat for setting up the interview.