Fighting words

"I can also see the other side of it. I mean I've been on the beneficiary of having some pretty tough guys playing with me and protecting me and it means a lot and it makes a big difference. Not an easy one."

-- Predators forward Matt Cullen


"I think it's still very much a part of our game. Obviously you don't like to see guys get hurt, but it's been in the game for a long time and I feel it still plays a part in games.

"There's been lots of talk of the policing of the game, and I do feel that's important and that fighting polices the game."

-- Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf


"I understand why the question is being asked, but for me personally, I think that it's a tough job to do, it's a tough thing for players to do, but I hope it's in the game for as long as I'm playing. I think it's something that not only holds guys accountable but also happens on the basis of either changing the momentum of a game, sticking up for a teammate; I know there are injuries that you see involved with it but if you ask anybody who has played the game, or is playing, they've had somebody do it for them, they've had somebody spark the team. None of us do it for fun or for the fans, we do it because: A) We want to win; B) It changes the momentum of a game and C): If a teammate gets hit ... I just think it's a big part of hockey and I hope it's always there."

-- Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson


"I think fighting should be allowed. I've played college hockey, lockout year I played in Sweden where you get kicked out for fighting, and you got guys taking liberties when there's no idea of a repercussion; you can go out and feel free to do things. That being said, you never want to see somebody get hurt in a fight. But you know what you're in for before you drop the gloves. I don't know, I just think there's a place for it in the game.

"Some of the fights are stupid, some of the staged fights are stupid. I've probably fought 10 to 12 times in my career and none of them were staged, they were me reacting. I've never been hurt in a fight, but that being said, I've never fought Colton Orr or anything like that because I'm not that stupid."

-- Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle


"Maybe we've come to a point where people want to discuss it and figure out how it's going to go moving forward. But I don't think it's a thing you can just take out of the game tomorrow. Will it be around in five to 10 years? Maybe not. But I think there's a use for it, it can be something that would be hard to take out of the game; just the nature of the game, the emotion, things happen … so to completely eliminate it, would be tough. But again, it could be one of those things that happens slowly over time. Before you know it maybe one day it'll seem like an archaic thing to do."

-- Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart


"It's not like a fistfight in the schoolyard, you're not bullying. You're going up against a guy who's willing. You're both willing, you want to go, you want to put on a show for the fans, get the crowd into it. I mean there's nothing better than hearing the building roar.

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