A hot topic of late has been whether or not fighting still has a place in the NHL. Former Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg defended its place in the game of hockey on the latest Bruins Beat.
Seidenberg pointed at one current NHL player as an example.
“There’s definitely still some room,” he said. “You have guys in the league that do that. You look at Washington with Tom Wilson. He’s a guy who can fight and is a total power forward but sometimes takes it a bit too far but he’s a guy who intimidates other teams.”
Wilson has become notorious around the NHL, most recently getting suspended 20 games for a hit to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist. Even though the suspension was reduced to 14 games earlier this month, Wilson’s had four suspensions since September 2017.
Seidenberg went on to explain the value of a player like Wilson.
“It’s always good to have a guy like that who creates room for your stars,” he said. “There’s definitely room in the league for that and I think you still need that in this league to keep everyone honest on the ice.”
The presence of Wilson on the ice goes past just being able to physically dominate his opponents. He also gets in their head.
“If I’m on the ice and I know Tom Wilson is on the ice with me, I know that when I have the puck and he’s chasing me, he’s going to take me out,” said the 37-year-old defenseman. “It gets guys thinking and thinking twice about what they do toward star players on the ice.”
Seidenberg referenced a former Boston Bruins forward he played with who had a similar effect to Wilson. Except this former tough guy used his great ability to trash talk to intimidate the other team.
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