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Penguins GM rips morning skates, says fighting not needed

Jim Rutherford isn’t exactly hiding his feelings on subjects regarding today’s game.

Speaking at a Penguins event, Rutherford admitted there’s no point to the morning skate. He said coach Mike Sullivan, owner Mario Lemieux and himself all aren’t fans of the tedious morning routine.

Rutherford’s anti-morning skate stance is probably felt league-wide at this point. The morning skate isn’t exactly important in the grand scheme of practice and development.

Meanwhile, Rutherford also took aim at fighting in hockey. He said the league doesn’t “need it,” as the “best events in hockey,” don’t involve fisticuffs.

“When you look at the best events in hockey, you don’t have any fighting,” Rutherford said, according to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I don’t think we need it.”

Fighting has faded from the sport in recent memory, especially post-lockout. With new data on concussions and head injuries, fighting has decreased. The NHL now emphasizes skill and speed over knuckles and brawls, which is beneficial to players’ long-term health. Is getting rid of fighting a reasonable solution? Personally, I’d be OK with it. However, eliminating it entirely would change the game. Considering how fighting numbers have dipped and almost become rare to see, the way the league is now seems like a fine middle ground.

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Yardbarker: NHL