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Canadian Press
Dec 2, 2006, 10:07 PM EST


TORONTO (CP) - Hockey commentator Don Cherry says fighting is a part of hockey and has a place in today's NHL.

"(Fighting) has been going on for 50 years . . . 100 years," Cherry said on CBC's Coaches Corner segment during Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.

Cherry was supporting comments made last week by Phoenix Coyotes tough guy Georges Laraque, who said that the post-lockout NHL's emphasis on speed is phasing out the role of the traditional enforcer.

A rough count by CP lists only 11 NHL clubs who regularly dress tough guys, seven other teams who occasionally do, and 12 more who haven't at all this season.

Cherry showed a clip of Laraque wishing Los Angeles tough guys Raistis Ivanas luck before the two dropped the gloves.

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I think hockey fighting is a major part of hockey, even in junior leagues...It gives your team a momentum boost when they need it and also entertains the home crowd.
 
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