Hockey's full of knuckle-dragging fighters.
No, that's a role.
Recently, I watched an enlightening documentary: Ice Guardians. It shed a light on why fighters fight. It gave a backdrop to the psychology of these athletes.
Paul Bissonnette is a known agitator, fighter and enforcer. Although he resembles the looks of a frequent visitor to Pacha, more than the rigours of the NHL circuit, he is an unbelievable athlete. However, he once played for Team Canada U18's, as a defence man. He wasn't one to be known for his fighting and more on his ability as a player.
In the NHL his role shifted and he became a left-winger.
In the NHL he has had 82 fights.
That's not including fights in the AHL, ECHL or during his time in Europe.
To put some light that this guy can flat out play: In the Elite league he registered 19 points in 10 games during the last lockout.
Hockey is a game were in the split second everything changes. You have to adapt.
You usually play 5 on 5 but when your team takes a penalty you are down a guy. You have to shift your mindset to defence first.
When you play a road game you have to play a different style that is usually a lot grittier.
If you break a stick on a shot and you have to back check, you have to adapt to stop the play without a stick.
It's a game where no matter how much training and situations you stimulate in practice, you will never fully be prepared for it.
The game can throw anything your way.
So, Hockey players know how to adapt.