Third period down by four, an unseen crosscheck, a quick slash and the gloves are off, an uppercut that breaks a nose and sends blood that sprays blood onto the ice is countered by a roundhouse to the side of the head that sends a helmet flying, the refs jump in and pull the two skate-bound fighters apart… the hockey fight.
Growing up in New Haven, Connecticut I was lucky to get to go a lot of New Haven Nighthawk’s games. The Nighthawks, around from ’72-’92, were affiliated with The LA Kings from ’81 on, and they had a Mr. Ken Baumgartner on the squad at the time. When trouble was brewing Ken would skate auspiciously onto the ice to the entire crowd chanting “Boomer, Boomer, Boomer” and within seconds Baumgartner usually had his fist going into someone’s face. By the time he hung up his skates, Baumgartner had racked up 2242 regular penalty minutes in the NHL. Boomer had me hooked. I love the hockey fight. The crowd jumping to it’s feet, hands flying in the air, refs backing off…
For most of us a good hockey fight is something you catch on the sports highlights, or maybe a couple times a season if we are lucky to get to games, but for David Singer hockey fights are a calling. David is the creator of hockeyfights.com, a one-stop for everything to do with hockey players battling it out on the ice. I recently had the good fortune of corresponding with David to get a little bit more of a low-down on this marvolous asset to the sports world.
Although he keeps his age quite, David grew up on Long Island while the Islander’s Dynasty was in it’s decline. In ’95 David started a personal website which after four years evolved into hockeyfights.com. The inspiration behind the website? David likes a good fight. Period. Although he was able to see the scoring leaders in the paper, there was no fighting major list, an understandable complaint to the avid hockey fight fan. When he had been growing up, David says that he “remembered the tough guys as some of the nicest guys off the ice”, a memory which stuck with him. A love for fights, fighters, and the desire to show what these guys are made of all came together in a perfect recipe for hockeyfights.com.
Hockeyfights.com isn’t just hitting… it’s got it all, a combination of hockey fights, checks, goals, dekes, whatever. On the hockeyfights.com FAQ’s it reads “If it’s exciting, it can be here.” The site is updated the day after games, but David sometimes gets to it late-night of game day… now that is a hockey fight trooper. This mecca of broken up brawling hasn’t hasn’t gone unnoticed, with up to seven million page views a month during the season the site has appeared in ESPN the Magazine as well other magazines, newspapers and mentions on tv and radio. David says, “I get all kinds of feedback, from fans to media to players. It’s generally very positive, but once in a while someone blames me and hockey fights for all of the world’s ills.” Oh I bet those emails are special… we need to throw the authors on the ice for a round or two with Boomer!
My Hero: It takes time to do things right. David Singer has done it right with hockeyfights.com. So for keeping a tab on the daily slug fest during the season, and giving us some stats and great videos to pour through the rest of the year, you Mr. David Singer are My Hero of the Day.