The Code: The Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Retaliation in the NHL

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Overview

For decades, hockey crowds have been brought to their feet for one of the most exciting aspects of NHL games—the fights. The Code: The Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Retaliation in the NHL by Ross Bernsteintakes you in-depth and behind the scenes to explore the history of fighting during hockey games and the honor system behind it. More than 50 NHL players, coaches, and media personalities were interviewed to examine how players go about their business during a fight on the ice. They explain why fighting is ...

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The Code: The Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Retaliation in the NHL

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Overview

For decades, hockey crowds have been brought to their feet for one of the most exciting aspects of NHL games—the fights. The Code: The Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Retaliation in the NHL by Ross Bernsteintakes you in-depth and behind the scenes to explore the history of fighting during hockey games and the honor system behind it. More than 50 NHL players, coaches, and media personalities were interviewed to examine how players go about their business during a fight on the ice. They explain why fighting is allowed and what tactics are used before, during, and after the melees. The Code: The Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Retaliation in the NHL discusses the top reasons why the gloves come off during hockey games.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572437562
  • Publisher: Triumph Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2006
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 518,490
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Ross Bernstein is the bestselling author of 40 sports books and has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio programs. His work has been featured on CNN, ESPN, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. As a sought-after motivational speaker, he speaks to corporations and groups across the country about the inspirational legacy of the late Herb Brooks, Hall of Fame coach of the fabled 1980 gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic "Miracle on Ice" hockey team. He lives in Eagan, Minnesota. Marty McSorley is a former National Hockey League player. He is famous for swinging his stick and hitting another player in a game, which resulted in his suspension for the remainder of his hockey career. Tony Twist is a former National Hockey League player who was known as an enforcer.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 12, 2014

    Anyone who has watched a professional sport for a length of time

    Anyone who has watched a professional sport for a length of time begins to understand the rules – and if they continue, they begin to see that there are another set of unwritten rules that exist beyond the ones written down and enforced by the league.  These rules, sometimes known as “The Code”, are enforced by the players themselves, sometimes in conjunction with coaches and even the officials working the games.

    Ross Bernstein has done a tremendous job in researching the unwritten rules in professional sports.  I have recently finished”The Code: The Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Intimidation in the NHL”, which discusses the tradition of both respect and of fighting in professional hockey.  The book is well researched and well written, with quotes from several people who played or were otherwise involved in the game over the years.  

    The book also delves into how the written rules have changed over time, and how the unwritten rules have evolved to keep pace.  It discusses how the players enforce these traditions – even to the point where sometimes players are taken to task by their own teammates.

    In my opinion, the book's flaw – although some may consider it to be its strength – is that it makes no pretense at being an objective study.  The author obviously endorses the concept that team enforcers perform a vital service to the game, and that attempts to wipe out fighting are misguided.  He makes the case that rules put in place to move away from the bench-clearing brawls of the 1970s' Broad Street Bullies have in fact hurt the game – while never denying that SOME sort of rules needed to be put in place to prevent those 18-on-18 fiasco's.  While suggesting that certain rules be repealed because of unforeseen consequences, Mr. Bernstein does not take things a step further and suggest how the rules SHOULD be changed to fix what he perceives are problems without bringing back the undesirable aspects that the rules DID eliminate.

    This is a good read.  There aren't a lot of books about sports that cause the reader to think, and while I only agree with some of the authors' points, he does make them in a clear and concise fashion.  I'm looking forward to reading the baseball version of “The Code” that is already on my To Be Read pile.

    RATING: 4 stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2007

    Good insight to a controversial subject

    I have to admit, I didnt' grow up in the midwest or in Canada where hockey rules, but I still love the game. So when I came across 'The Code', I had to see why fighting is so important and what role enforcers play. It wasn't the quickest read in the world, but I came away with a clearer understanding of why players drop the golves and why the 'instigator' rule is hurting this quirky sport. As a result, when I watch the games in person or on TV, I am more aware of the peckig order that exists on the ice, and I'm more aware of who's getting hit, who is doing the hitting, and what it could eventually lead to. This book is not for everyone, but if you love hockey, and want to research the 'art' of fighting in the hockey world, give this book a try.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    If you want to know why fighting in hockey is not only accepted, but necessary, or if you want some privy information from some of the game's top heavyweights, then read this book. But don't spend your money for it. There are numerous errors of fact throughout this book. One is tempted to give Bernstein the benefit of the doubt, and think it's a keystroke, like when he reports that Mario Lemieux is at least 6'5', 230. Well, he ended his career at 230, but came in weighing much less at 6'4', and I am quite sure he didn't get taller. Another I hoped I was reading as a typo was how Mike Vernon led his team to two consecutive Stanley Cups from 1996-1998. Well Mike Vernon wasn't the starting goaltender for the Detroit Redwings in `96-97, but he did build his stock up enough in the playoffs to get a fat contract from San Jose the following year, when Chris Osgood backstopped the Wings to the cup in '97-98. It is impossible to type 'Ontario' though when you mean 'Alberta'. Bernstein refers to the rivalry between Calgary and Edmonton as 'the battle of Ontario', and I know he knows the difference, because he refers to it as 'the battle of Alberta' later in the book. After a while of reading other completely irresponsible factual mistakes, the book would seem to be much less credible, and the only thing that salvages it is that quite a bit of the text is verbatim interviews with former and current players, referees and other hockey personalities. Here are some other comments that will make a hockey fan furrow their brow with disbelief - Comparing Muhammad Ali, the world's most recognizable athlete to Tie Domi. Spinning the 1987 Canada / USSR junior bench clearing brawl as a championship game. (The Soviets were out of contention.) Claiming the biggest rivalry of the six-team NHL was Chicago / Detroit. Not to disrespect that for what it was, but read any Canadian's book that has anything to do with hockey, and you will know the best NHL rivalry of all-time is Montreal / Toronto. Calling Derian Hatcher fast. After all of that, the book is not well written. If you want to read some great anecdotes, or really are curious about the necessities of fighting in hockey, then you¿ll find it here. But get it from your local library.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 12, 2011

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