End of the fights: in Laval, they don’t care

No hypocrisy, no double-talk, no stupidity: in Laval, there’s a fight and it’s perfect like that.

They don’t care if it bothers them. They take responsibility and do not hide.

Friday evening, in Laval, is game number three of the North American Hockey League (LNAH) semi-final series. It opposes the 3L of Rivière-du-Loup and the Pétroliers de Laval.

To promote this match, the Petroliers wrote this on their Facebook page:

“Hear hear… Laval Nation, you are all invited to the Colisée tomorrow evening for game 3 of this series 4 of 7. BRETT GALLANT and JONATHAN FORTIER will be back in the lineup.”

Taken from the Pétroliers de Laval Facebook page

Lots of fists

As you can imagine, Gallant and Fortier don’t have the skating of Pavel Bure or the shooting of Brett Hull.

Gallant, 35, played 4 games in the NHL with the Islanders 10 years ago.

Over 15 years in professional hockey, he played 568 games and collected 1885 penalty minutes. He scored 26 goals.

Jonathan Fortier is 34 years old and also plays for Laval. He has played 82 games in senior hockey since 2018. He has 553 penalty minutes and 0 points.

In short, everyone understands that they are there to fight. That’s all. And it is by promoting themselves that the Petroliers fill their arena that the team still calls House of pain. On their Facebook page, you can see summaries of matches, fights, announcements of brawlers who will be in uniform and even photos of children cheering on the team.


Pugilist Derek Parker (left) is also part of the Pétroliers de Laval. He has no points this year in 26 games, but he has 140 penalty minutes.

DIDIER DEBUSSCHERE/JOURNAL DE QUEBEC

It was a publication concerning this subject on Facebook by the friendly radio host of CIEL FM (Rivière-du-Loup), Kévin Beaulé, which caught my attention.

“It became a semi-pro league in 2001 […] Laval continues the tradition of pushing the League backwards,” he wrote, denouncing that we are trying to present good hockey like a circus.

It’s true that there are some really good hockey players among these two clubs like the former pick of 2e round of the Canucks, defenseman Yann Sauvé, who makes a point per game at 34 years old in the LNAH. Or Louick Marcotte, who had a 100-point season in the QMJHL. Or Raphaël Bussière, a big winger chosen in the second round by the Wild in 2012.

What we say and what we do

But in Laval, we don’t care when it’s time to sell hockey.

Kévin Beaulé is right, it’s retrograde and embarrassing. There’s no logic why two guys would try to beat each other up over ice cream. There is even less logic in promoting it.

But that’s what they say. And that’s what the majority of people here think according to several surveys on the abolition of fights.

It’s easy to say that. We look better when we condemn violence. We seem to be keen to encourage him, like Laval.

But in our corner, when no one is looking, what happens?

Do we turn off the TV when there’s a fight in hockey? Don’t we click on a video on our social networks when there’s a general melee? Bullshit.

As a sports media, we often publish reports that condemn fights. But like all media, when there is some, do you think we hide it? We can clearly see the readers’ appetite for this.

It’s like wanting to see a road accident.

It’s like clicking on gossip sites. Nobody does it, but everyone does it.

It’s like porn. Nobody watches it, but in 2023 there were 700 million more visits to the XVIDEOS porn site than to Amazon. And I point out that Amazon attracts 30 billion visits per year.

In the United States, it’s a little more Laval in terms of fights. We hide it less than we like it.

I was listening to UFC and legendary host Bruce Buffer was announcing the final fight of the gala. I quote him: “Now for the final fight presented by Kung Fu Panda 4 which you can see in all cinemas.”

So we should be outraged that the Pétroliers de Laval are promoting fighting, but at the same time a children’s film is sold in partnership with a sport where the goal is to annihilate your opponent through fighting?

Basically, one is no less brilliant than the other, in my opinion at least.

The fights are far from disappearing. The public discourse to oppose it is completely disconnected from guilty desire, but irresistible for, in my opinion, the vast majority of amateurs.

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