Fight of the Year: Mirasty vs. Yablonski

The New York Times has reported it, so it must be true: fighting is up in the NHL. According to data compiled by hockey-fights.com -- not to be confused with hockeyfights.com -- as of earlier this week fighting was up 15 percent from last year and an incredible 75 percent from three years ago.
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↵As I mentioned here a couple of weeks ago, I think the NHL is happy to let this trend continue, especially with so many signs of economic distress on the horizon. Like it or not, the NHL is a gate-driven league, and the folks who show up at the gate like the fights -- something I found out first hand when I shot this video at Verizon Center in Washington a few years ago.
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↵If that's the case at the NHL level, it's only more so in the minor leagues, which is the source of the following clip of what might just be the hockey fight of the year. The clip comes from a December 19 game between the Syracuse Crunch and the Binghamton Senators, where minor league legends John Mirasty and Jeremy Yablonski squared off:
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↵ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵ ↵
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↵Now, you could be forgiven if the words "Mirasty vs. Yablonski" conjures up visions of an undercard match on the independent wrestling circuit or maybe even an episode of Judge Judy or The People's Court. But what it really has become is one of the best rivalries in the recent history of minor league fisticuffs. Since December 2007, Mirasty and Yablonski have fought on four separate occasions, and the lowest rating the voters at hockeyfights.com have given any of those bouts was an 8.1 out of 10. Look for more mayhem to come.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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