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Connor McDavid power rankings: Actually, it's about fighting in hockey journalism

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Connor McDavid will be sidelined for over a month, but the battle among NHL teams to catch him lives on.

Dennis Pajot/Getty Images

In the event that you're not tuned into Hockey Twitter, then you might not be aware of the raging debate about fighting in hockey that took place on Wednesday. That's because Connor McDavid, the NHL's undisputed No. 1 prospect and the namesake of this terrible column, fractured the fifth metacarpal in his right hand while fighting on Tuesday night and will miss 5-6 weeks.

This turned Wednesday into a fight about fighting. People laughed, people cried, but mostly people got really upset that other people didn't 100 percent agree with their view on fighting and its place in hockey.

In my opinion, the most intriguing perspective on the matter came from Erie Otters general manager Sherry Bassin, aka the guy most immediately impacted by McDavid's injury -- McDavid is the captain of the Otters, for those of you who don't know.

Bassin made his way around the various Sportsnet properties on Wednesday and expressed this sentiment:

People don't come to see fights. They come to see Connor McDavid.

Sherry is representing my perspective.

Now, calm down: I'm not coming to take your fights. And, for the record, I've been watching and playing hockey my whole life, so don't bring any of that in here either.

I'm just not entertained by fighting. Never have been and never will.

I tune in or show up to hockey games with the intention of watching hockey games. It just so happens that those hockey games sometimes include fighting. It's a part of the game's history and I can respect that. But it doesn't mean that I appreciate it or look forward to it.

Connor McDavid felt the need to fight on Tuesday night. That's his choice and it resulted in an unfortunate situation. Negative consequences are inherent in sport and injury is bound to happen, as has been shown by Sidney Crosby, Erik Karlsson and countless others.

It's just a shame that fighting sidelined a player of McDavid's caliber, because his talents are so much more valuable in other areas of the game.

The Connor Mc'Doh! Of The Week: San Jose Sharks

Awarded weekly to the team trying its hardest to fall into the McDavid sweepstakes.

Ah, the Sharks. My favorite heartbreaker. This team is fantastic at getting my hopes up and then crushing them like clockwork. Year after year after year after year aft

Let's go back a few weeks to a McDavid ranking from the recent past:

Everything's coming up Sharks, as is typical in October.

The worst part is I knew it was coming, but here I am.

The Sharks didn't even really perform that well in October, but managed a 6-4-2 record after the first month. This past week the team took a notable drop with consecutive losses, including a 4-1 defeat to the Florida Panthers. Now, by my estimation, Florida and Buffalo are the two most likely teams to finish at the bottom of the standings come April.

The Sharks have lost to both of those teams.

San Jose has been outscored 9-3 this week and is scheduled to face Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

The Connor McBlowout Of The Week: Colorado Avalanche

Awarded weekly to the team that suffered the NHL's most demoralizing loss.

Everyone projected the Avalanche to come crashing back down to reality this season, and so far those people have been right.

The Avalanche are 1-4-1 in November and have allowed 10 goals over their last two games, including a 6-0 blowout at the hands of the New York Islanders, which is the reason they are being honored in this category.

While some point to metrics as a way to gauge the state of a franchise, I've come to realize that you can tell a lot about a team by looking at the coach's face. And when I look at Patrick Roy's face, I realize that ...

... oh God, things are not good right now.

The Connor McDon't Need Him: Nashville Predators

Awarded weekly to the team that just doesn't need McDavid's help, and definitely won't get it anyway.

Nashville is fast, which isn't surprising given that Peter Laviolette is the team's coach. What is surprising is that the club has emerged as a potential player in the Central Division.

With Pekka Rinne back in net, the team remains a defensive force. And while offense isn't copious -- the Predators are still averaging the same 2.47 goals per game average as last season -- it hasn't kept the team from winning games. The club has won three straight and is 7-3-0 in its last 10.

Now, if any Capitals fans are reading this, please skip to the next section now:


OK, Filip Forsberg is on fire right now, has recorded six goals in his last five games and has a six-game point streak that has resulted in 10 points over that span. He currently leads the team in scoring with 17 points. Meanwhile, Martin Erat is not playing for the Caps.


Nashville is red-hot right now, and if we're going off the coach's-face scale to determine the state of the Preds ...


... don't mess with these guys.

The Connor McNeed To Rig The Draft Lottery: Carolina Hurricanes

Awarded weekly to a bad team that's not quite bad enough to actually land McDavid in the draft ... unless, of course, the lottery balls go their way.

If the Hurricanes keep this up, rigging the draft lottery will be the only way they get McDavid.

Once proclaimed the worst team in the league by me by the the entirety of the hockey world, the Hurricanes have re-emerged behind the excellent play of Cam Ward and the return of captain Eric Staal.

I have obviously made it a mission to watch bad teams this year and have found myself tuning into Hurricanes games in the hopes of finding material for the McDavid rankings. While I have been disappointed in that sense, I have been overjoyed with the Hurricanes' style of play and have been legitimately entertained by the club the past few weeks.

The Hurricanes have recorded points in every game in November (5-0-1) after collecting only two points in all of October.

Elias Lindholm has played well, and Jeff Skinner recorded the 100th goal of his career thanks to a beautiful pass from Alex Semin.

Watch out, y'all, the 'Canes are coming.

The Connor McFront Runner Of The Week: Columbus Blue Jackets

Awarded weekly to the team that, as of right now, has the best chance of landing Connor McDavid in the 2015 Draft.

The Blue Jackets are in a bad place right now.

In regards to on-ice activity, the team has gone nine consecutive games without a win and is 0-8-1 over that span. The Jackets have been outscored 11-6 over their last two games and have a laundry list of injuries that have immediately impacted their ability to compete.

Which brings us to the most heartbreaking element of the Columbus franchise right now: Nathan Horton.

Aaron Portzline had a chance to speak with Horton and catch up on where he is in terms of his health, and it's not good. Horton is in severe pain that has dramatically altered his ability to lead a normal life. Hockey aside, Horton is struggling to exist without pain. It has impacted his ability to play with his children and his ability to sleep.

It truly sounds like hell.

To make matters worse, he has to decide between dealing with this pain or undergoing corrective surgery. The issue with selecting surgery is that it will end his ability to play professional hockey.

In short, the Blue Jackets are an underdog club that many rooted for. That is only amplified now. Unfortunately, that means it might be more realistic to hope for a favorable turn in the lottery rather than a shot at the Cup.

The Connor McMatchup Of Next Week

Set your DVRs/PVRs!

The Arizona Coyotes travel to Edmonton to take on the Oilers on Sunday, Nov. 16. The game starts at 9 p.m. ET and can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and Sportsnet West.


If you have / see / hear a Connor McDavid McHockey Moment this week, be sure to pass it along in the comments section, by tweeting me @mattbrigidi or by emailing me at