Maybe I am not making myself clear. You will always have guys to drop the mitts. As the bottom 6 roster spots become more valuable, you will see the fighters transition to the guys like Clarkson. As I mentioned before, this transition is difficult when you have true goons in the league, as now it resembles an arms race. So teams have opted to either carry the goon or a try the best of both worlds by employing a more skilled fighter. We have 2 examples in NJ, Barch and Carter. I think Carter is a perfect example, as he can play and scrap. Of course we all know we aren't talking Probert style fighting, but I think this is the fighter of the future. In fact I feel bad for Ryan's knuckles this season as I expect a rise in his fighting majors.
Urbom dropped them tonight. The guys know there is a need and I would't be surprised if Stevens didn't send him out there to see what he had, which wasn't much.
Won't happen. The Devils have drafted 2 goons (Thomson, Bernard) and converted another player to being a goon (Young) in the last 5 drafts. That's just the Devils - plenty of other teams still value this sort of player, look at how many dumb fights there are during the preseason. And since these guys have no skill to begin with, they can play until they're 35 or 36 provided they don't get punch drunk.
And again, only an idiot team wants Clarkson fighting a lot - he's a valuable player, players can get hurt in fights, and there's no need to lose him for 5 minutes to a needless fight. He'll still definitely fight, but I don't think he'll be in the top 20 in fighting majors.
DeBoer thinks that the game is changing towards playing goons who can play, but he's just not correct about this - it's really really hard for big players to be any good at hockey, but that big arms race is going to continue. As someone on Twitter pointed out, there's probably too many skaters allowed to dress for NHL games - it's not hard to dress a guy for 5 minutes and hide the rest of his minutes with your other 11 forwards.
Urbom dropped them because this is how someone proves they are willing to make the team - by getting into a worthless fight where he got pummeled. It's meatheadedness at its finest - it will take lawyers to get it out of the game completely. I'm not against fighting but that fight last night, the idea that a guy has to fight to prove something about his hockey playing ability - yeah, I'm against that.