Fighting in hockey especially in the NHL is a very big debate right now. Should it be a part of the game? Should it be banned? It is a debate that has been going on since the first game of the regular season. Ensuring that all players are safe within the NHL is a very important part of the league and it is always hard to watch when you see a player go down hard and be taken off on a stretcher. The NHL has had a number of big named executives make comment about fighting in the NHL, including Steve Yzerman, who believes that fighting is unnecessary and should be banned for player safety reasons
However a few years ago, the NHL did a poll of the players and found that around 98% of the players stated that fighting should be a part of the game. That being said, these players know the consequences of fighting and still continue to drop the gloves. A number of people who are in favour of keeping fighting use the argument that “it is part of the game and wouldn’t be the same with out it.” I agree with this to a certain extent, however you could also argue that for a long time, wearing a helmet wasn’t “part of the game” but now it seems idiotic to not wear a helmet in an NHL game, or any form of hockey for that matter. Rules change in sport, and will continue to do so. It doesn’t necessarily take away from the “history of the game” but improves the game for the players, fans, and organizations.
The NHL wants to ensure safety for their players and if banning fighting is going to be a big step in improving the player safety than so be it. I am a fan of fighting but I understand the views of people who want to take it out. It is often an unnecessary part of the game which can add a small bit of excitement to see a player who plays less than 5 minutes of ice time punch another guy in the face for about a minute. So although I do enjoy seeing a good fight, it is always really hard to see a player taken off on a stretcher and potentially never play the game again.
After seeing what happened to George Parros in the first game of the NHL regular season against Colton Orr, it is understandable why the people want to see fighting banned. Although a number of people state that it was a freak accident, things like this happen, and the NHL has started to improve the rules by trying to have players keep their helmets on during a fight otherwise they will be given minor penalties on top of their five minute majors.
So I’ll leave it with this question, do you believe that fighting should be a part of the NHL? and if so what could the NHL do in order to ensure that the fights are as safe as possible.