Why Fighting Needs to Stay in Hockey

One of the biggest debates going on in the hockey world is whether to keep fighting in the game. The argument can be made on either sides, however along with one of the greatest hockey players to ever play the game, Bobby Orr, I am on the pro side to keep it in the game.

Fighting has been in hockey since the day it was started. It does what no other professional sport can do, let the players police themselves. This happens when liberties are taken on a player. This can be in the form of a cheap shot, dirty hit, along with other teams. When this happens sometimes the referees do not see or a 2 minute penalty is not enough to do justice for the other team. This is how and why fights need to happen. Players need to know that they can not just skate around the ice being able to do whatever they want.

One argument against fighting is player safety. There have been some significant injuries to players that have been apart of fights. These players know exactly what they are getting into and know what the consequences are. As Bobby Orr explains in the article one of the main reasons for fighting is to keep the players safe, mainly the “star” players who bring the fans in the arena. Take fighting out of the game and you can almost guarantee that injuries will increase dramatically.


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6 Responses to Why Fighting Needs to Stay in Hockey

  1. I watched the episode of OTR with Bobby Orr in it stating that hockey needs fighting. I’m going to play devils advocate here and say that hockey really doesn’t need it anymore, in my opinion. Now I’m not a hockey expert by any means at all, but from what I’ve seen in the game, the game has outgrown it’s original “tough Canadian” roots. Sure there are your battles on the ice for the puck, but the NHL and the teams don’t sell fighting anymore, they sell hockey. As a fan personally, I would like to see more of the skills of the players than the bruisers of the game go around and play tough guy on the ice.

    I think, however, this needs to be introduced at a lower level. There should be more emphasis on educating minor hockey participants about the dangers of fighting (concussions, severe head trauma after hitting their head off the ice, long term brain defects, etc.) and the fact that it can be avoided all together. Too many kids/juniors/adults/people in general have either gotten seriously injured or died because of fighting in the game of hockey. How many more severe injuries is it going to take before it’s too many?

  2. nickbutts says:

    I agree that fighting needs to stay in hockey. George Parros was interviewed a couple of days ago and was asked if fighting should be banned and he basically said that there have been a lot of freaky incidents involving fighting this season, however, this should not deter NHL policymakers from keeping fighting in the game. I agree with this statement and if we look back ten years ago in the NHL, fighting was never the topic of discussion. How do you keep players who continuously straddle the line (in terms of legal on-ice conduct) in check? (Pun intended). I believe NHL players will be more vulnerable to injury if the enforcers are exiled as “the code” that NHL players have been living by since the league’s inception will disintegrate

  3. tmills17 says:

    I completely agree in the fact that fighting in hockey should remain in the professional game. Steve Yzerman stated that players should be given a game misconduct for fighting, meaning they would be ejected from the game. I think that this would be a terrible rule change just based on the fact that if a star player was coerced into a fight, because hockey is an emotional game and things can escalate quickly, they would be lost for the rest of the game. This could cause the role of ‘agitator’ to rise, which is a role the NHL has been working hard to remove from the league.

    I predict that the removal of fighting from the game will only cause a rise in injuries and stick infractions. Hockey is a very emotional game and tempers can rise very easily. If you have a problem with something or someone in the present league, it can be settled in a 2 min fight that ends when the players fall. If there is no fighting the players will be taking out these emotions with the use of illegal stick work, which the NHL has been removing as of late with rule changes, or by purposely targeting their opponent with large hits. There have been injuries attributed to fighting, however I believe that this is way less than the injuries that occur if the players aren’t allowed to stand up for themselves or teammates through fighting.

  4. pauldermody says:

    There is a certain code that hockey players must follow. It is an eye for and eye mentality. I do believe that if you were to take fighting out of the game there would be more problems to occur then before. George Parros said in his last interview that he doesn’t want to be the face of an anti fighting campaign in the NHL. He’d lose a job if that happened he believes.

  5. sroche19 says:

    I agree with Paul that there is an unwritten code players follow. I agree that the “Staged” fights don’t necessarily have a place in the game anymore because of the dangers however i believe that there is still a place for fighting. Tough guys are usually the most respected players on the team and these guys police the ice in a way. Without fighting there might be more players running around the ice taking cheap shots etc. These players do have a eye for eye mentality and i think this is an effective way to police the game however it is definitely important to find a way to make fighting safer in the NHL.

  6. derekdangelo says:

    Fighting is one of the most essential components in the game of hockey and the removal of this from the NHL would take away the jobs of many players. In this sense I agree with Pauls statement above in reference to George Parros as so called “tough guys” or “enforcers” would no longer have a place in the game. Further these individuals involved in fights in the NHL know the risks that come of fighting but realize that it is an “unwritten code” in their job description as that is their role on the team. Additionally most of the fights that occur are between so called “fighters” making it for the most part evenly matched as opposed to a star player fighting an enforcer which could potentially pose more injury related incidents.

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