There will always be significant debate between people that agree with fighting and people who disagree. Whether you like it or not fighting has no place in hockey.
People who agree with fighting in hockey will say “but it’s been around forever” or “it changes the momentum for a team when a player wins a fight” or “it polices the game for star players”. These are all valid answers/arguments, but where’s the proof that it swings the momentum for a team or it polices the game for star players?
It seems that now more than ever there are players getting suspended for dirty hits. It doesn’t seem like fighting is doing a very good job of policing the game. Those who are getting suspended are usually players that have no business in the league. If it weren’t for fighting, a lot of these tough guys wouldn’t be in the National Hockey League, which would eliminate dirty hits and fighting.
The NHL is a business that wants to continue making money and growing the sport. If new viewers are watching hockey and come across a hockey fight, what are they going to think? What if they don’t enjoy that type of violence? Not only will they stop watching hockey or attend any hockey events, they will spread the word to more people who are unsure about the sport. Also, what about the young children who are watching the sport? NHL players are like role models for these young athletes. They need to set an example that fighting should not be allowed. It’s not allowed at school or in other sports (NFL – contact sport), so why should it be allowed in hockey?
Another key element in the debate of fighting in hockey is the safety of the players. Yes, the players assume the risk when they partake in a fight, but these acts can lead to long-term damage to the brain. Concussions are more prevalent than ever and players need to realize the risk they’re imposing on themselves. The NHL might experience a lawsuit similar to the NFL when dealing with post-career brain damage.
If the NHL banned fighting for good, it would eventually be accepted. The new visor rule has been implicated for rookie players coming into the league. Players have often complained about how they dislike wearing a visor because they’re not comfortable with it. If the NHL can enforce this rule and make it acceptable, then they can ban fighting, too.