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Should Fighting Be Abolished in the NHL?

March 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 141

It has been a challenge to trace the origins of fighting in the NHL. The game is naturally rough and competitive with lots of aggressors. Hockey historians attribute the elements of fighting to the lack of rules in the game's early days. The addition of the blue lines may have also encouraged fighting with a variation of spots for face offs. Oddly enough, fighting in hockey has been known to play a part in team strategy.

Like the National Football League, the NHL has shown a growing concern toward the amount of concussions sustained by its players. Pittsburgh Penguin superstar Sidney Crosby has been riddled with concussions and his absence has cost the Penguins thousands if not millions of dollars in lost revenue. The same could be said pertaining to Peyton Manning and his absence from the Indianapolis Colts this past season.

Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are two offensive stars the NHL wants and needs to keep on the ice. In the old days, teams would hire enforcers or brawlers that would protect offensive stars like Ovechkin and Crosby when opponents roughed them up. Fighting was much more prevalent back then with an average of more than 1 fight per game. The Philadelphia Flyers teams of the 1970s, also known as the Broad Street bullies, helped popularize fighting. To them, it was a way to intimidate its opponents.

There is even an unwritten code of conduct among players in the NHL when it comes to fighting. One of them is that two enforcers must mutually agree on fighting. Another unwritten rule is that players known to be injured are typically granted a free pass and are not pursued to fight.

Today, fighting at NHL arenas is not as prevalent and has decreased for the fourth straight season (0.45 per). So far this season, the league has documented only 3/85 concussions of which could be attributed to fighting. If you have been watching the NHL on television, you will notice the increased efforts by the referees to stop fights and scuffles before they even begin.

You also can't help but to notice the positive reaction the fans show when a fight breaks out. That, my friends, is why fighting needs to stay in hockey. It's all about the customer. Without the fans, the NHL wouldn't be a billion dollar industry. The players are well compensated for their physical profession. NHL players were recently polled and 98% believed that fighting should remain in the game. You ban hockey and watch the attendance slowly decline.

John Mann invites you to share your thoughts on the seats you sat in at NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL games you have attended at FromThisSeat.com. Your feedback helps other fans decide where to sit before they purchase their tickets. It is absolutely free and easy to use. All you need are your old ticket stubs.

Follow me on Twitter @FromThisSeat.

Source: EzineArticles
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