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Has the concussion issue contributed to the decline in fighting?

Jan 12, 2012, 1:08 PM EDT

NHL fight Getty Images

Fighting in the NHL is down 25 percent this season, notes Kevin Allen of USA Today.

Last season there were 697 fighting majors in the first half, and this season there were 519. Twenty-one of the 30 teams have had fewer fighting majors than they had at the midpoint last season. Seven are up and two stayed the same.

Allen spoke with three NHL general managers – Don Maloney (Phoenix), Doug Armstrong (St. Louis) and Brian Burke (Toronto) – to get their takes on the decline in fisticuffs.

Maloney believes all the concussion talk has players thinking twice about dropping the gloves.

Armstrong thinks it’s because pure enforcers are being squeezed out of the league.

Burke, as he’s already said, is worried about the rats taking over the game.

Maloney’s comments are perhaps the most noteworthy, as the concussion issue is often downplayed by hockey people.

“Even though very few fights end up in concussion, there is this feeling I have that people are more careful and leery,” he said.

  1. dirtydog57 - Jan 12, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    When a fight in hockey breaks out I go for refreshments!! I watch hockey for the skill energy and finesse. Throw another ref on the ice to watch instigators and penalize instead of fighting

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 12, 2012 at 2:29 PM

      Three refs? Add the two linesmen and they could give the teams on the ice a run for their money..

  2. tmjm621 - Jan 13, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    U want no fighting watch soccer, bitch. Hockey is for tough people, no its not boxing, but fighting keeps guys in line. (YES IT DOES) if the nhl turns into a league of teams like vancouver or montreal or tampa…i guarentee you my interest (and many others) will decline dramatically

  3. tmjm621 - Jan 13, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    I love going to the rink and seeing guys like brian mcgrattan, and brandon prustvand zenon konopka and matty carkner, etc. if i cud choose 5players to meet up with or dinner in nhl, i can honestly say 3-4/5 wud be toughguys. Its funny theyre usually the nicer cooler ones off ice.

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