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Poll: Does fighting still belong in the NHL?

Oct 2, 2013, 10:46 AM EDT

George Parros Getty Images

George Parros‘s time in the hospital may be over, but the fighting debate sure isn’t. Not surprisingly, there are passionate calls for the NHL to take action following last night’s incident in Montreal.

Writes Sportsnet’s Michael Grange:

The discussion on head injuries across sports should make banning the one element of hockey where the goal is to hit people in the head a relatively easy sell. As it is, fighting has increasingly pushed to the margins for years, even though NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has never given a hint of being interested in leading the charge.

But now it needs to go not only because of what happens when big men punch each other in the face, but also what can happen entirely by accident.

Common sense will prevail and one day fighting will be gone, the question is: Will we be celebrating, or will we be mourning the last casualty before the ceasefire?

Bettman, by the way, recently told CBC’s Peter Mansbridge (video) that fighting is “part of the game” (though he did leave the door open for that to change in the future), and also suggested it’s the players who’ve been most supportive of keeping the current fighting rules in place.

Bonus poll:

103 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. tjvalley - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    This is why MEN plat this game and not boys. There are a lot of incredibly talented hockey boys out there. They are boys cause they can’t play with the men. Men win battles. Boys don’t. In the NHL, you need to win battles.

    • doubles22 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      I’m on record as saying I enjoy a good scrap as much as anybody, and I’m also UFC fan. The New York Times 3 piece series on Boogey last year really has me re-thinking my position. And I’ve never been one to say hockey should ban fighting, but I’m starting to reconsider that position as well.

      If they don’t get rid of fighting, it’s just gonna be a matter of time before somebody ends up in a wheelchair or Heaven forbid worse. Guys are just too big, too strong, & too fast nowadays. It’s only a matter of time until something really, really bad happens. And when it does, it will be something that should have 100% been avoided and will be one of, if not THE most regretful incidents in all of sports. This is going to happen, just a matter of when.

      • stakex - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        Someone, some day, is going to break their neck and die as the result of a body check. Its almost happened in the past, and its all but certain to someday happen in the future. The game is faster, the players are bigger, and the boards aren’t any softer. So the question is, should hitting be banned as well? After all it did result in far more injuries then fighting does.

        ….and there is the problem. Hockey is a tough sport that carries a serious risk of injury all around. That’s just how it is, and no one is forced to play it. Let the grown men who play the sport make their own choice (the players overwhelmingly want fighting btw), and stop trying to play mommy.

      • esracerx46 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        Would you feel differently if they made a rule where if you fight, you have to fight gloves on? Nevertheless, these guys that fight know exactly what could happen. They have chosen to continue to play that way either because of the almighty dollar or because they like doing it. Or both. John Scott after being asked what he’d be doing if he wasn’t “playing” hockey, his response was he’d be an engineer. But until then, its hard to turn down that kind of money.

      • kmo25 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        Hey Pal, i’ve got news for you. Someone is going to die in the UFC before someone dies in a hockey fight! Hockey players have been scrapping for years. An NHL player has a better chance of getting hurt on a hit from behind than he does in a fight.

        The UFC is 100% more dangerous than the NHL no matter how big the guys are. It cracks me up the double-standards the media uses. The NFL it’s all about the concussions. The NHL it’s about concussions and now fighting because a guy slipped and smashed his face. How come the media isn’t all over the UFC worrying about either when guys take KICKS to an unprotected head followed by numerous right hands? Ridiculous!

      • 950003cups - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        At the end of the day its about ENTERTAINMENT. If we are not entertained, we won’t watch.

        The NBA was a dying boring sport until Michael Jordan came in and made it entertaining again. Then you saw all kinds of players follow him and you now have a fun pick and roll game with nice flashy dunks.

        The MLB was having trouble getting people interested for 162 games until they had Sammy Sosa and Mark Maguire in Home Run derbies. Then it became popular again.

        NFL was dying when it was a running game. But once they made the rules where QB were airing it out on every team, it became the power house it is today.

      • 950003cups - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        If hockey wants to increase scoring, they will get more viewers. But the players are asking for a lot more money than the league will be able to afford. They need to increase viewers, and at the same time keep the ones they already have.

      • cmmorgan32 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:45 PM


        The fact of the matter is the UFC is regulated by athletic commissions (like boxing). Meaning that if a fighter gets injured (ex. a concussion), they get a medical suspension for a certain amount of days and I believe that they also have to pass a neurological exam in order to regain medical clearance. Until recently, if someone had a concussion in the NHL or NFL that player hardly missed any time (if any). I hate to break it to you, but there has been a “hockey fight” death. An argument can also be made that “hockey fights” are responsible for the deaths of guys like Boogaard and Rypien.

        I would argue that you have the two reversed and fighting is actually more dangerous in hockey versus the UFC. In hockey, the head is the primary target. The same can’t be said in the UFC/MMA. Also, in hockey, the ice increases the danger vs. the canvas MMA fighters compete on. Look at all the injuries that have occurred due to players hiting the ice hard. I highly doubt that we’d be having this discussion right now if Parros didn’t go head first into the ice. “Hockey fights” have been around for years, but “fighting” has been around for far longer.

    • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:43 AM

      really! So why is fighting allowed in junior hockey where a player’s age ranges from 16 to 20. Men and not boys you say.

      • 950003cups - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        If the NHL is so concerned about the “image” they are showing. Then tell them to put their money where their mouth is. Stop acting PC and take out the fighting. It’s a fact that attendance will plummet, TV ratings will die, and see how they feel about fighting then.

        The NHL acts like they have the fan power of the NFL to change things.

    • lindenfrank123 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      ha that’s laughable..once again a Neanderthal equates power and sound mind with fists…get real and get an education…girls still love a sensative guy and it ain’t girly!

    • lindenfrank123 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      ha that’s laughable..once again a Neanderthal equates power and sound mind with fists…get real and get an education…girls still love a sensative guy and it ain’t girly…it’s not. Battles? This is a sport moron not war.

      • 950003cups - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        Sean Avery! How are ya! How’s the new fiancee doing?

    • mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      Hahaha, wow. Congrats. You made a pro-fighting post that received 45 dislikes. You’ve got some serious skills.

    • kilejo - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:02 PM

      Name 10 fighters in history that could actually play the game and contribute to their team. All they do is take a roster spot from someone with actual skills. The league will never truly be taken seriously while this is “a part of the game”. But if it has to remain a part of the game I hope everyone beats up Chris Kunitz.

      • flyerspsu - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:23 PM

        1st off you are assuming being a tough, physical player that defends teammate doesnt contribute to his team in any way which many would disagree with

        2nd, the premise of your question is extremely flawed

        who dictates as a “fighter”, someone that is tough and a good fighter cus there have been countless guys who were and are good fighters that are damn good players, in fact one of the best on their respective teams

        right now alone there are a # of those guys like Lucic, Clowe, Simmonds, Iginla, Chara … and then guys that are solid regulars in Prust, Fraser, Mcquaid, Erskine, Neil, Engelland etc that all play solid minutes b/c of their play not fighting

        or do you have to fight a lot and go with the toughest in the league?

        Cus guys like Rick Tocchet and Terry O’Reilly did just that while being real good players, in fact O’reilly is known as one of the best tough guys/enforcers of all time and he had a 90 point season

        while ultimate “goons” like Dave Schultz and Bob Probert could player, Probert put 29 goals and 62 points in a season before and Schultz had a 20 goal years

        so answer is an undeniably yes, there have been countless real good fighters that were great players and even some of the best enforcers of all time were good players

      • sabatimus - Oct 2, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        I’ll name a couple more: Shawn Thornton and Cam Neely. Thornton isn’t used all that much and doesn’t have the high skill of the other lines, but when he’s out there you KNOW it. He very rarely makes mistakes and often surprises with smart passes. And Thornton is undeniably a clubhouse leader.

        Neely was an elite scorer who happened to be a devastating fighter. But Neely wasn’t a goon (i.e. he didn’t fight on every other shift) because he was so talented that the Bruins wanted him on the ice instead of the penalty box.

    • thebadguyswon - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      It will be gone eventually. Guaranteed.

  2. madtolive5 - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    This is really just a terrible, trolling argument and It is really a step away from why should hockey even exist. In his argument, you can Substitute fighting for, an accidental check, a puck to the face, or a glass board falling,or a player slipping while on the ice. It is very unfortunate it happen and that it happened during a fight.

    I am not saying you can’t make an argument for getting fighting out of the league that makes sense (even though i don’t agree) but this particular argument is maybe the worst one ever.

    • mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      It wasn’t just a slip. He threw a punch that didn’t connect. His other hand was tied up on a jersey. This was about fighting.

      • madtolive5 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        Umm what????

        Orr slipped during the flight and Parros fell, with him.. It wasn’t a deliberate move. it was an accident, because they were engaged and Orr was holding him, while on ice.

        So you can take a very loaded and narrow view and blame the fact there is fighting in the NHL or you can see it as an accident. Many other accidents COULD happen. If a guy gets cut by a skate by accident, do we move the sport to roller rinks??

        They are playing on a hard ice surface. There is an occupational hazard that goes with the game. It isn’t being a “man” or any of that garbage. It just can’t be 100% safe, and if you try to get it 100% safe, you wont have a sport.

      • mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        Yes, this was an accident. No doubt. And I take exception to you calling my view of it Loaded. I’m rather even tempered about the whole debate. I think there are reasons to ban fighting, but I also think it would disrupt the NHL significantly. I’m just constantly disappointed with the extreme ridiculousness of the arguments to keep fighting in the game as is.

        Its NOTHING like skates which are an absolute essential element of the game.

        Its NOTHING like hits which in many many many situations are unavoidable.

        Its NOTHING like ice and NO ONE is trying to make it 100% safe at all times. NO ONE.

    • mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      Watch it. Orr has his jersey, he has Orr’s. Parros winds up and Orr slips right as he is about to let go. His momentum from his swinging arm carries him forward. Its not Orr that takes him out. Parros falls because of the momentum from a swing he was about to throw at Orr

      • sharpie147 - Oct 2, 2013 at 7:28 PM

        I’m not a physics major…but how can he have “momentum from a swing he was about to throw”? If he hasn’t thrown it there is no said momentum. Unless he fell backwards from a tremendous back swing, but again that would make him fall back not forward I believe? I think, again just my opinion, that he fell because…wait for it….ice is damn slippery!

      • mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 8:15 PM

        Well thankfully you don’t have to be a physics major to watch the NHL dot com video over again.

      • madtolive5 - Oct 3, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        Ugh whatever dude. It was an accident, Orr didn’t purposely try to knock his head on the ice,
        Knee to knee, elbows and anything raffi Torres has ever done is so much more offensive then fighting…

        Honestly no idea who you are but reading you comments makes you seem
        Like a typical Habs fan. You r team loads up on fighters and now that one is injured during a fight…fighting is immoral.
        No idea who you are but your comments here and on other posts scream it

      • mp1131211 - Oct 3, 2013 at 10:37 PM

        Oh. Well, honestly, I have no idea who you are either (seems a bit redundant to acknowledge on an NHL comment thread, but since you brought it up….) but reading your comment makes me think you don’t read my comments before you start typing.

  3. 19to77 - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Different season, same nonsense. First time anyone gets hurt in a fight, out come the bleeding-heart journalists to bleat about how barbaric it is.

  4. jhuck92 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    It belongs in the game. Always has, always will.

  5. pxland - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Flame on you crazy pacifists.

    • davebabychreturns - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      Seriously? Because anyone who even suggests that fighting is bad (or is on its way out regardless of their personal opinion) seems to be drawing a flood of thumbs downs from other commenters.. meanwhile the ones “flaming” are the folks suggesting that fighting is necessary and anyone who disagrees isn’t “a man” or isn’t a real hockey fan or some other flavour of ridiculous ad hominem.

      • pxland - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        Actually, reading the posts from yesterday and so far today both sides are flaming. Ironically, I found your post from yesterday to be one of the few that made a good point without being an asshat about it.

  6. greej1938l - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    YES!!! now quit asking!!

  7. amityvillefun - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Just be sure that shirt isn’t tucked in! That’s a crime!

    • amityvillefun - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      2 people actually like the shirt tuck rule? I didn’t know Bettman and his male companion were on here often. Free pickles for them I guess.

  8. 950003cups - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    They took away fighting once. Ratings went down and that was the end of that. It’s important to the game. It’s important for the game’s entertainment value. Last but not least, it’s important to the players.

    Keep hippies and arrogant know-it-all libs out of hockey. Let them ruin their own world.

    • billyhauntswizards - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      when did they take away fighting?

      • dueman - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        When they introduced the instigator penalty, and called it on every fight. Fighting went way down, and the ratings went down too…now it’s only called once in a blue moon, when it’s all to obvious. Fighting is back up, and so too, are the ratings!

        Also, shame on you Jason Brough for this obvious traffic lure of a poll, and for two, using a Grange quote in your story! Grange has got to be the biggest idiot in the hockey media, other than Glen Healey!

      • 950003cups - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:06 PM

        They were giving fights a game misconduct. So if you fought you were kicked out. Fighting went down with all the money that the fat cats in the NHL offices were making. It was a FAST switch over back. Also, I remember players taking liberties on other players.

        Some of you close minded idiots should spend the time and read the book THE CODE. See their argument instead of saying “its not nice for my kids to watch” Maybe your kid will stop getting beat up at the bus stop when he realizes he can take a punch and deliver them too. Then you can start taking your boy to hockey practice instead of cheerleading practice.

    • ibieiniid - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      a guy that turns fighting in hockey into a political left/right debate. that’s really the guy you wanna be cups? lol you’re better than that homie.

  9. stakex - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    The vast majority of concussions in hockey are not the result of fighting. In fact, its very rare for a fight to actually result in an injury. So I really don’t get what the huge anti-fighting debate is even about. Guys get hurt and sustain concussions pretty frequently from clean hits, or pucks to the face… yet there is no argument to remove those elements from the game. That tells me this is all about the “barbaric” nature of fighting, and how it offends the more prissy members of out society.

    Really want to protect players? Argue to allow more hooking and holding in an effort to slow the sport back down a little bit. Recent rule changes to increase the speed of the game will result in FAR more concussions and serious injuries then fighting ever will.

    • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      Yes! Because Olymoic hockey is so boring.

      • dueman - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:42 PM

        Snorkel, Albuquerque. See, I can do it too.

      • 950003cups - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:12 PM


        Lets be realistic. The only reason Olympic hockey is great is because for 2 weeks we get to see our favorite players represent their countries in a winner take all tournament. Once you swap the olympic jerseys for another jersey and mix up the teams, it becomes the KHL.

        Here’s a prime example: almost NOBODY watches soccer here on a regular basis. When the World Cup is happening, its the biggest thing here. Then everyone starts thinking that soccer will make a comeback, and well, it just doesn’t.

  10. ronniethec - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    I am amazed at the stupidity of some of these comments. I have been watching the NHL for 47 years and have been a season ticket holder for 40 years. I never want to see another fight. It is a stupid and dangerous waste of time. And not at all necessary. The beauty of the game does not include fighting. If fighting was banned and rules enforced there would not be any fighting. Simple and easy.

    • 19to77 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      “If fighting was banned, there wouldn’t be fighting.”

      You come up with that brilliance all on your own, or was it a team effort?

      • dueman - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:43 PM


    • alicesrightfootesq - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      100% agree. I’ve still yet to see a logical reason to keep it in. Every argument for it is based on emotion and “entertainment.”

      • brad8989 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:38 AM

        The players overwhelmingly want it. Simple as that.

      • km9000 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        Players also didn’t want to wear helmets for the longest time.

      • dueman - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:54 PM

        How about this for logical? Never mind the fact that fighting does (even though it HAS been mentioned a lot!) eliminate a lot of dirty play, which causes a lot more injuries than fighting. Never mind the fact that fighting helps to keep the stars of the game, in the game. Never mind the fact the very few injuries result from fighting. The biggest and most influential factor in the reason as to why fighting is, and always will be, in the game, is that it sells tickets! If you take it out, the NHL will lose money, period! They will not let that happen!

      • ibieiniid - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        you know we watch hockey for entertainment right? I don’t have strong feelings either way…. I’d watch hockey with fighting or without fighting, but I think that’s a valid argument to make for others. If we didn’t care about entertainment value, we’d be regular commenters on the HardballTalk boards. instead, here we are.

    • kmo25 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      Tell us that when your teams “Superstar” gets railed and elbowed to the head by the other teams left winger who plays a ‘physical’ game!
      If you want to see beauty on ice may I suggest figure skating for you!?

    • lindenfrank123 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      a voice of reason and sanity by ronnie…thank you…it is a waste of time…and dur? it slows down the element that makes it a great spectator sport to begin with ..dur?

  11. travishenryskid - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    The best hockey we will see this year will be in Sochi. There won’t be a single fight.

    • imleftcoast - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      The thumbs down on this just indicate the ignorance of the people on this site. You lot couldn’t find even one article from a hockey analyst arguing it will not be. Olympic hockey is fast, the play making is incredible and there will be plenty of hitting. What there won’t be is the staged fighting that really has nothing to do with the sport of hockey.

  12. bigblackzaranek - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    As someone who’s been punched in the head quite a few times over the years, I can say that theres no lasting effjnjhnafhdafnhbnHUbndhubnuhbfhdhdfnhdufnhdnufgo…

    • amityvillefun - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      OMG. Funny…

  13. capsfan19 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    It should stay, can u imagine how bad the violence could get if they DONT allow them to fight? Cheapshots gallore.
    On top of that, it’s huge when it comes to momentum in games and protects your fellow teammates.
    Bettman just wants to it make it a business and not a sport. Players are business interests instead of athletes. Rediculous.

    • joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      No fighting in football. What’s your argument? No skating in boxing.

    • amityvillefun - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      Cheap shots like Kessel’s slashes and spear?

      Naw, fighting doesn’t stop that. The cowards will still cheap shot….because that’s how they roll!

    • lindenfrank123 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      hey moron they’re called penalities…how can you be that dumb?…look at the college game idiot…there is none nor at high school and somehow they don’t lose their skating or stick handling skills imagine that? dumb and dumber on this board …stupid is as stupid does..

      • mp1131211 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:58 PM

        Can you fit a few more names in there?

      • ibieiniid - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        lol yeah guys, they’re called “penalities”

        only pointed that out because he simultaneously called a guy a moron and misspelled penalties….. oh and penalities is a funny word.

    • Moop - Oct 2, 2013 at 6:45 PM

      Bettman doesn’t have anything to do with this; he’s actually stated in the past that he doesn’t want to ban fighting. I don’t think anything will actually change. This is just the talk of a very loud minority that apparently doesn’t understand the true value of fighting.

  14. BenE. - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    About 100x more concussions happen from hits from behind and elbows to the head. It’s extremely rare that a fighter gets seriously hurt in a fight, and this was clearly a freak accident.

    If you’re concerned about concussions, then remove the instigator penalty (or AT LEAST the extra 10-minute misconduct) and see how long all these headhunters last out there.

    Shout out to all the homies at

    • bradd94 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Concussions happen on a regular basis in fighting that aren’t reported. Many fighters have stated they have had “numerous non-diagnosed concussions” in their career.

      Hitting from behind is an accident. Fighting is not.

  15. sabatimus - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    They missed the third option on the first question, which was clearly SHUT UP.

  16. enollatsknarf - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Fighting should stay, but the professional fighter/goon should not. These guys really don’t serve a purpose other than to fight each other. Parros fighting Colton Orr accomplishes what exactly? The only message sent is, “If you go after our star players, our goon will fight your goon?”

    • ibieiniid - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Agreed. my only question there is how would they enforce that? who labels the guy a professional fighter/goon? who would be willing to tell a guy his contract isn’t valid (he’s fired) because he fights too much? It’d be nice if those guys weren’t part of the game, but the line between fighter and hockey player is pretty blurry with the current rules, not that I’m saying the rules should be messed with at all.

  17. banger60 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:41 AM


  18. deezenucks - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Yes. To anyone who think otherwise can feel free to watch basketball or golf. Are you whiners out there taking the punches? Didnt think so, so who cares?

  19. BenE. - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Ban JKidd from

  20. bradd94 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Most people that still think fighting belongs in the game have never played the sport. I’m willing to bet most pros, and fighters alike, are doubting why it’s still in the game due to the increasingly dangerous situations that are happening.

    Both sides get pissed off and play their hardest. You win? You’re happy. You lose? You’re out for “blood”.

    Hitting is an integral part of the game that couldn’t be played without it. That is a horrible comparison. Visors will be the downfall of fighting and rightfully so, leave that roster spot for someone actually talented.

    • dueman - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      You would lose that bet because the players in the NHL overwhelmingly support fighting being kept in the game! You should do a little research before you assume things.

  21. lindenfrank123 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Here’s a zinger to all you pugelists cuz that’s what you are…judging from the poll there’s a few of you out there. The best NHL game I ever saw was a 1-1 tie between the Minnesota North Stars and the up and coming Edmonton Oilers with a 18 year old kid named Gretsky on the team. Little or no penalties and end to end action. It was incredible AND watch my lips…NO FIGHTING! Period!…You want to see hockey played like it’s supposed to be played? Watch the college game. FANtastic. Keep your damned fighting…I can sign up for the UFC if I want to see that crap..IT’S HOCKEY FOR GOD’S SAKES.

    • dglelite - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      Some of the best games EVER have no fighting…

      Still doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a place in the sport.

      There are PLENTY of great games that have had fighting in them.

      Argument holds no water.

    • dueman - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      Also, nobody is stopping you from enjoying college hockey! Please, go!

  22. kingjoe1 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    So a Soccer player and a hockey player are drinking at a bar. A priest walk into a bar and says that he will pay for all the drinks. The priest orders a scotch neat, the soccer player orders a Daquiri and the hockey player orders a mug of beer. The priest ask the hockey player why he would order such a cheap drink if he wasnt paying? The hockey player looks a the priest and say “Father, i need to keep my wits about me, don’t want anyone trying to take advantage of me”
    The priest says “oh son, don’t be concern about me, you are too old for me,”
    The hockey players says, “oh father its not you I am worry about, do you realize this guy here plays soccer”.
    The priest turns to the other guys and says “oh really you play soccer do you, well then drink up, I’d luck to practice bouncing balls off your head later”

    • terminalcityhockey - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      LOLOLOL gay people, AMIRITE?

      Grow up you cretin.

  23. slammed81 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Sports are suppose to be entertaining don’t get it twisted this argument that the game would be perfect with out fighting is absurd I’m not sayin full out brawls but it’s part of the game if u tell someone goes cheap shots Crosby and there’s no fighting what the repercussion a 5 game suspension???? Are u serious.. 2yrs ago I saw one of the best series of my life pens/flyers was it the best hockey no but it was entertaining Yea thats what sports is entertainment if u think otherwise then ur an idiot… Take fighting out of the game everybody becomes a tough guy… Stupid argument… How many concussions are from boarding or blindside hits vs fighting what’s next no hitting???

    • chiadam - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:54 PM


  24. chiadam - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    I don’t watch hockey to see two talentless goons stand there and throw haymakers. I watch to see the incredible skill of the best players in the world. And PLEASE stop with the nonsense about sending messages and protecting star players, because if that worked at all then we would not need anyone to send messages anymore. People would have stopped taking runs at star players decades ago.

  25. dglelite - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Fighting has been in the game.
    It is a PART of the game…whether anyone likes it or not…
    Honestly, every sport has fights. Football scrums happen all the time, baseball brawls are vicious and you see basketball fights too.

    Hockey is just the only one that doesn’t give out suspensions if a fight occurs, just a penalty. Maybe that is something they may look at in the future. You fight, you get a suspension of 1 game or so.

    But i think fight should and will stay in the game. Even if modified. It does keep teams honest.

    Problem is that there is always overreaction when something like Parros’ face hitting the ice during a fight which spurs this on.

    Also, from an Olympic stand point…COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Small sample, no rivalry, not enough time playing against each to generate animosity….many reasons

  26. idun215 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Fighting belongs in the game because if you take it out what will stop the aggressive player that makes a semi-legal hit on a player.

    • chiadam - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      But there’s the problem. Fighting does not stop it either. If it did, then it would not keep happening. So if you can’t remove the behavior, remove the goon. That also gives you the added benefit of not having to worry about some bum taking out your team’s best player. Answer this: would you rather watch two goons play fight for 30 seconds after your star player is knocked silly, OR would you rather know you can watch your star player play in every game?

  27. savior72 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Let’s take fighting out of boxing too since its so dangerous

    • chiadam - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      Is there hockey in boxing? Because boxing is boxing. Hockey is hockey. Hockey is not boxing.

  28. dhclark86 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Has there been a poll about changing the icing rule? It’s too late for Joni Pitk√§nen of the Carolina Hurricanes, but more injuries can be avoided if they’d just take a serious look at this rule…

    By the way, I’m in favor of changing it to match the collegiate rule.

  29. ibieiniid - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    lol @ all the people on this thread that think their opinion is a fact. I understand arguing your point but calling other people morons for having a different opinion is not the way to do it.

    argument n00bz.

  30. micasa81 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    The funny thing is, fighting has always been a contravention of the rules of the game. That’s why it carries a 5-minute penalty. The reason this debate can even be framed as the question, “should we ‘ban’ fighting?”, when it is, in fact, already illegal, highlights what a curious phenomenon it is. I can think of no other infraction in any sport where the referees tacitly agree to let the infraction continue until it is subjectively judged to have “run its course”. I know that we hockey fans think of it as normal, and to be fair, it really is part of the flow of an NHL game, but that doesn’t mean it’s not one of the most bizarre spectacles in all of sports.

    Is it part of the game? Yes. Must it be part of the game? Clearly not, as demonstrated in the Olympics and many other leagues in the world. Should it be part of the game? That’s up to the league, the players, and most of all, the paying fans. Currently, the answer to that seems to be a resounding yes.

    Personally, I wouldn’t miss fighting if it were gone, but I realize I’m in the minority. But at least hear me out, because I’m not arguing that fighting is a reckless danger beyond anything else that happens in a regular hockey game. I happen to think it’s a pretty pointless sideshow in its current state. You’ve got roster spots being given to players who, if not for their brawling abilities, wouldn’t have a hope of making the team. Allegedly these players serve to deter opposing players from taking cheap shots at your star player. I don’t think they really succeed in doing that, but even if they did, it’s a mindset of vigilante justice that goes completely against the notion of objectivity. After all, why do we have referees, if not to impartially enforce the rules of the game? If those rules aren’t sufficiently protecting players, the solution isn’t to allow the victimized team to exact their own punishment. The solution is to change the rules. Self-policing leads to ridiculous situations where, even if a player delivers a legal, punishing check, he’s got to “answer the bell”. It amounts to one guy saying, I don’t like that you did that to my teammate. Well, if you don’t like it, go and friggin’ score a goal on them, buddy! Oh that’s right, you can’t because you’re actually less talented at PLAYING HOCKEY than anyone else on the ice!

    And that’s not even taking into consideration the fact that at least half the fights in the league occur between enforcers who otherwise wouldn’t be on the team. That’s the biggest head-scratcher of all – it’s like this side-show between two dudes who don’t even really belong in the league, and the only reason they exist is because the other team always has one of the same guys.

    I could accept fighting as part of the game if it happened more spontaneously, as an overflow of intensity, between skilled players who aren’t primarily paid to brawl. I have zero interest in the usual scenario of two enforcers doing the old “we gonna go?” chat before the faceoff, followed by dropped gloves and the circling, boxer-style dance.If you think that form of fighting has always been part of the game, you should go watch some footage of games in the 50s and 60s. Fighting happened, and it was actually quite vicious, but it was a result of an overflow of emotions rather than some ludicrous, pre-arranged “match”. Plus, some of the best fighters – Gordie Howe, John Ferguson, etc. – could straight up play. They belonged in the NHL whether they were good fighters or not.

    As for the argument that fighting causes injuries and should therefore be banned, it’s pretty clear to everyone that there are myriad elements of the game that are more dangerous than fighting. The risk of injury, by itself, is not a good argument. But neither is the counterargument that allowing other dangerous elements in the game to continue means we should allow fighting to continue. It all hinges on the value certain elements add to the sport. We all agree that the use of a hard, rubber disc instead of a soft, bouncy ball is part and parcel of the game of hockey, and would never dream of using something else, despite the fact that it would be safer. We don’t all agree that fighting in its current form is as integral to the game as the use of a puck. True, there are less injuries from fights than there are from getting hit with pucks, but that’s not the point. The point is, some people don’t see the payoff to the game of hockey being great enough to justify the increased risk of fighting. I’m not fully in that camp, but I can certainly understand why others are, especially with the laughable current situation of fighting with respect to the actual game the players are trying to play.

    • ibieiniid - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      this will be an under-appreciated comment. on PHT, when you address both viewpoints, people tend to just press thumbs down because they disagree with one part of what you said.

      i love that comment (essay) though. a few things I hadn’t thought of (started off with one, the fact that fighting is a penalty and already ISN’T technically allowed in the game), you shot down some of the top arguments from both sides while giving better thought out ones, and didn’t call any names. kudos, sir.

    • sunderlanding - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      Fighting is entertaining. When you watch NHL hockey you get to watch the game, and fights as a bonus. It’s like two sports in one. Personally I hate Olympic hockey. I like the gritty NHL style, and love it when fights break. It’s part of the history and the culture of the game. Taking it out would fundamentally change the culture and therefore the game itself. I say if you don’t like fighting in the NHL watch international hockey, or soccer and promote some other league. With internet streaming you can get anything you want nowadays, so if the NHL is too rough for you go watch something else.

    • khudobinawesome - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:25 PM

      It will also go under-appreciated because it’s long and I can’t read good…

      • ibieiniid - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:42 AM

        lmao. eating my words anyway. he got 11 up, 1 down

  31. bosstt4 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    What the NHL should do is to tell the players to fight toe to toe without all the clutching and grabbing of jerseys etc. They often look like couple of Jr. High girls trying to rip each others clothes off out on the playground. Just stand toe to toe and fight without trying to suckerpunch the other guy.

  32. bikesgonewild - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    …hockey enforcers – si’…
    …hockey goons – no bueno…
    …sitting here at home, i’m inclined to say i can do without the fighting but i go to a game & the home team (sharks – nhl, sf bulls – echl) is taking a drubbing & i KNOW if one of our guys throws down, it not only makes the statement that the guys aren’t gonna be pushed around but if fires up both the team & the fans…
    …i don’t like the fact that teams hire guys specifically for their pugilistic skills though…the idea IS to play hockey…

  33. flyerspsu - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    In a 2012 survey among 200 NHL players on whether fighting should stay in the NHL … 199 of them said yes

    199 of 200.

    that should end the debate right there, 99.5% of the players that ACTUALLY PLAY THE GAME believe fighting is an important aspect of the game that should stay

    its starting to get annoying how every time someone gets hurt in a fight now the debate of whether fighting should be banned is vigorously brought up

  34. luciddream7 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:16 PM


  35. dallasstars9 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Did you hear the crowd in Toronto during the preseason brawl with Buffalo? Even the announcers said “if you think there is no place for fighting in the game, just listen to the fans!” And that’s what this is about, THE FANS!

  36. macjacmccoy - Oct 2, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    It will be around because the NHL doesnt have the same support or fan base of the other 3 major sports leagues. They have hard enough time getting rating as is. They cant risk eliminating one of the major draws of the sport for the casual fan. Maybe if the league gets bigger then it might risk getting rid of fighting, but I don’t see that happening in the next 10 years.

  37. superman4u2nv - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    Their are ppl actually on here comparing golf and basket ball to hockey ya their is no fighting in them cuz they are not a contact sport! If you don’t like watching it change the Chanel! You people won’t be happy tell every one on the ice is skating around in bubble wrap! It’s a fast intense game were tempers flair freak accidents happen! Next you will want to take all contact out no more checking cuz some one got hurt! If your so offended about the fighting go watch the soft core, g rated sports like golf tennis badminton, basket ball n botchy, that you so want to change are sport in to!

    • ibieiniid - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      what “Chanel” would I be finding bocce ball on?

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