Skip to content

Bettman says debate over fighting is an ‘overblown issue’

Mar 2, 2014, 11:27 AM EDT

Gary Bettman AP

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman wants fans to know that fighting isn’t going away any time soon.

Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review spoke with the commissioner at the NHL Stadium Series game in Chicago and asked for his take on fighting in the league. Bettman stood up for fighting saying it’s not a major part of the game.

“It’s an overblown issue because it’s a small part of the game, and to the extent there are concussions it’s a small part of that,” Bettman said. “Fighting is something we’ll continue to focus on, but there hasn’t been a consensus from the hockey people — on the side of management — or the players to make a change. I’ve been told if the NHLPA did a poll that 98 percent of the players would say don’t change the rule.”

Fans who don’t like fighting will obviously not be happy with this take from the commissioner, but this is essentially what he’s said all along about having fighting in the NHL.

Some believe fighting keeps the league from becoming more of a mainstream sport while others say it’s such an established part of the game it can’t be removed.

Discussions about changing the punishment for fighting were brought up by Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, but those talks are new.  If change is going to come, it’ll take more people who think like Yzerman and hold positions of power to make it happen.

Latest Posts
  1. Kassian vows to give it all for Habs: ‘As you grow older, you mature’

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:36 PM EDT

    Zack Kassian Getty Images

    “At the end of the day, nobody wants to get traded two times. But it’s a learning curve.”

  2. Shattenkirk’s agent downplays trade rumors

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:18 PM EDT

    Kevin Shattenkirk AP

    But reports suggest Edmonton, Columbus and Philly are interested.

  3. Preds re-sign Bourque: one year, $866,250

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:07 PM EDT

    gabrielbourquegetty Getty Images

    24-year-old has appeared in 220 NHL contests, all with Nashville.

  4. Shots fired! ‘Canes owner Karmanos rips into Jim Rutherford (Updated)

    Jul 2, 2015, 10:52 AM EDT

    Hurricanes Front Office Shakeup Hockey AP

    Yes, the same Jim Rutherford who was the GM in Carolina for two decades.

  5. Worlds helped convince Eichel to go pro

    Jul 2, 2015, 9:53 AM EDT

    IHOCKEY-WORLD-USA-SVK Getty Images

    He didn’t want to make his intentions known until he was drafted.

  6. Wright signs with Islanders after campaign in KHL

    Jul 2, 2015, 8:56 AM EDT

    James Wright Getty Images

    He was playing with the Winnipeg Jets before heading to Croatia.

  7. Here’s who’s left after Day 1 of free agency

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:43 AM EDT

    st.louis Getty Images

    Some interesting players still need deals.

  8. PHT’s 2015 free agent frenzy tracker

    Jul 1, 2015, 11:15 PM EDT

    Mike Green Getty Images

    All the signings from what promises to be a busy day.

  9. Habs sign Barberio to a one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT

    Mark Barberio Mark Barberio

    The contract pays the 25-year-old $600,000.

  10. Columbus character: Blue Jackets ink Gregory Campbell

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:34 PM EDT

    Gregory Campbell AP

    It’s reportedly two-years, $3 million.

  11. Report: Brassard should be ready for training camp after wrist surgery

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:16 PM EDT

    Derick Brassard AP

    The Rangers were a banged-up group in the playoffs.

  12. Preds trade goalie Hellberg to Rangers

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:09 PM EDT

    Nashville Predators v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    Was the first netminder taken at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Richards (2457)
  2. D. Hamilton (2424)
  3. C. Talbot (2013)
  4. S. Gagner (1946)
  5. R. O'Reilly (1922)
  1. E. Etem (1752)
  2. A. Niemi (1752)
  3. R. Lehner (1678)
  4. M. Lucic (1606)
  5. C. Pronger (1584)