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. Habs’ Galchenyuk inks two-year extension

    Jul 30, 2015, 7:52 PM EDT

    Alex Galchenyuk Getty Images

    The deal is reportedly worth $5.6 million.

  2. Flames prospect Kylington cleared to play in North America

    Jul 30, 2015, 7:11 PM EDT

    Oliver Kylington Getty Images

    At one point he was listed as the top European skater in the 2015 draft.

  3. Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal

    Jul 30, 2015, 5:52 PM EDT

    Jakub Voracek Getty Images

    The Flyers also have forwards Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier locked up.

  4. Zubrus clears waivers, is ‘surprised’ by buyout

    Jul 30, 2015, 4:22 PM EDT

    Dainius Zubrus Getty Images

    The 37-year-old still wants to continue his career.

  5. Coyotes want long-term deal with Glendale

    Jul 30, 2015, 2:01 PM EDT

    PNI Coyotes Deal 0611 PNI Coyotes Deal 0611

    “Nobody benefits from a short-term deal like this, in particular, our hockey department.”

  6. Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M

    Jul 30, 2015, 1:15 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game One Getty Images

    Vancouver wasting little time locking up the target of Tuesday’s trade.

  7. Bruins in talks with veteran d-man Zidlicky

    Jul 30, 2015, 12:50 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three Getty Images

    Boston could use some depth on its back end.

  8. Ex-NHLer Ling charged with battery, theft

    Jul 30, 2015, 10:50 AM EDT

    David Ling in action Getty Images

    Alleged incident involved a female victim.

  9. Jacobs feels firing Chiarelli was right move, cites cap management

    Jul 30, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Jeremy Jacobs Getty Images

    The former general manager “wasn’t prepared to make the changes that needed to be made.”

  10. Former NHL forward Berezin arrested for alleged fraud

    Jul 29, 2015, 10:40 PM EDT

    Sergei Berezin Getty Images

    He played in 502 games, primarily with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

  11. Coyotes sign German League standout goalie Treutle

    Jul 29, 2015, 9:12 PM EDT

    Niklas Treutle Getty Images

    The 24-year-old gives agreed to an entry-level deal.

  12. Shero: Buying out Zubrus creates flexibility to add forward

    Jul 29, 2015, 6:27 PM EDT

    Dainius Zubrus Getty Images

    “It really wasn’t about Dainius himself.”

  13. Gillette Stadium will host Bruins-Habs alumni game ahead of Winter Classic

    Jul 29, 2015, 3:31 PM EDT

    2016 Winter Classic Logo

    The contest will air on Dec. 31 while the Classic itself is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET on Jan. 1.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Stepan (2609)
  2. B. Holtby (2080)
  3. G. Bettman (2067)
  4. A. Larsson (2010)
  5. A. Semin (1650)
  1. L. Couture (1576)
  2. J. Toews (1539)
  3. A. Chiasson (1422)
  4. M. Johansson (1333)
  5. C. Wilson (1185)