Can you really blame the NHL for not stopping fighting? They are only doing what their fans want. That's right, we as fans have become barbarians, enjoying seeing two human beings beating each other to a pulp. Okay, I am being a little simplistic, but in reality, the first statement is true. The owners of this League will only do that they see the fans want.
The problem in its most simplistic form is that the owners think one way and one way only, and that is profit. And with the way the economy is right now, who can really blame them? I am not against the owners making a profit. Believe it or not, even I can see we cannot live without the owners. So what is the answer? Are the fans partly to blame? Think about it. The owners do what the fans want, or they interpret what the fans want. How do they determine that? Simply by the gate, how often do we see the fans stand up, and the players tap their sticks?
So based on that info, if we cannot stop the fighting, maybe we should make it more safer to fight. Rules can make things safer during the fights, maybe making sure the scary incidents happen less and less. The biggest concern is this dropping of the helmets before they fight. This is just machismo in its stupidest form. Sometimes, I think men have more hormones than we like to admit. Next maybe we should figure out what is fighting? Before you laugh, I have seen take downs, biting, and slamming heads into the board. Fight with fists, not with teeth, sticks, or heads. Maybe next, the refs can step in before it goes too far. Once one of the players are down, step in. As for take downs, penalize the player an extra two minutes. I am sorry, the take down can cause head trauma. I am not saying these guidelines will help, but I do feel something has to be done. I know this topic has been dragged and dragged, but the incidents continue to spring up. Everyone knows fighting means ratings for the networks, and gate profits for the owners. I am not silly enough to think that fighting can be totally taken out, but I do feel that safety for the players has to be a priority. People have to use their heads to think sometimes.
Maybe there are times that boys should not be boys, but maybe men. The responsibility stops nowhere. Maybe we should all begin to rethink being total barbarians.
Very good and like the concern for the players. I still think that risk is very low when compared to some of the more extreme sports such as rodeo, boxing and Maui Tie boxing. Looking back at the history of hockey in the early days of hockey a death on the ice was not that uncommon (CBC the history of hockey series). But I do agree that steps should be taken to with reagrds to players safety. Thanks again for a good blog and perspective.
Like I said fighting will never taken out of the NHL but we do have to worry about the danger of it.
It's not just the fans or the owners. The players want it. The players expect it. The players need it. You want something changed in the game, go get approval from the players first. If you don't get it from them, then it is 100% not worth changing. End of story. With all of the "maybe's" in your blog, I think I'll add one more - Maybe those of us on the "outside" should leave the game alone. Afterall, everyone hates an armchair QB.
Hockey and Fighting are not integral, there are minor leagues, men's leagues, international leagues, hundreds and thousands of players who play the game without fighting. It's only true and honest purpose is for entertainment - period. Is any form of entertainment worth leaving another player crippled or dead? This isn't boxing or MMA where the purpose is to beat an opponent, this is hockey where the purpose is to put a puck in the net. My best memories of great hockey games rarely have a fight in them, I'm sure any other hockey fan would agree, its the finesse, the speed, the athletism that makes hockey great.
Personally, I don't mind the odd tilt, but I'm tired of the pointless goon fights - the ones where both teams send out their tough guys, they fight, and they never see the ice again. It's stupid and pointless and the argument that they do it get the other players "fired up" is weak. I understand that fighting plays a role in allowing the players to police themselves, but that rarely seems to be why fights occur. I'm hoping the days of the "pure goons" are numbered, but yeah, a lot of fans like seeing a fight for fights sake.