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Fighting's Importance In The Game

by Bill Lindsay / Florida Panthers
Panthers forward Krys Barch drops the gloves against Boston's Shawn Thornton in a game in Boston.

There has been a lot of talk in recent years about fighting in the NHL. There are some that feel fighting should be banned from hockey. I for one feel that it belongs in the sport and plays an important role.

Here are some reasons I am a proponent for fighting.

1. There has to be an outlet for players when the tempers start to flare up with an opponent. Without fighting I believe the stick work, elbows and dirty checks would increase as these would be the alternatives to punish an opponent without fighting.

2. You have to be able to protect the stars of the league. Without fighting you could target the stars and punish them without the fear of any retribution. I know back when I played if I went after one of the marquee players I would have to answer for it. It made you think twice.

3. A good fight can change the momentum of the game. I know from being on an NHL bench during a fight, it can inspire a team.

4. Players want it in the game. A recent poll of NHL players found that 98% felt fighting should be allowed.

I played in Germany my last couple years of pro hockey where you got kicked out of the game and suspended for the next one if you fought. The stick work was violent in the German league. It was also frustrating when a guy 5'5 would talk trash to you and be allowed to run all over the ice playing with wreckless abandon because he had no fear of any consequences.

Fighting plays an important role in the NHL. It always has and always should.

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