A new poll just out says 54 per cent of Canadians want an outright ban on fighting in the NHL.  Sixty-eight per cent say violence is not an inherent part of the game.  However 60 per cent of young Canadians (18-34) are against a ban and nearly half of younger Canadians say fighting is an important part of hockey.   Older Canadians want a ban.

A majority also want stronger penalties for roughness resulting in injury.  Sydney Crosby, by far the best hockey player in the world, is out with a a concussion.

These results generally fly in the face of bullies like Don Cherry who want hockey players to mix it up with their fists.

Should fighting in the NHL be banned?

What do you think?


  1. 1
    Vin Smith Says:

    NHL fights and penalty boxes are an integral part of the game. Many would take umbrage, but ice hockey is a minor sport, way, way behind football, baseball, basketball, soccer, boxing, NASCAR and Olympic sports as a collective. To take away hockey fights would be to utterly emasculate the sport. If the NHL is ever to find the numbers equivalent to the true major sports of North America, the game itself should not be watered down. That includes the fights. Would that baseball would allow a few brawls! Like in the distant past! Think of a Ty Cobb storming into the stands to whack around a drunk and disorderly heckler. Now that’s excitement!

  2. 2
    jim Says:

    There is something wrong with anyone, who approves of fighting at hockey games, who pays an astronomical price to see the Sydney Crosbys play, and then won’t see him play because of injuries.
    Neil – This is a skewed poll which left much to be desired. I would like to have seen numbers for those who attend hockey games separated from those who don’t.
    Regarding the Great American Pastime (think boring), the last few times I was at a National League baseball game, there were fewer attendees there than at the NHL hockey game.
    Today Ty Cobb would probably have to pay out a hundred grand for mixing it up with a drunk and for interfering with the drunk’s right to rattle the players.

  3. 3
    John Says:

    I’ve long since given up watching the game, but for me fighting in hockey is a non-issue. It’s simply two paid goons duking it out for bragging rights and whose time in the penalty box will have little to no impact on the outcome of the game.

    What is far more troublesome are the cheap shots that injure and sideline players such as Sidney Crosbie. The inability of the league to effectively deal with these is inexcusable. I can’t help but think that Crosbie’s current absence is not only medically-based, but is his way of telling the league to wake up.

  4. 4
    zeusiswatching Says:

    The Minnesota North Stars were our team back when I was both young, and a fan of hockey. Really, a tough played game is OK, but the violence can and does cross the line. Set some new standards that make the game better and I think we have a sensible, non-emasculating compromise that serves a purpose.

  5. 5
    neilmckentyweblog2 Says:

    If some one wants to see a fight why in the world don’t they go to a boxing match.

  6. 6
    Vin Smith Says:

    zeusiswatching makes a good point. In other words, sensible control. Hockey fights are a lot like all the rest of the major sports when violence would seem to be called for. A runner collides with the catcher at home, take out the second baseman to break up a double play, and for all the world a batter should have the right to race out to the mound and deck a pitcher who insists on threatening a man’s career, even his life (Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians died in 1945 from getting popped in the gourd by a fastball). In baseball, they discipline a hitter who charges the mound. The pitcher can claim control issues. Wrongo. Then there is football, where every play is combat–football being a gladiator sport. Now, don’t get me wrong… I have sympathy for those who totally abhor violence in sport. My advice to them is to avoid auto racing of any sort (those racecars are deadly projectiles) and take up shuffleboard, or billiards.

  7. 7
    John Says:

    I have long advocated the elimination of fighting from hockey, but the fact is that the 60 per cent of young Canadians (18-34) who are against such a ban are the very demographic who are buying game tickets, joining hockey pools and drinking the sponsor’s beer. A ban ain’t gonna happen.

  8. 8

    Banning fighting in the NHL would be equivalent to making a maximum height restriction of 6 feet in the NBA.

    Not gonna happen…and if it did, it would ruin the sport.

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