In the last few months three retired hockey enforcers have died – two to suicide and one to an overdose of pills and alcohol.  These enforcers are paid bick bucks to pro tect their team’s stars on the ice – with their fists if necessary.  For example, Wade Belak, 28, who hanged himself this week in a luxury Toronto hotel, had 136 fights.  The blows that all these men took to their heads have never neen counted. But science has demonstrated that there is a link between concussion and depression, personality changes and memory loss.

Even if fighting in hockey is permitted to continue – in the heat of the moment – is it high the enforcer’s role should now be banned?

One simple and easy way to do that would be to reduce the size of each team,’s roster by one or two players.  Then it would be harder for a team to carry a player like Mr. Belak who garnered only 33 scoring points over 14 seasons.

Should the designated hockey fighter be banned?

What do you think?


  1. 1

    Fighting and violence should be banned in hockey & all sports.
    There should be an end to enforcers & goons of any kind.
    It’s too soon to make the connection between fighting and depression, but I am pretty sure there are long term consequences of mild & multiple concussions.

    Let’s not even discuss boxing- 2 men in a ring pounding at each other’s heads!

  2. 2
    Neil McKenty Says:

    What do you say to those die-hard fans who say fighting is an integral part of the game of hockey – always has been, always will be.

  3. 3

    That’s an interesting play on words “die-hard fans”. 🙂

    The fact that “always has been” is a very condescending approach.
    As a human race, we should TRY to grow, not digress.

    Here are a few “integral parts” of daily living, which have evolved:
    Human rights
    Drinking & driving
    Spanking children
    Voting rights, women’s rights

    I think that sport could stand to go through a serious re-think!

  4. 4
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    …don’t watch much hockey these days. But when I was in my teens, I never missed a game. Much of the appeal was the fights.

    If the NHL, “society”, or whomever is truly serious about reducing or discouraging violence in hockey, the solution is simple: don’t show it on TV. When a fight starts, have the camera cut away to reruns of the last goal or pleasant music or whatever. That will reduce ANY interest in violence.

    But it will also dramatically reduce viewership and revenue.

    Ask Jerry Springer. His talk show was known for the fights that broke out between guests. It became de rigeur on his show and much criticism was levied against Springer as a result. So he instituted a policy of having the camera cutting away when violence started. Ratings dropped…he went back to the violence.

    The NHL knows which side of their toast is buttered. Violence isn’t going to be banned any time soon.

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