Before our presentation (and being hockey players ourselves), we were both pro-fighting. However, in doing research and seeing how many people lives fighting effects on and off the ice, we are starting to rethink our view on fighting in the NHL. Some of the NHL players that are literally fighting for jobs have been battling health issues and struggling through their lives. Every athlete is a person longer than they are a player. Views on fighting in the NHL included pros and cons; however, at this time we believe the negatives are starting to outweigh the positives.
Some reasons for why fighting should be left in hockey is because it keeps people discipline, builds team chemistry, can change the momentum of the game and brings excitement to the game. If fighting were to be taken out of the game it can open the possibility of introducing more stick work into the game, which can potentially be more dangerous. You may also have guys try to hit the better players knowing that they will not have to pay the price for it. There are many ways to build trust and team chemistry; the argument can be raised that when a teammate sticks up for you on the ice and is willing to drop the gloves to defend you, it will build trust between the players. A fight can often change the momentum of a hockey game; a good fight can get the crowd excited and loud which can change the momentum of the game. It can also get the players pumped up; all around it can wake everyone up. Nice goals and big hits can bring the crowd to there feet, when you look at the crowd when I fight breaks out there are not to many people sitting down.
When looking at reasons why fighting should be taken out of the NHL we found that fighting can cause health issues, head injuries, not setting a good example for youth and fighting is not something that is taught at a young age. Fighting can have lasting effects on some of the players that are willing to take on the job of being an enforcer, when watching some videos there were players saying that they would lose many nights sleep knowing who they would have to fight the next night. When fighting you also run the risk of head injuries, when fighting on ice you have the risk of losing your balance and potentially hitting your head of the ice. Reasons like this can allow for strong arguments towards taking fighting out of the NHL. Many youth see NHL players as role models, so when seeing a fight in a game it gives youth the wrong impression. They may feel that if they fight it will get the crowd cheering and cheer up there teammates. When you are coming up through the hockey system come of the skills that are taught may be how to body check, shoot, pass, stickhandle, etc. You never see coaches teaching young players how to fight or protect themselves in a fight. Since people do not know these things it may run the risk of more injuries with hockey fights.
Lewinson, R. T., & Palma, O. E. (2012). The Morality of Fighting in Ice Hockey: Should It Be Banned?. Journal Of Sport & Social Issues, 36(1), 106-112.
Leard, B., & Doyle, J. M. (2011). The Effect of Home Advantage, Momentum, and Fighting on Winning in the National Hockey League. Journal Of Sports Economics, 12(5), 538-560.
Paul, R. J., Weinbach, A. P., & Robbins, D. (2013). American hockey league attendance: A study of fan preferences for fighting, team performance, and promotions. International Journal of Sport Finance, 8(1), 21-38.
-Jordan Davenport & Jon Tower