Hockey fighting is one of the most debatable issues in the contemporary hockey. NHL maintains the loyal attitude to hockey fighting, while many teams encourage hockey fighting in the course of the game. Moreover, there are enforcers, who launch and take part in the fights. Virtually all NHL teams have their enforcers. Otherwise, they would be in a disadvantageous position compared to their rivals. However, hockey fighting raises the public condemn and the criticism from the part of law experts and health care professionals. Nevertheless, the hockey fighting has already become one of the major issues discussed not only by fans of hockey but also by the public who has little interest to hockey. Taking into consideration risks and threats associated with hockey fighting, the prospect of the ban of hockey fighting becomes highly probably but the ban of hockey fighting would ruin the game and undermine hockey as both players and spectators in North America understand it.
Opponents of hockey fighting insist on the ban of hockey fighting because the fighting is dangerous for the health of hockey players, while the health is their main asset. In fact, it is true that hockey players participating in the fight suffer severe injuries. Their health suffers from every fight they participate in and they need to recover after fights. The deterioration of players’ health means their fewer opportunities to play and, thus, to earn money since not a single team needs a player, who will never play because of his injuries.
In addition, opponents of hockey fighting insist that people cannot just fight without any legal liability for their actions. They argue that hockey player cannot just fight on the playground as other people cannot fight just in the streets because of their legal liability. From the legal standpoint a fight is always a fight. Hockey players can fight because fights are considered to be a part of the game. However, opponents of hockey fight argue that, if hockey players receive a two to five minutes penalty for the fight, why then other people face lawsuits and trials, if they do participate or start a fight.
Moreover, opponents of hockey fights argue that enforcers suffer severe injuries during fights and, in the course of time, they develop serious health problems, as was the case of Derek Boogaard, who died at the age 28 and suffered the chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Therefore, opponents of hockey fights argue that hockey fights are just killing players in a long run.
On the other hand, hockey fighting cannot be banned because this is the great attraction and entertainment for the audience. Hockey fighting in NHL has already become a part of the game. Hence, the ban of hockey fighting will make hockey games handicapped. Hockey without hockey fighting will by just like hockey without pluck. Today, hockey fights are accurately regulated. They are not conventional fights as they seem to be. Instead, they are fair fights and all players obey to established rules. For instance, only two players participate in the fight. In such a way, teams avoid mass conflicts, when many players participate in the fight. In such a context, the ban of the fight can provoke the elimination of all rules in the course of the fight and hockey game. In this respect, opponents of hockey fight should understand that the hockey match involves about forty-fifty players in both teams and, if they go out of control no one can stop them immediately. As a result, the ban of hockey fight may result in uncontrollable fights involving many players and having no rules. Such fights are apparently more dangerous than fights that spectators can watch regularly virtually in every hockey match.