For a guy who didn't grow up in North America, would someone please explain a few things about hockey fighting to me?
I don't have any objection against fighting in hockey, but except for being entertaining and traditional, I don't see any useful function for it.
The way I see it, a cheap shot artist (like Cooke, Casparaitis) can always avoid being beat up by turtling (and does if the odds are unfavorable). So as a deterrent, I don't see fighting working.
Or if an agitator A(very) does something bad, and as a result heavyweight from the other team challenges an enforcer from A(very)'s team, then how is A(very) punished? He is not the one with the black eye.
Or if the two heavyweights line up for a faceoff and drop'em right away, what's that but a sideshow?
I understand when a spontaneous fight, especially by a scorer/team leader who doesn't normally fight, can change the momentum of the game, but that situation does not arise often, and the existing rules can deal with such adequately.
So my question is, what do we want fighting in hockey for, and why would heavy suspensions for fighting be bad?
Entertainment: fans want to see fights. it's one of the things that hockey has that no other sport has (besides boxing/UFC). it makes hockey unique and it often intensifies rivalries and puts fans in seats.
Traditional: getting rid of fighting in hockey is like making american football 2 hand touch
Protection: turtling rarely happens, and when it does it's seen as quite shameful. at least in pre-lockout hockey you usually had to answer for dirty plays one way or another. heavyweight bouts are more of a sideshow, but do bring in fans and thus money. a win in a fight often boosts the energy and attitude of a team as well, occasionally changing the course of a game.
heavy suspensions for fighting is bad because it would change many dynamics of the game. i believe refs should return to their pre-lockout attitude of allowing enforcers to make dirty players "pay" thus curtailing many dirty plays.
now the nhl is suspending players instead of letting enforcers do their jobs. as a result the number of dives r increasing because players kno they can get others suspended for long periods of time. if enforcers were allowed to perform their jobs, the only thing a dive would accomplish is maybe a pp, and the one not diving getting his butt kicked. personally i think they should allow enforcers to beat on divers.
fighting is very much a sideshow but also very functional
Edited by number9, 03 October 2011 - 02:47 PM.