So are you arguing that unless we can get rid of ALL risk in the game, we shouldn't try to remove ANY risks at all?
In those instances a fight would still happen, just when it was over McCarty would get a game misconduct. The fights that most people use to justify keeping it in the game would still happen. The game misconducts would get rid of enforcers though, who don't play more than 5 minutes a night and only fight other enforcers.
With the settlement that just happened in the NFL its inevitable that fighting will eventually be banned in Hockey. It doesn't matter how the players feel about it, if its going to cost the league hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in settlements/legal judgements, the league will just make the decision for them.
As many have tried to explain earlier, fighting is NOT part of the game, that would be like arguing slashing, cross checking or hitting from behind is part of the game.
There will always be a 'risk' in contact sport such as ice hockey; there's no way possible to remove them all...
What needs to be addressed is - is the NHL better off with fighting, or without?
Yes - I agree that injuries have, and will continue to take place for those who choose to get involved in a fight, but injuries also take place for those who don't fight as well.
Go back to page 3 of this thread; check out what Paul Maurice had to say about both the NHL, and rival league KHL...He felt there were more potential issues regarding stick work, and cheap shots in the KHL than the NHL...He also mentioned how it can be a tactic to have a 'thug' on the bench, and have that 'thug' engage a more skilled opponent into a fight in order to take that opponent out of the game.
Also on page 3 I posted a pic of Sam Gagne with his jaw broken from an accidental high stick...What damage would we see if several players on the ice decided to use their sticks on each other instead of their fists?
Again - I'm of the opinion that this should be voted on by the NHLPA.