I'm puzzled by people mentioning the Draper/Lemiuex and Lidstrom/Laperrierre hits. On both occasions we had fighters on the team., on both occasions they did nothing to prevent the hit occuring. No point circle jerking over Downey dropping the gloves when Lidstrom is already out injured. Clearly Downey failed as an enforcer.
Lemiuex was a dirty SOB his entire career and enforcers did nothing to stop his cheap-shotting.
The argument of cheap shot prevention can't be proven either way. That is, we can't say there are more or less cheap shots with fighting because we don't know what would happen in the NHL if fighting were removed.
Paul Maurice, who has experience in both the NHL and KHL, had an interesting take on this yesterday.