I agree that fighting is harmful in that it can leave a player with long-term issues related to concussions, brain trauma, etc. If that's your only argument, fine.
But to say a genuine fight doesn't impact a hockey game is silly. That's like saying a big hit or shot block doesn't affect the momentum of a game either. Or the crowd even. There are too many variables and differing scenarios that a scientific study won't be able to capture this.
Also, chemistry and camaraderie are vital to any hockey club. Sticking up for your linemate after a dirty hit is part of being a good teammate. You don't want think stuff like that brings a team closer together?
The research shows that after a fight there IS an offensive surge. For one, or both teams, and not necessarily for the team that starts, or wins, the fight. Both teams get amped up. I never said guys didn't get amped up after fights. Sure they do. But it doesn't reliably make your team play any better, AND it might actually make the other guys play better.
Secondly, I certainly agree that chemistry and comraderie are important. But there are tons of ways to develop chemistry and comraderie. The Wings are always near the bottom of the league in fights, but don't seem to noticeably suffer from a lack of team cohesion, while a team like Edmonton (which fights much more often) does. Given how many other methods there are to accomplish team unity, and given that fighting doesn't seem vital to achieving it, I'm going to err on the side of caution and suggest we dispense with the method that kills people's brains slowly.
- Mckinley25 likes this