Yankees2017 asked in SportsHockey · 2 months ago

Why does the NHL treat fighting like it’s actually part of the game?

For example, one player high sticks an opposing player, the gloves come off,

 and the refs stand by them watching as punches fly. The loser of the fight is beaten to a pulp down to the ice and the only penalty they both get is 5 minutes major in the penalty box! If the same fight happened in a game in the other major sports, MLB, NFL, and NBA, there would be huge fines and lengthy suspensions! Do these “routine” NHL fights ever lead to fines and suspensions?

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  • 5 days ago

    The key to this answer is the effect of the instigator and aggressor penalty's. 20 years ago or more fighting was an act of intimidation and imposing will on a team. Now a team is severely penalized for starting fights, to the point of game misconduct if a player is an obvious aggressor in starting the fight. Fans like the fights for the most part but society has had an detractor effect in the court of public opinion.

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  • 2 weeks ago

    It is part of the game.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    The Nhl has always had fighting as part of the game. As the rules of hockey evolved the rules of fighting evolved with it. There are many different things players can do during or before a fight that will warrant a suspension. Also fighting in the NHL is almost always consensual, both players are aware of the risk going into the fight. Fighting has evolved into a legitimate strategy within hockey where as in other sports it has not. Fighting in hockey has also been used as a way to self govern players. When something goes uncalled players will fight to set an example. The biggest factor in my opinion though is the crowd. At the end of the day hockey is entertainment, and fighting is entertaining, this is why it is still apart of the game. Rules have been getting stricter lately on fighting but I don't think it will ever be removed because fans love it. In contrast to other sports like baseball, basketball and football, fighting was established early as illegal and did not become tradition. Except basketball actually, the nba had a fighting problem that they ended up taking care of. But basketball is far less of a violent sport to begin with so fixing a fighting problem in the nba was very different. Fighting in hockey has drastically decreased as the game gets faster and more skilled and players begin to learn the health risks of it. Though if concussions is what you are worried about fighting has contributed very little to the problem. Studies have shown that 95% of concussions in hockey happen outside of fighting. If you are interested in the subject and want to see how fighting has evolved, reasons for fighting, and hear from enforcers themselves I highly recommend watching The Last Gladiators and Ice Guardians. They offer a lot of information on every aspect of fighting and would definitely do a better job of answering your question. Also watch Goon if you want a laugh or two. Hope this helped.

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  • Tom
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    Well, if you go back to game 5 of The 1980 Stanley Cup finals, the referees let them fight a little bit to get it out of their systems.

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  • JuanB
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Yes.  They can get fines and suspensions.  But more players get those for that intentional high stick you mention that started it all and also can blind a guy, cause a concussion, break a wrist, etc. 

    Also, of all the sports you mention, NHL players enjoy a longer average career so they must be doing something right. 

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  • 1) Referees aren't going to break up a fight between two willing combatants because it's unsafe. Someone slips and you have a razor-sharp skate blade flying which could badly injure or kill someone. You don't have this in the NBA/NFL/MLB. Oh, except for the basketball fight this year where you had a player trying to use a chair on someone but let's ignore that. Or the football fight where someone used an opponent's helmet as a weapon against them. Or baseball fights that have the benches and bullpens empty and nothing ever gets done.

    2) For the eight billionth time, the NHL rulebook covers fighting in great detail. Deliberately starting a fight, targeting someone who does not wish to fight are severe penalties that can lead to fines and/or suspensions. Leaving the bench to join in a fight is an automatic 10-game suspension, yet when baseball/basketball/football players do it nothing ever happens!

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Fighting used to be a part of the NHL, hence the role of the enforcers. That was until the new NHL that preaches speed and scoring that enforcers were reduced, and more scorers get sneak attack hits with more concussions than ever.

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  • Bob
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    They don't treat it like it's a part of the game, if they did there would be no penalties for players doing it.

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  • .
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I'm not a hockey fan, but it seems like the penalty for fighting is five minutes out of the game.  In the NFL, they kick you out for the entire season.

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