Should We Let Them Fight?

Post by TommyC. Image by Artbrom on Wikimedia commons


Hockey first originated around 1800’s and with it came fighting.

Whether you like it or not fighting is allowed in professional ice hockey. Ever since the rules were first written in the 1800’s they have included fighting. Back then when a fight would break out the crowd would cheer and the authorities did nothing to stop it.

Image by – Elliot on Flickr

National Hockey League (NHL) rules about fighting were not established until 1922. Since then this standard was set and continues to this day. The NHL decided to only give a five minute penalty instead of ejecting the players. Though eventually rules were set to prevent bench-clearing brawls, one on one fights are still very common.

Although their are no more bench clearing brawls now a days their are still many memorable ones. One example is on Christmas night of 1930 at Maple Leafs Garden. Another time was 1936 Stanley Cup Final team fight between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Image – Marcusvfx

Since fighting is such a big part of the game coaches started picking up players just to fight.

This player is known as the goon or enforcer. A goon is a bully or thug and an enforcer in ice hockey terms is the player known for rough play or fighting. Why would a coach want someone just to fight? because winning a ice hockey fight does not only get the team excited but also gets the audience pumped up.

Every team tried to make sure that they had an enforcer. Many players gaine2d there fame from being a goon. One example of a goon is Terry O’Reilly who had a nickname of “Bloody Terry”. Terry accumulated more than 2,000 penalty minutes in his 891-game career.

Another famous enforcer was Derek Boogaard or also know as the “Boogeyman”. His job was not to play but just to fight and he was not a good player to pick a fight with at seven feet on skates and could break a nose and jaw with one punch. Unfortunately he died early like many other goons because of the fighting. Many enforcers suffered from brain damage.

Image – NVJ

Some people think that there should not be fighting in ice hockey, others think there should. Fighting in hockey has its advantages and disadvantages.


One positive of fighting in ice hockey is that it is very entertaining. Another pro is that it  can change the momentum of the game for the losing team. It is also a very good stress reliever. It can motivate any of the teams.


Probably the most major negative of hockey brawling is injury or brain damage. It can badly influence young kids. Enforcers can take the spots of more skilled players on a team.

Brain In Blue by SilverGryphon8

Image – SliverGryphon8

One reason why people might argue to keep fighting apart of the game is that it has been around since the start of hockey in the early 1800s. Most fans love fighting and say that it is just a part of the game. Many fans help enforcers become famous from fighting.

There are also many people who are upset because their is fighting in hockey. Many argue that there is no fighting in any other sports and that there is no fighting in international fighting or college. They also do not like how fighting can distract everyone from the main goal in hockey. People also believe that others forget about the stars and focus on the fighters.

 Do you think there should be fighting in ice hockey?



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