Commentary

Fight to the finish

Fighting issue in the NHL extends from the bench to the bleachers to the board room

Originally Published: December 2, 2011
By Craig Custance | ESPN Insider
Shawn Thornton and Matt CookeAP Photo/Mary SchwalmThe dangers of fighting are being weighed against a plethora of issues, including its entertainment value.

THE OFF-SEASON DEATHS of three NHL enforcers -- Derek Boogaard by accidental overdose and Wade Belak and Rick Rypien by apparent suicides -- sparked a debate about the long-term impact of fighting in hockey. The furor was reignited in October, when Penguins winger Arron Asham brutally knocked out Capitals center Jay Beagle, then taunted him. Does fighting still have a place in the NHL? It's an issue that affects a lot more people than just the guys who drop the gloves. We asked individuals from six segments of the hockey world to imagine how their lives would change if fighting were banned from the game. Here's what they had to say.

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