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Why is fighting allowed in hockey in the NHL?

The Count of Merkur Cristo

B&B's Emperor of Emojis
My Hockey Friends:
As far as I can remember...fighting and hockey is as synonyms as missing teeth, baseball and apple pie.

Never thought of it much besides its (what), 'part' of the game. Shoulder Shrug.jpg

"The simple reason why punches can be thrown in the NHL [and the Playoffs have already started]"

By Bryan Murphy - MSN Sports - 18 Apr 23

"Dropping the mitts. Chuckin' knucks. Getting into a donnybrook.


All of it means the same in the hockey world — fighting.

Hockey is one of the only professional sports that allows fighting to occur in its games, and the only one out of the four major North American competitions. While players in baseball, basketball or football can face serious repercussions for throwing a punch, that's not the case on the ice.

Fighting has been a constant in the NHL since the sport began in the 1800s. While the number of altercations has decreased over the years, fighting is still a part of the modern game.

But why exactly is fighting allowed in hockey? The Sporting News explains.

Why is fighting allowed in hockey?

Fighting in hockey is "allowed" the same way that tripping, hooking, interference or roughing is allowed. It can occur, but you are going to be penalized for it.

The difference between hockey and other professional sports is that fighting does not result in an immediate ejection. If a punch is thrown in a baseball or basketball game, that player would likely be disqualified from the match.

However, in hockey, a player that engages in a fight receives a five-minute major.

Why do referees let hockey players fight?​

Because it is allowed within the rules, officials will let two players go at it.

You don't see officials breaking up fights in the NHL until it's over, one player drops the other, they wrestle to the ice, or if it goes on long enough that the two tire themselves out.

Fighting is seen as a way for players to police themselves. Rather than letting the officials dictate what is legal or illegal, a team may respond by fighting if they do not agree with the actions of an opposing player.

Fights can occur after a dangerous hit, or if a skirmish escalates to the point where gloves are dropped. Sometimes, a team will simply engage in a fight in order to change the momentum of the game.

Fighting rules in hockey ["I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out". Rodney Dangerfield]

Here's how fighting is deemed in the NHL's rule book. There are some restrictions that players must abide by according to rule 46 in the league's rulebook.

Read More: Why is fighting allowed in [the NHL?]

"Sometimes people ask, 'Are hockey fights real?' I say, 'If they weren't, I'd get in more of them". Wayne (The Great One) Gretzy
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"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
Hey nothing better than a good female fight. I remember way back when, in high school, female fights always drew bigger crowds.
A universally true statement my friend!

But ask any male teacher which fight they are more afraid of breaking up and it will be the females. They are just plain tuff.
Very little fighting now compared to the 70‘s-90’s.

This season about a dozen players had over 100 penalty minutes and the leader had 150 minutes. Not even 2min a game.

In the 70’s-90’s, there were almost 100 players with over 300PIM/season and Dave Shultz had almost 500 one season in the 70’s.

Unless a team is getting blown out, fighting is basically nonexistent nowadays.
Because it feels so much better to see a guy get punched for being a jerk than yell at the officials for doing nothing about it. Just like life.
Enforcers protects the starts from getting blind sided or cheap shot hits.

It's why Gretzky AND McSorley went to LA when he left Edmonton.

Almost every star used to have an enforcer to keep the other team in check. I'm guessing below Probert/Yzerman and McSorley/Lemieux.

You know it's exciting when even the benches stand up to get a better look.

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If you are in Arizona/Phoenix. The Winnipeg Jets (my local team), got moved to Phoenix years ago when they folded.

We have since gained a new NHL team, under the same name (which is unusual for teams when the city gets a second chance years later).
That is indeed unusual.
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