If you have gone to a hockey game before then you know that a fight is one of the best things to happen, aside from your team winning. Fighting has been part of the NHL since the rules of the sport were first written in the 1800s. The “Original Six” era saw fighting established as an ordinary part of the NHL game according to Jamie Fitzpatrick in the article “History of Hockey Fights.” Throughout the years there have been many “goons” who have been the tough guys on teams. Teams such as the Philadelphia Flyers have used fighting and intimidation as core tactics during the 70s.
Many NHL teams have had “tough guys” on them for many years, these players are meant to harass players on the opponent team to try and get some penalties called or even to pump up the crowd. These players are still on teams these days, they go out on the ice to fight someone to give their own team some motivation. These players were also known as “goons” and they were really big during the 70s. Many fights during those years involved several players and a few were even bench-clearing brawls. Because of all the fights during this era it caused the NHL to create a rule that any player joining a fight in progress would be ejected from the game. Not to long after that the league also decided that a play leaving the bench to join a fight would receive a 5-to-10 game suspension.
There are several different ways that fighting it still a good thing to have in the game. In the article “Top 10 Reasons Why the NHL Needs to Keep fighting in the Game,” Andrew Maggio talks about how no one will ever question a player for defending a teammate and having to fight someone. This is in every sport not just hockey, teammates defend each other, it happens in baseball with dugouts emptying and full teams running at each other. It also happens in football when offensive linemen pull down defensive players for getting a late hit on their quarterback. Fighting is also a huge momentum shift in hockey, winning a fight can pump a team and the crowd. Fighting is unique to hockey, it is one of the main aspects of the game and has been in it for many and many years. The physicality of the sport is what differentiates t from the other big professional sports, aside from the NFL that is. But you never really hear any football fans complain that they shouldn’t be allowed to hit each other.
If fighting wasn’t a part of the NHL the alternative would be much worse, more people would get injured from dangerous hits and vicious hacks with a players stick. Some players would find different ways to injure certain players and there will be no was to retaliate if there is no fighting for a bad hit on a top player. Most, if not all, NHL teams have players that are literally on the team to protect the star players and basically be a bodyguard when they are needed. When most people go to a hockey game they talk about hoping they will see a fight happen. Years ago you could go to every game and expect to see a fight or at least some type of big physical argument. It doesn’t happen as much anymore but when you go to a game and see a fight its one of the best things in the sport in my opinion. It makes you think what the game would be like if there was no fighting. Sometimes it is nice to go to a big game and see a nice clean hockey game where its just constant skating and great moves but the fighting pumps up the crowd and the teams.
Now one of the worst things that can happen when you go to a hockey game is when a player gets injured. Hockey players can get injured from a number of different things such as getting hit into the boards from behind or just a lower body injury from pushing themselves to hard. An injury is defined as a particular form or instance of harm, so technically an injury could just be a player missing a game. Players miss games every night, it could be due to a physical injury or even just sickness. An injury is defined as a particular form or instance of harm. A study was done by Laura Donaldson during the 2009 – 2012 seasons on how many players were injured. This study was on all 1307 NHL players participating in regular season games. Within the 3-season time period, 825 of the 1307 NHL players missed at least 1 game due to injury. That is about 63% of the players. Within a single 82 game regular season, 50.9% of all players were out for 1 game or more.
The big thing with injuries is that they cost the teams a lot of money. The total lost salary costs due to injury over the 3-year study was $653 million. Of that $653 million, $128.5 was for injuries of concussions. Concussion are a huge injury in most sports, during this study 323 concussions or suspected concussions were recorded.
A smaller study was done during 10 weeks from each of the three seasons to determine the most costly injury. During those 30 weeks 870 injuries occurred. The injury that occurred the most was a leg/foot injury. Those were 241 of the 870 injuries that happened in that period, which was 30% of all the injuries that occurred during the 3 weeks. Those 241 injuries cost about $68 million.
In the NHL there are also many players that have rarely ever missed a game. From the article “Ranking the 10 Most Durable Players in the NHL,” written by Rob Vollman, he states that one of these players that rarely misses a game is Jarome Iginla, during his 1299 games played he only missed 1253. A few of the games that he missed were because of a knee injury in 2006-07 season. Another player that has hardly missed a game is Henrik Sedin, out of his 973 games played he only missed 963. At the age of 33 Henrik Sedin had the second-longest active iron man streak, this means he has played a consecutive amount of games without missing any. His streak, at the time of this article, was 652 consecutive games. One amazing thing that Henrik Sedin did was play most of the 2011 playoffs with a major back injury. This just shows that some players love the game and the fans so much that they play through injuries just to try and win.
Players miss games almost every night in the NHL and other professional sports. This could be from a physical injury or possibly just a simple cold. It is possible that they may also have a family emergency and they would miss a game. Technically all of these are types of injuries and cause players to not be able to play on a specific night.
Donaldson, L., Li, B., & Cusimano, M. D. (2014). Economic burden of time lost due to injury in NHL hockey players. Injury Prevention, 20(5), 347.
Fitzpatrick, Jamie. “History of Hockey Fights.” ThoughtCo, 18 Mar. 2017,
Maggio, Andrew. “Top 10 Reasons Why the NHL Needs to Keep Fighting in the Game.”TheSportster, 20 Nov. 2014
Vollman, Rob. “Ranking the 10 Most Durable Players in the NHL.” Bleacher Report, Bleacher Report, 12 Apr. 2017,