Violence has been a part of ice hockey since at least the early 1900s. According to the book Hockey: A People's History, in 1904 alone, four players were killed during hockey games from the frequent brawls and violent stick work. Fighting in ice hockey is an established tradition of the sport in North America, with a long history involving many levels of amateur and professional play and including some notable individual fights. While officials tolerate fighting during hockey games, they impose a variety of penalties on players who engage in fights. Unique to North American professional team sports, the National Hockey League (NHL) and most minor professional leagues in North America do not eject players outright for fighting but major European and collegiate hockey leagues do. The debate over allowing fighting in ice hockey games is ongoing. Despite its potentially negative consequences, such as heavier enforcers knocking each other out, some administrators are not considering eliminating fighting from the game, as some players consider it essential. Additionally, the majority of fans oppose eliminating fights from professional hockey games. Examples
In an NHL preseason game between the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues on September 21, 1969 Bruins defenseman Ted Green and Blues left wing Wayne Maki, attacking Green, engaged in a bloody stick-swinging fight that resulted in Green sustaining a skull fracture and brain damage, forcing him to miss the entire season of 1969–70, with Maki emerging uninjured. As a result of the fight, Green would play for the remaining nine years of his professional career with a pioneering variety of hockey helmet in both the NHL and WHA. April 20, 1984 a bench clearing brawl broke out at the end of the second period of a second-round playoffs matchup between the Quebec Nordiques and the Montreal Canadians, after many smaller-scaled battles had occurred throughout the game. A second bench clearing brawl erupted before the third period began, provoked by the announcement of penalties; a total of 252 penalty minutes were incurred and 10 players were ejected. This game prompted referee Bruce Hood to retire from the NHL once the playoffs ended, and is commonly referred to as the Good Friday Massacre. On January 4, 1987, the final game of the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, involving Canada and the Soviet Union saw intense physical play by both sides, resulting in a bench clearing brawl that lasted over 20 minutes. Event organizers in a futile attempt to stop the fighting turned the arena lights off. Eventually, the game was declared null and void and both teams were ejected from the competition costing the Canadians a medal. Virtually all of the players on both teams were suspended from international competition for 18 months (shortened to six months on appeal), and the coaching staffs of both teams drew three year suspensions. The match referee widely blamed for losing control of the game and never refereed another international match. A book by Gare Joyce was written regarding the event. February 9, 2001 a game between the Nottingham Panthers and the Sheffield Steelers in the British Super league saw one of the worst scenes of violence seen at a British ice hockey rink. When Sheffield enforcer Dennis Vial crosschecked Nottingham forward Greg Hadden. Panthers enforcer Barry Nieckar subsequently fought with Vial which eventually escalated into a 36 man bench clearing brawl. Referee Moray Hanson was forced to send both teams to their locker rooms and delay the game for 45 minutes while tempers cooled and the officials sorted out the penalties. Eight players and both coaches were ejected and a British record total of 404 penalty minutes were incurred during the second period. The League handed out 30 games in suspensions to four players and Steelers coach Mike Blaisdell and a total of £8,400 in fines. Violence in South Africa
The general manager of Western Province Youth Rugby has...
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