Fighting in hockey is part of the game, it's not arguable, not even debatable. Changing the rules of fighting however, isn't going to stop ANY person from going to see a hockey game because of the new changes in different leagues. Most notably, the OHL. After time we won't miss fighting.
For those who don't know the OHL has made a rule that if you take off your own helmet, the fight is to be stopped right then and there as well as a game misconduct I believe. If your helmet falls off during a fight, the linesmen must intervene as soon as that happens. As far as suspensions go for the league I'm not to sure.
In another the league (GOJHL - Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League) they just brought up a new rule for the 2009-2010 season. Third fight in a season is a one game suspension, fourth is two games, fifth is three games, and the sixth is a indefinite suspension with a meeting in front of the disciplinary committee of the league.
Saying that, those rules for the GOJHL don't have anything to do with the safety of the players whatsoever.
Getting on to the point of the article, do the people that make these rules think that players are going to stop fighting? To me, it's not a big deal, you could take out fighting period and it still wouldn't be a big deal. Yes, it's part of the game, but you don't go to a semi-pro, junior, or NHL hockey game to see fights. You go to watch skilled players perform to their best or in junior you go to watch kids develop into better players.
I think that cutting down fighting in the long run is also a positive because when it does happen, it will be a good treat for the fans to see because it isn't happening every game like it sometimes does.
Sorry for thought jumping, but I am under the weather and wanted to write an opinion that popped into my head. Thanks for reading!
Adam Faulkner, 18, Sarnia, Ontario.