NHL: Fighting Is Essential

chris saccoContributor IMarch 12, 2009

Fighting in the NHL has been a hot topic as of late.

As long as I can remember, there have always been fights in hockey. 

Growing up, I heard all about the great fighters like Gordie Howe. 

Fighting is a part of the game.

Yes, it's a shame that a few players have gotten hurt during fights, but a few isolated incidents should not determine the fate of this part of the game. Enforcers are needed just like goal scorers are needed.

Without fighters and enforcers, players would constantly be taking runs at key players. Even if the league decides to put tougher penalties on taking runs at players, or taking cheap shots, it still wouldn't help. There would probably be more injuries. 

Guys like George Laraque remind the other teams that taking a run at one of his teammates will likely lead to some sort of retribution. This protects his team's key players. 

These are guys playing a fast-paced game, hitting each other, and trying to win as many games as possible. There is going to be some hostility. If players can't fight, they will do other things to get even or get rid of frustrations.

It's a part of the game. If you don't like fighting, then don't watch hockey, period. Or watch roller hockey.

There are definitely players that the NHL can do without because of their lack of ethics and dirty play, but taking fighting out of the game would be a mistake.