There are two sides to the debate. One says fighting is dangerous and should be eliminated; the other days it's inevitable and should be tolerated.
Personally, I think you need fighting to control the game. Without the threat of fisticuffs, you'd get more stick violence—because offenders wouldn't be worried about getting beaten up after the fact.
The "too dangerous" argument is a stupid one, for a few reasons. First, not many injuries are caused by fighting. There are exceptions, of course—but they're too rare to warrant taking fighting out of the game entirely.
When two guys drop the mitts, they know the risks involved. If fighting were really as dangerous as critics suggest, it wouldn't be so common.
Think of it like this: If there were no fights, any player in the league could take a run at Sidney Crosby and have nothing to worry about.
Critics also say that fighting drives fans away from the game. That's absurd.
There are only three kinds of hockey moments that get fans on their feet: a goal, a big save, and a fight.