As you know, the National Hockey League is currently in a lockout. Many players are playing in other leagues. Many aren't playing at all, either resting or engaging themselves in the collective bargaining process.
We all want hockey back. Players, coaches, fans and maybe even the owners. Because of the lockout, there are less goals, less cheers, less excitement, probably about the same amount of air time on SportsCenter, and something you probably haven't thought about– less concussions .
After the passing of three former NHL enforcers in 2011, that's something you have to consider. Concussions are a negative side-effect that exists in almost every sport, and especially in hockey, players know that when they sign up to play hockey, they are subjecting themselves to the possibility of a concussion. However, recent case studies show that the problem may be far more serious than a few weeks of missed games.
Many concussions are a result of perfectly legal hits. Others are a result of illegal hits to the head, blindside hits or fights. Concussions, even the mild kind, can pile up and cause serious long-term problems such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The league has cracked down on blindside hits and hits to the head, but with a measly five minute sit in the penalty box being the penalty, fighting is basically encouraged. Fans encourage it by cheering (I'm just as guilty of this), and the media encourages it by featuring the fights on highlights. Are we cheering as NHLers slowly kill each other?
To read the full report I put together for my English class, follow this link, and keep in mind I wrote the majority of it at four o'clock in the morning.
Here's where I need your take on the issue. Should fighting be allowed in the NHL? Give me your yes or no response and a brief explanation why in the comments section. All responses are greatly appreciated.