Hockey Hall of Famer and Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman believes it’s time for the NHL to take dramatic action to cut down on fighting.
“Yes, I believe a player should get a game misconduct for fighting,” Yzerman told The Dreger Report. “We penalize and suspend players for making contact with the head while checking, in an effort to reduce head injuries, yet we still allow fighting.
“We’re stuck in the middle and need to decide what kind of sport do we want to be. Either anything goes and we accept the consequences, or take the next step and eliminate fighting.”
Yzerman isn’t alone among his league counterparts either. “We’ve got to get rid of fighting,” Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said. “It has to go.”
Penguins GM Ray Shero also thinks the NHL needs to consider a ban.
It will be extremely interesting to see if the general managers get together soon to debate fighting. They did that back in 2009, eventually proposing a 10-minute misconduct for players who drop their gloves immediately after a faceoff as a ways to cut down on staged fights. The NHLPA blocked that proposal, however.
Update: Scotty Bowman, via Twitter: