This may be good news for some National Hockey League fans, or it may be bad... It all depends on when you started to watch hockey, what you like of the sports, and if you find yourself cheering when two goons drop the gloves.
Yeah, studies are out and show that hockey fighting hasn't just declined in the last years -- TSN reports it could be on the way the verge of extinction. According to HockeyFights.com, the number of games with a fight in the NHL is projected to dip to less than 20 percent for the first time since it began tracking the stats in 2000. Travis Yost of TSN published some interesting graphics on the past few season. He writes:
"To illustrate this, I pulled fight data at the game level from as far back as 2000-01. I paced this year’s data (we are at 677 games played out of a possible 1,271) to show how fighting has trended over time and where it’s expected to land by season end 2017-18. The de-escalation is remarkable:
Fights would often take place when a team needed to be picked up when the players were getting down or going flat, in hopes to change the momentum of the game. However, teams are now more closely matched. There is also the fear of concussions and concussion-related conditions, that could be stopping players, or at least making them think twice about dropping the gloves and punching an opponent.
There is also tragedy surrounding past enforcers in the NHL, as everyone easily thinks of Derek Boogaard.
Yost ends his study with this:
"Considering the above and the sheer financial exposure sports leagues are facing related to CTE, you have to start wondering what this means for fighting as it relates to the next collective bargaining agreement.
Regardless of the position any individual executive, coach, or player has taken on the matter, the element is clearly being phased out. If someone raises the idea of giving out game misconducts for fighting, I’m not sure how forceful the objection would be.
It’s something to keep an eye on as we head towards 2020."
Would you be upset if fighting was completely taken out of the game?