Aside from the Carolina Hurricanes and the Detroit Red Wings, Arizona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks rank among the NHL teams with the least penalty time and fighting majors. Since the 2010 hockey season, Arizona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks have been ranked among the bottom five dirtiest teams. From that time, only the Toronto Maple Leafs have initiated lesser fights. In ten hockey seasons, the Toronto Maple Leaf has received one instigator penalty.
These figures could deny or affirm the fans’ speculations regarding the dirtiest NHL teams is neither here nor there. The larger issue to contemplate is whether fighting on ice has any prospects in the sport. For the last couple of years, there has been a heated debate with rivals maintaining that the practice leads to unnecessary injuries, mainly to the brain. Other claims suggested that these fights were a waste of time and detracted from the game’s more significant parts.
People who advocate for the continuation of fighting in the National Hockey League are convinced that it helps keep off other kinds of foul play. They believe that these fights allow hockey players to keep themselves in check. It offers a level of protection for renowned players. Most of the fans consider the fighting to be the most entertaining aspect of the game. Some of them look forward to watching the game, all in the hope of witnessing a break out in the sport.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue at hand, these figures have a threatening narrative for the prospects of fighting in the sport. In the 2010/11 hockey season, averagely, there were many fights after two games. This translates to 0.52 fights for one contest and a significant decrease to 0.18 during the 2019/20 season. Generally, fights in the National Hockey League have substantially gone down in the last ten seasons by seventy percent. Within these two seasons, the fighting majors reduced from 1,274 to 388.
In recent times, the 2018/19 hockey season was marked as one of the seasons with less than 200 games involving a fighting major. The following season followed the same trajectory, with fewer players taking part in fights. During 2010/11, a combined record of 348 hockey players was involved in a fight at a certain point throughout the season. In the past year, less than 250 players took part in a fight. Each relevant figure points to the reduction in the number of fights in the National Hockey League. There is no evidence to suggest that this trend will change in the coming seasons.
This implies that the future of the National Hockey League is unpredictable. Rivals will expect that this accelerates the removal of the fighting aspect from the game altogether. Advocates of the practice believe that fewer fights may be the best outcome for the two worlds. That way, the fans enjoy the show while the players continue playing safely. If fighting is ultimately banned, some combative teams in the NHL could be subjected to an unknown period where they would have to modify their playing tactics. Some of these teams include the Ducks and the Bruins, which have high records of fighting majors.