Fighting in hockey is a topic that always creates a lot of debate and discussion. Those in favour feel that it is a fundamental part of hockey while those opposed believe it is unsportsmanlike and detracts from the popularity of the game.
I recently wrote a 2 part series on fighting in hockey and posted the articles at my website, Sports Narrative.
Part 1: The Argument Against Fighting in the NHL
"The artificial boundaries that exist around sports allow us to engage in an other-worldly existence free from the constraints that bind us in real life. The narrow set of rules test our abilities to adapt. The absence of other rankist devices that exist in society means the only measure is our ability to compete and win. That is why a prison inmate can square off against someone from a more privileged background in a boxing match and compete in a ring where other societal determiners don't play a part."
Part 2: The Argument in Favour of Fighting in the NHL
"Fighting exists in hockey mainly because of the unique, elemental aspects of the game. The inherently violent nature of the sport together with the presence of sticks, are the 2 main reasons underlying this singular quality of hockey. To hold a stick, pipe or any other length of weaponry, imbues humans with a warrior-like mindset and creates an instinctive reaction to lash out whenever attacked or threatened. It's the stick. It's all about the stick."
I'll leave the articles archived at Sports Narrative for the time being though I may transfer them over here at some point.