By Ken Reed

We’re in the middle of one of the best Stanley Cup Finals in years. The games are well-played, tense affairs. In many ways, it’s hockey at its best — minus the gratuitous fighting and violent cheap shots.

A new study from the University of San Diego adds support to the belief that fighting and vicious cheap shots in the NHL could be virtually eliminated if only the powers that be wanted to do so. The study, done by University of San Diego psychologist Nadav Goldschmied, concludes that most of the fighting in the NHL is calculated and that “the NHL could greatly reduce violence if it assessed more penalties.”

The study’s findings are based on an in-depth review of the 2010-11 NHL season, along with a wider analysis of data from the past 10 NHL seasons.

According to Goldschmied, “major acts of aggression in the league are more likely to be calculated rather than impulsive. The findings suggest that a more punitive system should diminish fighting behavior markedly.”

Given these findings, attorney generals in states where NHL games are played could build a strong case that the NHL is conducting “staged fighting” without a boxing license. This study provides ammunition for AGs across the country to go after the NHL in general, and their local NHL franchise in particular, on these grounds.

Hopefully, this study puts us one step closer to pushing the NHL out of the stone age.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.