I realize hockey isn't overwhelmingly popular in New Jersey, but it does have a sizable fan base. Many of those fans are discussing the role of fighting in the game in the wake of what happened in the Montreal Canadiens/Toronto Maple Leafs game the other night.

Montreal enforcer George Parros was fighting with Toronto's Colton Orr. They had ahold of each other's jerseys and as Orr was going down, Parros stumbled over him and hit the ice face first and it was lights out as Parros laid there motionless. They took him off the ice on a stretcher with his chin bleeding from the impact. He was diagnosed as having suffered a concussion but was conscious at the hospital.

Canadian television network CTV (ctvnews.ca) reports that Parros' face plant has renewed the debate over the role of fighting in hockey. CTV quotes Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman as advocating the elimination of fighting in the sport which surprised me because he always had the reputation of being tough but not a goon. Yzerman, via CTV said: “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.” He also recommended a game misconduct for any player who fights. Another Hall of Famer, coach Scotty Bowman is quoted as agreeing with Yzerman. With increased attention being paid to player safety, especially on concussions, there may never be a better time for hockey to act. What do you think, should the NHL ban fighting?

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