SI.com's Kostya Kennedy has weighed in on commissioner Gary Bettman's recent announcement that the NHL will examine the "rules of engagement" rather than attempt to ban fighting outright. Given the recent death of senior leaguer Don Sanderson and the on-ice seizure of AHL player Garrett Klotz in fights, this dance-around-the-issue approach falls short of seriously addressing the safety issue while it avoids alienating fans who enjoy fighting.
Kennedy says that short of a fight ban, the only thing the NHL can do to at least curb fisticuffs is stiffen the penalties for it and have refs zealously enforce the rules ... or simply schedule fights beforehand (just joking on that one.) But seriously, would you stop watching hockey if fighting were banned? If you want to keep it in the game, how would you address the very real safety issues that come with two huge guys whaling away at each other in the service of their job description as enforcers? Or is the safety issue overblown to begin with?