Why do hockey fans like a good fight?


New Member
Oct 7, 2004
hollaback said:
Ok, your guys opinions are great, but some of you do not know what the instigator rule is. It was actually put in place to protect the spotlight players from being attacked. Here is the rule, straight from the NHL rule book:
"An instigator of an altercation shall be a player who by his actions or demeanor demonstrates any/some of the following criteria: distance traveled; gloves off first; first punch thrown; menacing attitude or posture; verbal instigation or threats; conduct in retaliation to a prior game incident."
Bascially unless both players say hell yeah to the fight, one of them is getting the instigator penalty. The NHL put this into effect after the increase of figthing in the 70s in hope that star players would not be getting attacked because they had skill.
That may have been its intention, but it's not doing a very good job. Now instead of face-to-face fights, skill players are being cheapshotted. And because of the instigator rule, teammates can't really step in to defend each other when the ref misses the cheapshot. If a someone lays a dangerous cheapshot, they are obliged to fight to pay for it. And if they won't fight willingly, then they are going to be forced to fight. The idea was that you can't run away from the consequences of your actions - you lay a cheapshot, you're going to fight whether you like it or not. It sure as heck made guys think twice before doing a little stickwork. Now that the instigator is here, there's no longer that deterrent.