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Every sport has its own unique signature that separates it from the rest of the sports world Baseball has the homerun basketball has the slam-dunk golf has the hole in one and football has the touchdown But perhaps the sport with the most distinguished and unique signature is hockey and its fights However hockey officials and executives are trying to eliminate the games most distinctive aspect Yet because of the recent decline in the amount of fighting in the National Hockey League NHL and since a ban on fighting in the NHL could jeopardize the popularity of the sport eliminating fighting from games may not be necessary Over recent years the amount of fighting in NHL games has been on the decline and the role of the one time enforcer has changed dramatically Also hockey fights bring in much needed revenue for professional teams in way of television attendance and concessions The NHL deeply needs to look at what effect removing fighting would cause in the long term The argument for not banning fighting in hockey begins with fighting itself The hue and cry of a decade ago calling for the abolition of fighting has all but died but if the past two season are any indication those who campaigned for the elimination of fistcuffs are closer to getting their way - at least numerically Kreiser Fighting in the NHL last season dropped to levels not seen since the mid-1970s There were just 571 fights in 1999-2000 559 in which both participants received majors and another 12 in which only one player received a five minute penalty for fighting The last time the NHL had fewer fights than games played was 1976-77 when like last season the league averaged just less than one fight per two games Even thats a lot in comparison to the rugged 1950s when the six teams in the league played each other 14 times and feuds were common but actual
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