The editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal and noted neurologist believes that fighting and head shots should be banned from the NHL due to risks of serious brain injury, NHL.com reports.
Dr. Rajendra Kale, a neurologist, wrote the editorial “Stop the violence and play hockey” because he was “appalled by the disgraceful and uncivilized practice of fighting and causing intentional head trauma.”
Numerous NHL stars and top-goal producers including Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux and Milan Michalek are among those currently suffering from concussions. Crosby, most notably, has been struggling with post-concussion symptoms for more than 11 months after sustaining the concussion during the Winter Classic.
Many argue that eliminating fighting or ridding hockey of such physicality could result in fans leaving the game for other forms of entertainment. Kale amounts the idea to nothing more than mere speculation, also suggesting that if fighting is banned, the game could stand to earn new fans who currently are not watching hockey.
Kale explained that repeated concussions or even “sub-concussive brain injuries” may be linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which is an irreversible condition that destroys brain tissue and leads to dementia.
Kale posed a question to players who believe hard hits and fighting are an integral part of the game:
"Do you want to be rich, famous and demented and dead at 40?"Fighting in the NHL may have very well played a role in the untimely deaths of three NHL enforcers this offseason, Derek Boogaard, Wade Belak and Rick Rypien. Collectively, the three players fought 240 times in their NHL careers.