The NHL, he argued, was the first sports league to implement a study of concussions in 1997, with the sole purpose of improving player safety, and has implemented rules to eliminate all hits to the head. Fighting, he said, is "really one of the smaller components" leading to such injuries.
"Pucks to the head probably cause more concussions," Bettman said, "but I don't think anybody's advocating going to foam-rubber pucks."
PC - Thank you! Fighting causes 6-7% of concussions in the NHL. That's it. End of story IMO.
Fighting has diminished somewhat in recent years -- 0.44 per game this season, compared to 0.64 in 2003-04, according to the website hockeyfights.com, which meanwhile serves to glorify that aspect of the game. And a study by the Sports Analytics Institute concluded that fighting has "no effect on winning."
PC - Winning? Not sure. But there is a good study out there that concludes that fighting changes the momentum of a game. Not mentioned here though. Hmm...
Overall, he did a great job fending off the ankle biters. He said that fighting is a small part of the game that gets way too much attention. I don't think he means from fans... he means from the media. Good read.