The panel of Johnston, current general manager Jim Rutherford, president/CEO David Morehouse and Hall of Fame announcer Mike Lange started out talking about how benches would empty and teams employed enforcers, then the Philadelphia Flyers went nuclear with that option in the 1970s.
Nobody among the group seemed to be in favor of fighting remaining in the current NHL.
“It’s a speed game,” Morehouse said. “It’s a game of skill. I think that’s what sells tickets.”
“When you look at the best events in hockey, the Olympics and World Cup, you don’t have any fighting,” Rutherford said. “Even when you get to the Stanley Cup finals, you don’t have any fights. I don’t think we need it. It will eventually go away once everybody gets a full facemask. It’s pretty much to the point now where the fourth lines on most teams are lines that are penalty-killers or skilled players.