It's been argued that dropping the gloves in hockey is an integral part of the sport's tradition, but a recent study suggested that most Canadian fans would support a ban on fighting.
60% of Canadians, aged 18 years or older, that watch and follow the sport agree that fighting should be banned from professional hockey, according to a recent nationwide Forum Research survey.
"Based on these findings, it looks like Canadians are growing increasingly weary of the amount of fighting that takes place in Canada's national pastime – and perhaps of the impact on its players," Forum Research president Dr. Lorne Bozinoff said.
"With the recent deaths of NHL enforcers and retired players—along with marquee names such as Sidney Crosby being sidelined due to head injuries—people are starting to question the role of fighting in the game. With the NHL making it clear they won't even consider a ban at this time, it will be interesting to see how this situation develops in the months and years to come."
The study found that females were significantly more likely to support a fighting ban than males (74% to 46%) while older Canadians were also more likely to support a ban (86% for age 65 and up, 73% for ages 55-64, 64% for ages 45-54, 55% for ages 35-44, and 40% for ages 18-34.)
Fans in Quebec had the highest support for the fighting ban (67%), followed by fans in Ontario (61%), the Atlantic region (57%), BC (55%), and the Prairies (51%).