Fighting words

"I think there's a certain amount of emotion it brings to the game, which individually or as a group you can feed off of, to get yourself to different levels during the season. Not to mention the fact that I think it just keeps guys honest. I think [if] it's out of the game, there's going to be a lot more dirty stuff where guys don't have to answer the bell. It's easy to take a one or two-game suspension. I think it's a little tougher to go face to face with someone.

"It's the toughest job in our game, I think. Just the mental side of having to get yourself up to do that night in, night out is something that most of us have no clue about. Realizing that, you have a profound respect for all the guys that do that and stick up for their teammates and play that role."

-- Jets forward Andrew Ladd

"Players wouldn't have to worry about any action for something they did on the ice. I think now, especially in the game, there's more players who think twice about it. Whether it's a hit or doing something cheap on the ice, players don't want to do that because they'll have to stick up for themselves and have to fight. You see it more often today where there aren't too many staged fights and more fights if a guy gets hit -- OK, we'll go after that guy because he made a hit on our skilled guy or something. It kind of puts a stamp on what happened and you move on from it. I think it kind of keeps the game in order. I think if you ask any player they want to keep fighting in the game for that reason."

-- Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane

"I don't think you can ever get rid of it, then you got guys running around and doing whatever they want. You need it in there. The intensity that builds over the games in those rivalry games, I couldn't imagine one of those games without a fight.

"I think taking it out of the game, there would be more people hurt because of it."

-- Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw

"I've done this interview a thousand times over. No, you're not breaking any ground. I think there would be more boarding, there would be more hits from behind, there would be more stick work, there would be more cross-checking, and bottom line I think there would be more injuries. That's the way I feel from my experiences. A lot of people disagree, a lot of people agree, so it's a tough debate right now."

-- Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa

"You know I don't know that it would [look] a whole lot different [without fighting]. I think some people would think it would look a lot different. I think there would probably be a little more stick, dirty stick stuff, which to me it would be a little bit more like Europe as far as that. And having played over there you see a lot more stick work and a lot more 'brave' guys, I guess you would say, with their sticks. But aside from that I don't think there'd be a huge change in the overall game, product on the ice.

"The game has changed quite a bit. I truthfully see both sides of it. I really can. I think fighting probably does have a place in the game. But the way that the league has changed, the way that the viewership has changed I think overall, I mean nobody likes to see somebody laying on the ice, it's not good for hockey and that's in the headlines moreso than a beautiful goal.

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