Part of the Game?

Don Sanderson, a 21-year-old senior hockey league player for the Whitby Dunlops, lost his life because of a hockey fight. He had been in a coma since December 14 and past away last Friday.
With respect to the Sanderson’s families lost the question must be raised again: does fighting have to be a part of hockey? I have had this debate with various people over the years and have always sided on the no fighting side, primarily because I think it presents an unnecessary double standard for kids. Parents and teachers tell them again and again that fighting is not right and then you turn on any hockey game and the crowds go wild every time a fight begins, the cheers only become louder as the fight becomes more aggressive. Now the debate must happen again with the life and death of Don in mind. Now I don’t think there should be a knee jerk reaction but a well thought out response. Maybe that is ensuring players leave helmets on at all times or stiffer penalties for fighting. But does a game where the aim is getting a puck in the net need fighting to make it better?
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