NHL Bans Fighting For Players, Opens It Up For Hockey Fans

The National Hockey League bans fighting for players and opens it up for fans National Hockey League announces ban on fighting but will allow fans to fight each other in the stands in order to improve player safety and fan engagement

NEW YORK, NY – Exclusive to “Get The Puck Out”

In a bold move to modernize the National Hockey League, Commissioner Gary Bettman announced starting next season fighting will be banned for players but measures will be put in place to allow fans to fight while attending games.

“Today we address two major issues for the National Hockey League,” Gary Bettman said.  “Player safety is paramount in light of what we know but mostly ignore about CTE.  Furthermore, our fans are demanding more from their NHL in-game experience, and to provide the ultimate fan engagement, we will be allowing select fans the chance to fight on behalf of their team during NHL contests.”

The League and Board of Governors are establishing the Fan Fury Festival in every NHL arena, an opportunity for fans to battle UFC style for their favourite team and take over the pugilism from the players.

“It no longer makes sound financial sense for our players, who are all multi-millionaires to put their bodies at risk of injury.  We have a pool of willing fans, who are worth far less than NHL players, wanting to put their health and safety on the line for the team,” Bettman explained.

A fighting cage will be retro-fitted in each rink to allow fans to fight in response to a dirty hit, a cheap shot, taunting, chirping or if their team is not playing well and needs a lift.  A fan representing each team will pay extra for the chance to fight and will be placed in the cage to duke it out in a ninety second match broadcast in-house on the scoreboard video screen as well as on NHL partner broadcasts.

Games will pause for the duration of the fight and the players will be encouraged to watch the fight on the centre ice screens and draw inspiration and energy from the battling fans.

“In today’s NHL, fans travel to road games more than ever,” Bettman offered.  “This will add a dynamic new element to the game and encourage more out-of-town visits from travelling fans, and a new level of interaction with the game, currently unheard of in professional sport.

Fans around the league are overwhelmingly positive about the announcement to move fighting off the ice and away from the players to the stands and amongst the fans.

“I can hardly wait to pay for the chance to punch a Flyers fan in the face,” Winnipeg Jets fan Benjamin Froese said.  “Home or away, it won’t matter to me.  I’d love to bloody that ugly orange jersey.”

“It only makes sense to protect performers making millions a year from hurting themselves in a fight when you have an abundance of low-life, low-value fans who can do it for them,” Toronto Maple Leafs fan Irving Wallace said.

“This is the best idea the NHL has ever had,” Montreal fan Claude Burns said.  “This takes the seventh man to a whole new level.  I can hardly wait until the Bruins come to town next year.”

Local team websites have been inundated with inquiries from fans wanting to know when they can sign up and pay for the new ultimate game experience.

“I’d pay you double what my season tickets are if you give me a chance to kick a Calgary Flames fan’s ass,” Edmonton Oiler fan Bernie Webber offered.  “I’d fight to help my team win, and so I could beat the crap out of somebody without getting arrested.”

Initial cost per round of Fan Fury Festival is rumoured to be $1,200 per participant but the NHL is waiting to gauge market reaction before setting ticket prices as high as possible but the totals will not be included in hockey related revenues.

“This will be a premium product offering, so it would make sense that it will carry a premium price,” Bettman warned.  “We never wanted to take fighting out of hockey so this is a great way to preserve the traditions of our great and storied league while advancing it into the future.


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Photo credit – Mark Mauno