I actually just found this article and read all three parts of it. I came away with a few things from it:
-I was really surprised to see how afraid this makes the guys who are considered enforcers. I must just be naive, but with adrenaline running I don't think I'd be terribly afraid to get into a fist fight with a guy remotely my size. I was so freaking angry watching replays of that Islanders debacle from 2011 that I wanted to punch somebody.
But I guess the idea of these staged goon fights isn't about adrenaline or tempers, but like the WWF. You wonder how a pro wrestler could mentally prepare himself to be thrown into barbed wire or broken glass. I guess this is similar, but I never realized just how hard some of these guys must punch. Usually in fights it looks like both guys keep missing.
-The NHL could pretty easily ban fighting. Penalize the same as other sports. Players just wouldn't do it anymore, I guarantee. If it hit them in the wallet, they'd stop it.
-The minor leagues is where the largest resistance to it would be. It's pretty shocking that they not only allow, but encourage kids to do this in Canadian juniors. Encouraging a kid to bare knuckle box is borderline criminal. But staged goon fights seem to be a major draw in the minors.
-I wonder if Boogaard's emotional/developmental issues could have contributed to the level of CTE he showed. Could somebody's emotional development and well being begin to affect the physical make up of the brain? Is that possibly the grounds that the NHL is saying blunt force trauma from hockey is not in any way connected to CTE?
Bottom line, when the league starts to see the stream of lawsuits coming in the way the NFL is it will change it's tune.