I think I agree with Cox today.... 
In today's Star:

But somebody's going to have to pay the ultimate price for this league to reform its thuggish ways, and can you imagine how quickly the NHL and all its affiliated leagues will move to end the presence of brawling in the game then?

It will be banned the very next day, of course.

Instead of waiting, it would make far more sense to get the goons out of the NHL for good now by banning fighting and prohibiting players from taking disputes into their own hands while simultaneously cracking down in draconian style on dangerous play.

Any high stick — game misconduct. Any hit from behind — five games. Any intentional shot to the head — 10 games. Second offences? Triple the penalty.

Australia's Rugby League (and Football League, too) faced similar challenges in the late 1970s, and worked aggressively to outlaw fighting, king hitting (tackling from behind), eye gouging and all manner of vicious rule-breaking that was killing the sport.

Today, Rugby League is as successful as ever, just as brutal and hard-hitting, but without the thuggery and goonish tactics. TV ratings, interestingly, have doubled.

The NHL could surely experience the same rebirth.

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