"I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of YOUTH hockey but the pros should be allowed to mix it up. Not allowing them to fight almost always leads to stickwork or other nasty behavior."
I'll second this...nothing sticks out more in my head than going with my dad to the Flyers v. Rangers fights back in the late 70's early 80's @ the Spectrum. Good times. Come to think of it...there were almost as many fights in the stands as there were on the ice. Those were even more entertaining as they usually involved beer & girls.
The sissification of young men continues, as the Marching Mommies jump in front of their precious darlings to demand they be wrapped in bubble wrap and taught to injure other players with their sticks like the European players do ...
Personally I would run away from home if I were a young boy whose Mommy went shrieking to my coach because I came home with a boo boo. Not only would I never be able to play pro hockey, but I would never get a date with a person of the opposite sex as long as I might live.
Hockey in the 1970s was the greatest it's been in modern times -- we had the same kind of 'fun' at Ranger games and later when the Canucks visited LA, and we loved it.
Ah yes.....those were the days!!
I got to see the action up close and personal from my season seats at The Spectrum, section N, row 9, seats 3 and 4.