Despite Brian McGrattan getting knocked out cold during a hockey fight Tuesday night, there is still a place in the game for fighting.

By William Chase

By now you’ve probably seen the video of former NHL tough guy, and current AHLer, San Diego Gulls—Anaheim Ducks Affiliate—player Brian McGrattan getting knocked out cold in a recent fight.

As tough as the video is to watch with the subsequent cheering following the incident, it is important to keep in mind that the resulting injury is a rarity.

Hockey fights typically leave both combatants crumbled in a heap,  one on top of the other, both possibly trying to get any last licks in before the zebras pull them apart and send them on their merry way to the penalty box.

Sure, injuries can happen.

Every player stepping on the ice, court, or field know that. While concussions are an issue, especially from the NFL and NHL, fighting should always have a place in the game.

While I’m all for trying to make the game safer and potentially eliminating severe injuries, the sport must stay intact.

Wait, I know what some of you are thinking…how can you have both?

Fighting has always been a part of hockey. Players police their sport, sticking up for one another when a big hit is laid out or even fighting to ignite a spark for a team; a certain energy factor.

You can take fighting out of the game but you can’t take the fighting out of the player.

Though the NHL has transitioned to more of a speed and skill game, and fighting has been on the decline, there are always going to be instances when teams and players have no choice but to drop the gloves.

Fortunately for McGrattan, he is doing better.

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William Chase is editor at Elite Sports NY, and has been featured on such prominent websites including Bleacher Report. William is also currently the Marketing & Media Relations Intern for the Augusta GreenJackets.