Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/2/13

EDMONTON - May 1: A dejected Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings talks to the media in the locker room after being eliminated by the Edmonton Oilers in game six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 1, 2006 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Edmonton defeated Detroit 4-3 to win the series 4-2. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman is among a group of NHL GMs and executives who believe the time has come for the league and Players' Association to take a more aggressive path towards eliminating fighting. "Yes I believe a player should get a game misconduct for fighting" Yzerman told The Dreger Report. "We penalize and suspend players for making contact with the head while checking in an effort to reduce head injuries yet we still allow fighting. "We're stuck in the middle and need to decide what kind of sport do we want to be. Either anything goes and we accept the consequences or take the next step and eliminate fighting." Yzerman's comments carry significant weight given his Hall of Fame playing career and years of playing alongside legendary tough guys in Detroit such as Darren McCarty Joe Kocur and the late Bob Probert. When asked if the league and players should stop trying to make fighting safer and focus on banning fighting in general instead Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said "We've got to get rid of fighting it has to go." Rutherford said he would support an open and full discussion on additional penalties such as a game misconduct for fighting - with a significant suspension for any player for example who fights multiple times in a season. Pittsburgh's Ray Shero has been a strong advocate in the league's crackdown on checking to the head. He believes that the NHL has a responsibility to consider a ban on fighting and not just simply raise the discussion when an isolated incident happens. "It won't happen overnight but we need to be leaders not followers in this area" he explained. "I respect other GMs and their views but we need to look at this and not just when an incident like last night (Parros) happens."
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