Graduation Year

Fall 2011

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Richard Burdekin

Reader 2

Gregory Hess

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2011 Matthew G. Morton


Fighting has been a centerpiece of the National Hockey League since it was formed in 1917. Although rules have been introduced regulating the physicality of play in the NHL, fighting is demanded—and encouraged—by fans and players alike. Fans have long been attracted to the violence of professional hockey; previous studies have documented that professional hockey is a “blood sport” that generates revenues with violence. This research investigates the effect of fighting on player salaries in the NHL, examining the way in which fighting has become a strategic element of the game, describing the way players enforce their own “Code” of hockey rules and police the ice in ways referees cannot, and comparing the salaries of fighters and skilled players to determine how players in different roles are valued.