I'm tired of the argument that removing the instigator penalty would reduce the number of cheap shots in the game. If the NHL was really concerned about cheap shots, it'd outlaw fighting altogether, because it is at the root of the encouraged culture of violence.
Let’s look at some of the benefits removing fighting would've had on some of the bigger cheap shots the league has seen recently.
Ryan Kesler wouldn't have been cross-checked in the face by Jessie Boulerice, because in a league with no fighting, no NHL team would employ Boulerice. The same is certainly true for Philadelphia’s other recently suspended goon, Riley Cote.
I don't buy the argument that today’s players lack respect. I think most players respect each other as much or more than they ever have. The problem is that the guys (some, not all) who are brought into the NHL to fight don't have respect.
Remove fighting and you'll remove a lot of the boneheads who commit these kinds of fouls.
Brian Pike, Calgary, Alta.