The NHL is a league that holds it’s players accountable and their actions responsible. If, for example, a player acts out of accordance of the rules they are either held in the penalty box or have to explain their actions to Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan has become the leagues disciplinary head. He reviews plays and actions and considers suspensions and/or fines for players. And lately, he has had his hands full.
Just recently, the NHL playoffs exploded with hay-makers, hair-pulling and body-slams. These actions are meant to be reserved for wrestling matches, but they were evident in almost every playoff match over the weekend. However, this type of violence is often viewed with a smile by the players and coaches. In fact, in a recent poll the players voted 99.5% to 0.5% to NOT ban fighting. Players are often quoted on how they think fighting adds to the intensity and overall enjoyment of the game–both for them and for the fans.
With that being said, it should be noted again that the players will be responsible for their actions and that the NHL, with the aid of Shanahan, will review, suspend and fine where necessary. The players are responsible for their actions and the NHL is responsible for the punishment.