Richard C.K. Burdekin
Matthew Grindon Morton

Fighting in hockey is often a polarizing topic. Whereas some fans clearly relish the more violent side of the National Hockey League (NHL), others condemn the sport for its unique leniency on the issue. What frequently goes overlooked, however, is the strategy behind the fighting. Managers recognize the need to protect their most skilled players from the violence so engrained in hockey culture and utilize “enforcers” to police the game and protect their star players. These enforcers use fighting to intimidate opponents and deter them from hitting the team’s stars (either legally or...Read more

Rodney J. Paul
Andrew P. Weinbach
Daniel Robbins

Due to recent deaths of known enforcers in professional hockey, the role of fighting in the sport has come under increased scrutiny. This study examines the role of fighting, along with other factors, as it relates to attendance in the top developmental minor league for the NHL, the American Hockey League (AHL). AHL fans are shown to respond favorably to fighting, with more fans attending games when the home team fights more often. Fans are also shown to respond to the opponent and to a wide of promotions, which were tabulated from team websites and included in the model.Read more

Daniel S. Mason
William M. Foster

This paper discusses the application of Moneyball management to the hockey industry. Following a review of Moneyball and sabermetrics in other sports, attempts to apply similar practices in hockey are reviewed. Moneyball in the National Hockey League is then examined, where adoption is limited by several factors: 1) the statistics available and their usefulness in evaluating player contributions to team performance; 2) the nature of the cooperation of players to produce outputs; and 3) the willingness of league insiders to embrace Moneyball. The statistical issue may be partially addressed...Read more

Daniel S. Mason
Ernest A. Buist
Jonathon Edwards
Gregory H. Duquette

The purpose of this paper is to review arena construction since 1995 in small- to mid-sized Canadian communities, where Canadian Hockey League (CHL) teams act as anchors for their respective facilities. Following an overview of facilities, development patterns are compared across leagues within the CHL, and to the process that occurs at the major league level. Like their big league counterparts, arguments are made that teams and arenas are critical to the status and economic health of communities. However, the arena is the critical driver of city growth strategies, while the CHL franchise...Read more

Daniel S. Mason

This paper identifies the unique problems faced by Canadian small market (CSM) franchises in the National Hockey League (NHL). While featuring characteristics similar to other major leagues in North America, CSM franchises are also burdened by currency and taxation issues that favor US-based teams, as well as a reliance on gate revenues, which have exacerbated the problem for NHL teams. Three general alternatives devised to address the small market problem are introduced in this paper: (1) allow other stakeholders, such as levels of government, to subsidize weaker teams; (2) create revenue...Read more

Steve P. Fraser

This study examines the relationship of locational factors on the viability of minor league hockey franchises and examines two market factors not generally found in the literature. The data suggest that minor league hockey, specifically the ECHL, has a higher probability to succeed in moderately sized markets (populations up to 500,000), with few NCAA Division I institutions, and where there is a presence of youth interest in the sport. There appears to be no significant relationship between the per capita income in a market and an ECHL franchise’s success.Read more