Goons are pretty much gone in the NHL.
Teams in the league have been following a trend of rolling four lines of forwards who can skate and score. The days of having one-dimensional, seldom-used players on the fourth line just to throw punches or protect the stars are over.
Fights are down, and playing time is up for more players.
There were 0.63 fighting majors per game last season, the seventh straight year in which there was a decline, according to STATS. And, the number of forwards who play 10-plus minutes has been trending up for years.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the league's competitive balance has forced teams to focus on having skilled players to keep up.