I was born in the late 70s. My earliest hockey memories are the NYI 4-peat and the Edmonton Oilers goal scoring machine. The skill of the Great One-- in my opinion, still the greatest NHL player of all time-- was what drew me into being a hockey fan. Skill. Style. Scoring. Demonstrating that you have the better hockey-playing ability than the other team. This is the sort of hockey that Erik Karlsson seems to exemplify.
As such, I never have understood the pro-fighting crowd. Last time I checked there were no points in the standings for the most fights. Penalties are called penalties because they are against the rules. You want to stay out of the box, play within the rules.
After all, the point behind hockey is to win. To win the game, to win the division, to win the playoffs, to win the Cup. That's really what hockey is all about, isn't it? Winning. And how do you win? Is it not by scoring more goals than the other team?
As such, I've always liked those players who exude pure skill. Give me a Wayne Gretzky or an Erik Karlsson over a Mike Peluso or a John Kordic any day. Especially now that the long term effects of repeated cranial trauma are becoming known, I believe this is the day and age for hockey to clean up its act and become a scoring-focussed sport again.
Bring back the high-scoring 80s and bring back the skill!