Now, there's solid empirical evidence to back it up. In a study published by Ruhr Economic Papers, Blood Money: Incentives for Violence in NHL Hockey, John P. Haisken-DeNew and Matthias Vorell found a positive correlation between fighting and winning in the NHL.
Here's how The Atlantic saw the paper:
After analyzing league statistics-including penalty minutes, goals scored, and salary figures-the authors determined that strategic fighting can improve a team's playoff chances, and that players possessing the unique skills of an enforcer are duly rewarded for their efforts.According to the researchers, the most effective way to curb fighting in hockey would be to levy a $36,000 fine on each team per fight, and then apply the fine against the team's salary cap. I'm sure that idea would give Anaheim GM Brian Burke a severe case of agita.
While a player earns a "wage premium" of $10,925 when he assists on a goal, they calculated, he earns $18,135 for winning a fight and $11,993 even for losing a fight.