An event in hockey that occurs when most or all of the players on the ice begin to fight, often including the goaltenders as well. In these situations, most players will receive major penalties for fighting and can lead to suspensions and fines for players and coaches.
One of the most historic line brawls occurred during a regular season game on March 26, 1997 between the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings, which would become known as the Brawl in Hockeytown.
The brawl stemmed from an event during the playoffs in the previous season when Avs forward Claude Lemieux checked Kris Draper of the Wings from behind causing him significant injuries. There were a total of nine fights during the game but the main melee occured during the first period when nearly every player on the ice, including goalies Patrick Roy and Mike Veron, began fighting.
Line brawls have occurred far less often in recent history due to a stronger stance by the NHL on fighting with the penalties and suspensions being awarded in brawl situations. As well, in recent years, there has been a greater questioning of the importance of fighting to the game of hockey, with some sides suggesting an outright ban.