In that case explain where enforcers did anything to prevent, enforce or detract from:
- Dino Ciccerelli on Luke Richardson
- Jimmy Mann on Paul Gardner
- Tiger Williams on Dennis Orchar
- Dave Forbes on Henry Boucha
- Dan Maloney on Brian Glennie
- Wilf Paiement on Dennis Polonich
- Dave Brown on Tomas Sandstrom
- David Shaw on MARIO LEMIEUX
- Ron Hextall on Chris Chelios
Not to mention all of the dirty hits in the 70s and 80s?
People act like dirty hits suddenly began in the 90s. They didn't. Enforcers never prevented a thing. In actuality, Montreal bringing in John Ferguson Sr. to be the first enforcer led to teams packing their lineups with goons and bruisers, all given the title of "enforcer" to make them sound like they did something that contributed to the game. The job of Dave Schultz wasn't to be an enforcer. It was to ensure that when Bobby Clarke took cheapshots at everyone in the league, nobody would come back at him.
Your response to my examples is likely that you can't prevent everything and you're right. You can't. The problem is expecting players to police themselves. It should be up to the officials in the game and NHL management. The suspensions are so soft that nobody cares if they miss a couple games. It's a vacation and a chance to rest injuries they are getting away with playing on. If suspensions were harsh (imagine if David Clarkson got 25 games for his hit on Sergei Gonchar) then the players who keep their elbows high and their sticks in cross check would stop doing it. The first player who loses a whole season due to a suspension would make every other player take notice and think twice. Having players police the game just leads to an arms race in getting the biggest and toughest guy possible.