Ice hockey has paid a considerable price in public consciousness for its tarnished image from brawling and gratuitous violence associated with past NHL televised games. A few decades ago, this influence on amateur hockey led to the collapse of high school and youth ice hockey programs, as civic leaders and educators decided from similar infections in their programs that the lessons being learned from NHL admirers were not associated with their own organizational goals. This, coupled with rising energy costs to maintain ice facilities, resulted in wholesale closings of ice rinks in the northern tier of the United States. The NHL continued to suffer from this image of hooliganism, being shut out of major television exposure by the networks, when viewers did not find such conduct entertaining. In recent years the NHL leaders have awakened to the reality of this flaw and have taken steps to suppress fighting and stick violence throughout their expanded league.