Football has always had good, multiple refs and over the years has work diligently to codify just about every aspect of the game and how/when it's ok to hit another player.
Hockey sadly, due to the rules changes since Bettman came on board, as well as much faster players are now, has suffered as a result. There is a different attitude between the sports in hitting and roughing the other guy up.
In football, you play with intensity and no matter who is at the other end, you're looking to hit him and bring him down to the turf as hard as you can. It's not a personal matter though, and you'd expect the same thing from everyone on the other team. That and if a player does something seedy an unsportsmanlike, it's often very clear cut, the refs catch it and the result is penalities and ejections and an understanding that honest mistakes happen.
In hockey, you have goons whose job is to actively either headhunt good players or deal out revenge hits/fights for players who headhunt their players. Goons like Matt Cooke and Dan Carcillo, nevermind the fact that fighting is codified to not result in immediate ejection from the game. There is so much personal hatred and players dropping gloves and engaging in grudge matches that sportsmanship is going out the window. You also have incredibly fast players, leveling guys into the boards, which also don't exsist in football.
What is the league's response to all of the injuries and issues with the speed and dangers of the game. "Oh..well we'll review each case on a case by case basis instead of making a blanket rule, we don't think we need to possibly add another ref posistion, maybe on the sidelines who can catch what the on ice refs might miss, not institute no-touch icing because people love to watch players chase the puck and mangle themselves doing so. We need to keep it violent if we are going to win the south."
Instead of improving the game and taking a queue from Olympic sized ice that would open the game up to accomadate today's faster player, penalizing fighting with an immediate ejection, putting in no-touch icing and instituting a blanket rule of "Blindside headshots result in an immedate 5 game + suspension plus a fine for both the player and organization" then try to dance around the issue and pay as much lip service hoping that the problem with eventually go away.