I personally call it the discharge chute but whatever you call it I personally don't recommend taking it off no matter what mower you have unless your going to put a bagger, mulch kit or OCDC in place each and every time you mow.
not only does the discharge chute aide in spreading clippings it's a safety device to prevent debris from being thrown though a window or at someone. take off the safety device and launch a rock through a window or child's head and you'll soon be sorry.
I run exmarks and toros personally. but as I said what brand of mower doesn't matter.
that's my $0.02.