Saturday, 23 March 2013

A Blueprint for Improving Player Safety and Reducing Fighting in Hockey.

I have made the point several times that fighting is a symptom of player frustration over officiating and discipline.  When a player is hit hard with a cheap shot, either they or a teammate feels compelled to take revenge.  A 2 minute power play is not enough of a penalty to reduce this emotion.  And if the player is hurt then the need for revenge is even stronger and not reduced one iota by a 2 or 3 game suspension for the culprit.  The fight becomes one of the most predictable acts in the NHL.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Rat PIM Update – Rats Then & Now

It’s time for another Rat PIM update, where we look at the dangerous or cheap shot type penalties taken by teams and see if there is any correlation to fighting.   A recent article by Liam Maguire on the Cooke – Karlsson skate slicing incident also prompted me to take a close look at some previous Rats in the game.   In my opinion, history isn’t very kind to Liam’s argument.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

One Punch Sets Off Fighting in Hockey Debate

Just 26 seconds into a Toronto Maple Leafs versus Ottawa Senators match another fight broke out.  It was no different than the thousands of fights that the NHL and NHLPA have tacitly approved over the past decade.  Players fight to send a message, to intimidate an opponent, to exact revenge for some real or imagined slight, or to simply prove that their role on the team is relevant.   But this one was different.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Get Rid of the Instigator Rule

One of the most polarizing and misunderstood NHL rules has to be the Instigator Rule.  Hockey fans cite the rule as the cause for the demise of the enforcer role, cheap shots and the increase in concussions.  The majority of messages that I get are from fans who never watched a game in the 80’s or have never bothered to look up any history on when or why the Instigator Rule entered the rule book.  A recent web post calling for its repeal prompted me to write this rebuttal.