The Ontario Hockey League of the Canadian Hockey League has announced that starting this season the League is going to try and limit fighting in their league. The OHL is trying to remove the one dimensional goon’s from it league and has enacted the following new rules this season. While the Anti-pugilist are already cheering this new rule change I think that it’s a bad idea and you can bet the NHL will be monitoring the OHL’s new rule change.
1. If a player is assessed a fighting major for the 11th to 15th time during the regular season, such player is assessed an automatic two-game suspension for each additional fighting major in addition to any other penalties assessed.
2. If a player is assessed a fighting major for the 16th time or more during the regular season, such player is assessed an automatic two-game suspension and the hockey club is fined $1,000 for each additional fighting major in addition to any other penalties assessed.
3. If a player is deemed to be the instigator in any of the fights above the 10-game threshold, such player would be assessed an automatic four-game suspension in addition to any other penalties assessed.
Note: If a player is instigated upon, the fighting major is not included in the player’s total number of fights
The reason that I think that limiting the amount of fighting in the OHL or even the NHL is a bad rule is that fighting in hockey keeps the players on the ice honest and allows the players to police the game themselves instead of counting on the refs. Hockey is a very fast paced game and you can’t always count on the refs to make the right call either. In many cases they won’t.
Limiting fighting in one league is the first step to an all out ban in all other levels of hockey both professionally and in the junior ranks and I don’t think that this is a road I would like to see the NHL go down.
Could you imagine if hockey players of the Matt Cooke variety played the game of hockey without the fear of having to fight? Players of Cooke’s ilk would have the ability to skate all over the ice taking liberties with other teams top players without the fear of retribution, that would set a very bad precedence and you would probably see an increase in head injures as well as random acts of gratuitous violence.
If the two aforementioned leagues decided to limit and or enact an all out ban on fighting you actually would be putting the players in worse danger than if you left the leagues the way they are now.
Another reason I think that this rule is bad is that players and coaching staffs utilize the mediums available to them and they’re familiar with stats which are available to them on the internet at the click of a mouse. Teams media people have the stats readily available and to players and coaches at a moments notice and they can research their opponents before the game/series.
How did the OHL come to the number of 10 in the first place?
Let’s take this a little further. If you’re a player from another team and you know that a certain’s team’s tough guy or tough guys have already have crossed the 10 or 11 fights threshold they better have their head on a swivel because those players are not going to want to just drop the gloves and fight because they have reached that magic numeric threshold of 10 fights. I don’t know too many players that are going to want to serve a two game suspension for each fight past their 10th fight.
I can see where this is going already, this has to potential to put that teams star players safety in jeopardy later in the season, because the opposition knows that there is probably less chance of facing “any” retribution if they commit a questionable or dirty hit against the other team’s players. I could also see how this new rule will probably lead to an increase in stick work as well.
I know that the NHL would like to get rid of the staged fight, but what actually constitutes a staged fight? the lines are blurred a bit and how do we know that the staged fights don’t serve a purpose also? I just think in this situation that the status quo is fine the way it is.
feel sorry for those kids that cant fight in junior and are gonna have to learn the hard way in pro gettin their head punched in
— brian mcgrattan (@bigern10) September 20, 2012