Saturday, June 20, 2009

Good News Hockey Fight Fans: 'Staged' Fighting Rule A No Go!

Great news being reported by Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN regarding the 'Staged Fighting Rule' that was discussed at the end of the regular season. According to their article:
It appears the "staged fights" rule recommended by the NHL's 30 GMs will not see the light of day.

The players discussed it at their meeting here this week and they recommended to their members on the competition committee to vote against it. The committee needs seven of 10 votes to pass a new rule and won't get them if all five players vote "no" next Thursday when the group meets in Montreal.

The union brought in a number of tough guys Wednesday and they shared their universal thumbs-down on the "staged fights" rule proposition.

"They gave the group a pretty clear message," said NHL Players' Association executive Glenn Healy. "What's the code? What are the rules of engagement? Everyone talks about it, but what is it? So we had these guys come in and talk about it.

"We're about safety, but we also understand that if a fight breaks out in a game, Gandhi isn't leaving; he's going to stay and watch it. We understand that it's part of our sport, it cleans up our sport, it polices our sport, and it's entertainment. Goals, saves, fights -- thank you."

The rule would see players receive an automatic 10-minute misconduct for a fight right off a faceoff, or a staged fight. Montreal Canadiens tough guy Georges Laraque said Friday the rule would never work.

"It would turn into a mockery anyway because I would turn to a guy and say, 'OK, we can't fight right now because of the rule, so we'll do six Mississippis and meet in the corner.' It's true, we would make a mockery out of it," said Laraque.
Like I said that is great news, at least for now. However, if the NHL continues to move in the anti-fighting direction then they'll easily find a way around it. Perhaps "re-interpreting" an old rule or just creating a new rule that's all about "safety". Time will tell, but for now, this is certainly a step in the right direction (or at least not a step in the wrong direction).

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