NHL's Worst Rule Contest: Instigator vs Slashing the Stick

Despite being hampered by the poll not loading properly, the Trapezoid looks to have a clear win over the Shootout in the last round of the contest. In the first round, Intent to Blow dealt a resounding defeat to the double minor for high sticking. 

Today, we pit the instigator rule against slashing the stick.

Here are the rules:

Slashing Rule 61.1

 Slashing is the act of a player swinging his stick at an opponent, whether contact is made or not. Non-aggressive stick contact to the pant or front of the shin pads, should not be penalized as slashing. Any forceful or powerful chop with the stick on an opponent's body, the opponent's stick, or on or near the opponent's hands that, in the judgment of the Referee, is not an attempt to play the puck, shall be penalized as slashing    

Instigator Rule 46.11

 An instigator of an altercation shall be a player who by his actions or demeanor demonstrates any/some of the following criteria: distance traveled; gloves off first; first punch thrown; menacing attitude or posture; verbal instigation or threats; conduct in retaliation to a prior game (or season) incident; obvious retribution for a previous incident in the game or season. 

A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting and a ten-minute misconduct.

 If the same player is deemed to be the instigator of a second altercation in the same game, he shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting and a game misconduct. When a player receives his third instigator penalty in one Regular season, he is automatically given a game misconduct following that third violation    

Why do these rules suck?

Slashing the Stick: Slashing is never called if contact is not made, so right away the rule is not being called to the letter of the law. That is beside the point. The point is that the stick is not and extension of the body. As much as hockey players need to "become one" with their sticks, it is ridiculous to think of it as injurious to a player to break his stick.

This is a case of inconsistency, where the NHL is penalizing an action, and not a result. Right? Wrong. 99% of the time, if the stick doesn't break, the call is not made. 

What makes it a slash, as compared to a stick check? Only the Shadow knows.

Instigator: The instigator rule is one that is tricky. Called correctly, it could be a good rule. Problem is? It is never called correctly. 

I dislike the rule because it makes it against the rules for Derek Boogaard to grab Matt Cooke by his stringy little neck and break him in half. Just so long as we aren't bitter, right? Most people dislike it because the league doesn't call it the same twice. If it is called in the last five minutes of a game, it is almost always rescinded the next day.

If you have a rule, call it. Otherwise, get rid of it.

Your turn, Wilderness. Make your case in the comments, and cast your vote.

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