Stupid Penalties: Two minutes for taking your helmet off during a fight

Paul Bereswill

The new shield rule has given these members of the anti-fighting cabal new life. However, before these people start celebrating the end of fighting in all levels of hockey, think again, players in AHL, CHL, USHL and NAHL already have mandatory shield rules in place. These leagues still have and allow fighting.

Two minutes for taking your helmet off during a fight

Think about this, they're already punching each other in the head... During the summer meetings, The NHL general managers approved the mandatory use of visors for every new NHL player entering the league. Players that have played 25 NHL games will be grandfathered in.

This of course, depends on the NHL Players Association signing off on the new rule. The players still have to vote on the new rule change, but it looks like the players will approve the new rule change, when they vote during the June 27th meeting.

So, the NHL has now decided that their new players will now all wear the half shield. There's a catch though. One of the new rules to come out of the GM meeting, players will be now be assessed a two minute minor penalty for taking off your helmet to fight. Yup, you heard that right.

NEW PENALTY

NHL executive vice president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell says GMs also agree to implement a two-minute penalty for fighters who remove their helmets before a fight. So it would be a five-minute penalty for fighting, plus two more minutes for the helmet violation. The new penalty is pending Board of Governors approval. [click to view]

What's in play here? There's anti-fighting cabal - many of them members of the media that have never played the game of hockey - want to see fighting eliminated from the NHL and all levels of hockey. The new shield rule has given these members of the anti-fighting cabal new life. However, before these people start celebrating the end of fighting in all levels of hockey, think again, players in AHL, CHL, USHL and NAHL already have mandatory shield rules in place. These leagues still have and allow fighting.

Visors are worn in the American Hockey League and Canadian Hockey League, and players still fight in those leagues. One thought is fighters will swing away - visors or not.

"It's not like hitting a car windshield," said Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish. "There will be fighting." [click to view]

With a nickname like Goon, you probably figured out, that I am a big fan of hockey's tough guys and don't want to see hockey eliminate fights from the NHL. To me it's a no brainer. Fighting is a way to let the the players police the game and keep the players from the other teams honest.

I am also not part of the anti-fighting cabal, either. Requiring every player to wear the half shield to me seems like a personal freedom issue, but hey, the times are changing, I guess. I am all for the tough guys and fighters remaining in the game of hockey. Does the NHL really need another stupid rule? This is almost a like defacto instigator rule. In my opinion, this is an unnecessary and unneeded rule. Enact the shield law, and leave the rest of the game alone.

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