Today on Hockey Wilderness, we begin a process to determine what fans believe is the league's worst rule. We begin with the first two rules to square off:
Intent to Blow vs 4 minutes for high sticking if there is blood.
Here are the rules, as read in the NHL Rule Book:
Intent to Blow, Rule 31.2:
As there is a human factor involved in blowing the whistle to stop play, the Referee may deem the play to be stopped slightly prior to the whistle actually being blown. The fact that the puck may come loose or cross the goal line prior to the sound of the whistle has no bearing if the Referee has ruled that the play had been stopped prior to this happening.
High Sticking with Injury, Rule 60.3:
When a player carries or holds any part of his stick above the shoulders of the opponent so that injury results, the Referee shall assess a double-minor penalty for all contact that causes an injury, whether accidental or careless, in the opinion of the Referee.
Why do these rules Suck?
Intent to Blow: In every major sport (other than baseball), player are trained to play until they hear the whistle. In football, you don't stop running, in soccer, you always flop to the ground when touched by an opponent, basketball you always shoot the ball... until there is a whistle.
In hockey, players play until the whistle, jam away at a puck, etc, only to be told that the ref meant to blow the whistle sooner than he actually did. This is a subjective rule, and cannot be over turned by the league. It is a ridiculous way to run a professional sport, and players never actually know when a play is over because of it.
It does however, lead to the easy joke: Whether or not they intended to blow, they did.
High Sticking Double Minor: This is a classic form of the league punishing the result rather than the action. If high sticking can result in injury, and you want it to be gone, then make it gone. Make all high sticking calls a double minor. This is a terrible rule because of the precedent it continually sets. Don't worry about where your stick is... unless you hurt someone.
If a hockey player gets a little cut on their lip, it makes any difference? These guys play after getting teeth knocked out. The bottom line is this: punish the action, not the result.
Now, Wilderness... choose which rule makes it to the next round. Also, make your case in the comment section. Tomorrow, the trapezoid vs the instigator rule.