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Stupid NHL Rules: The Instigator Rule


Good day, Wilderness! It's time for another edition of stupid NHL rules! Today, I will be giving you my thoughts on the instigator rule.

46.2 Aggressor – The aggressor in an altercation shall be the player who continues to throw punches in an attempt to inflict punishment on his opponent who is in a defenseless position or who is an unwilling combatant.

A player must be deemed the aggressor when he has clearly won the fight but he continues throwing and landing punches in a further attempt to inflict punishment and/or injury on his opponent who is no longer in a position to defend himself.

A player who is deemed to be the aggressor of an altercation shall be assessed a major penalty for fighting and a game misconduct.

A player who is deemed to be the aggressor of an altercation will have this recorded as an aggressor of an altercation for statistical and suspension purposes.

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

With all this in mind, we have to consider the following: why are fights instigated?

For the longest time, players have fought either because they hate each other or they are trying to get their team out from in between a rock and a hard place. A player can instigate a fight by dropping their gloves and just duking it out with the other player or by other means such as taking them down with a hit and then throw some punches at them.

When a fight breaks out on the ice, the refs have to figure out who instigated it and how it was instigated. Most of the time, it is the player who throws the first punch or pummels the other player to the ground.

Only problem is, only one of the two players involved in the fight go to the box, and only one of the two teams gets a power play.

Why shouldn't they both get one? They both take responsibility for disrupting play so it only makes sense that they should both get five for fighting. These refs need to get their head straight and take some serious consideration as to how they can modify this rule.

What are your thoughts, Wilderness?