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NHL needs to deal with targeting star players


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#1 Matt_T83

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:59 PM

Title says it all...


In the old NHL, you had enforcers. These enforcers would protect star players. If you did manage to hit Gretzkey, you can bet your ass you'd be losing some teeth.


Everyone but the Canucks & their fans forget how much of a dirtbag Steve Moore is, with his blatant cheapshot elbow on Marcus Naslund, when Naslund was winning the NHL scoring race. With enforcers gone, the NHL needs to protect its star players somehow.

My extreme solution:

Each team lists four forward lines and three defesnive lines (7th defenseman = "4th liner"). This lists 1st to 4th liners, so as to give clarity.

If a first liner injures another first liner, regular rules apply. If the play is clean, no suspension. If the play is dirty, regular suspension rules apply. But if a 2nd/3rd/4th line player injures a 1st liner, an automatic suspension results, even IF the hit is clean, with increasing severity.

-2nd liner injuries 1st liner = 2nd liner suspended for same # of games 1st liner misses
-3rd liner injuries 1st liner = 3rd liner suspended for TWO times # of games missed
-4th liner injuries 1st liner = 4th liner suspended for FIVE times # of games missed

Again, this applies to even CLEAN plays. In game, no suspension/penalty would result, so as to not influence the outcome of the game. This rule would be applied after the game.


Example: Under this scheme, Steve Moore would have been suspended for 15 games as a 4th line player. That may seem harsh, but Naslund was winning the scoring race. Additionally, a 15 game suspension would have undoubtedly prevented the Bertuzzi incident.


Obviously my example listed is an extreme solution and I don't expect many people to agree with me. Perhaps it will take Sidney Crosby having his career ended by some nobody. But something has to be done.

Anyway,

TL;DR: Each team should list 3 first line forward players and 2 first line defencemen before each game. These players are "protected" from non-1st line players. If a non-1st line player injuries a listed 1st-line player, the result is an automatic suspension, with increasing severity for 3rd and 4th line players. The NHL must enact a rule like this to protect its star players.



Disagree with me? Instead of posting some stupid comment which lacks any kind of constructive criticism / alternative proposition:

What would you propose? Do you really see no problem with 3rd/4th line players injuring NHL stars? Because it is a huge problem. What would you propose to fix this issue?
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#2 Nas19

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:07 PM

I'm sorry but Naslund was my favorite player to ever play the game so I have to correct you. It's Markus. Not Marcus.

Edited by Nas19, 12 January 2013 - 06:08 PM.

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#3 James van Riemsdyk

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:14 PM

This would be really hard to keep track of. Some people change up their line ups regularly so If we had Burrows as our first line and the next game he was playing on the second line to give Kassian a shot at the first like or something. Then what happens if a fourth liner hits Burrows? If you change up the line up players would just wait until you drop out of the "first line pairing protection" and hunt you then.

Secondly what happens if a first liner injuries a fourth liner? That fourth liner could have been a star prospect and that first liner could be Milan Lucic what happens then? would Lucic get out Scot free and that fourth liner injured?
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#4 Gumballthechewy

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:15 PM

I just think they should relax the rules a bit so you can have enforcers back doing what needs to be done.

Just to clarify I don't want 70's style bench clearing brawl style hockey back. Just the fear of repercussion if you're going to be a dirty little .....

Edited by Gumballthechewy, 12 January 2013 - 06:20 PM.

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#5 Where's Wellwood

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:15 PM

I can't think of a solution right now but I know that you're proposal is far too extreme for several reasons:

1) 2nd liners are often used the same as first liners and if your proposal were to be put into practice 1st and 2nd liners should be 'protected' the same
2) Not all 3rd and 4th liners are headhunters and they should not be punished as if they were one.
3) Players on the first line/D-pairing of teams can be more dirty that your presumed headhunter 4th liners ie. Marchand, Keith. Being a good player doesn't prevent them injuring others and they shouldn't be exempt from your 'extra punishment'
4) Not all injuries result in the victim actually missing games. By your proposal those 2nd/3rd/4th liners wouldn't miss any games.
4) Clean hits resulting in injuries shouldn't be punished.
5) What about dirty hits that don't result in injury. The play was still dirty but the offending player goes unpunished?

Something does need to be done but this is going too far, too fast.
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#6 G-52

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:23 PM

Terrible, this thread doesn't deserve constructive criticism.
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#7 Dogbyte

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

I don't think that will work, you can't start categoring players as first, second, third, or fourth liners. Some teams have great players on their third line. You could just turn your first line into a drama club and be flopping around on the ice everytime you play the checking line. Too many ways to f with that system and it would just detract from actual hockey.

Unfortunately I can't think of a way to stop this from happening besides enfocing the rules already in place. Stars get targeted because they're good. It's not worth the risk to run some 4th line plug so as long as hockey is a rough sport stars will be targeted.

Maybe you could have a loose set of guidelines that determine whether a player is considered elite at the time he was hit. Then the commisioner would make a judment call and either give you a game or add games to the suspension as you've suggested. People get pissed at the subjective nature of these calls though which is why they've changed a lot of the rules to take discretion out of the referee's hands.
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#8 Smashian Kassian

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

It seems like we are targeting players based on position too much in your proposal.

I think a 4th liner injuring someone should be the same as a 1st liner injuring someone.

If that 4th/3rd liner has a history of targeting players, then I think it should be an added sentence and I think we are getting there and I think we will see it this year with Shanny, If Brad Marchand does something dirty or Keith Elbows a star player in the face blatantly I think we will see a bigger sentence than we might have last year. I do hope the 48 game season doesn't change things in terms of suspending repeat offenders though.

Edited by Smashian Kassian, 12 January 2013 - 06:29 PM.

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#9 Dogbyte

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:32 PM

I just think they should relax the rules a bit so you can have enforcers back doing what needs to be done.

Just to clarify I don't want 70's style bench clearing brawl style hockey back. Just the fear of repercussion if you're going to be a dirty little .....


I think the reason they took it out is because it wasn't working anymore. The NHL has evolved and players are smarter. These guys are in great shape and not that afraid of getting jumped in a hocky fight. You can just hang in there and turtle if you want. Not really that much of a deterrent. You're not obligated to fight in hockey.

Edited by Dogbyte, 12 January 2013 - 06:34 PM.

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#10 thema

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:48 PM

Title says it all...


In the old NHL, you had enforcers. These enforcers would protect star players. If you did manage to hit Gretzkey, you can bet your ass you'd be losing some teeth.


Everyone but the Canucks & their fans forget how much of a dirtbag Steve Moore is, with his blatant cheapshot elbow on Marcus Naslund, when Naslund was winning the NHL scoring race. With enforcers gone, the NHL needs to protect its star players somehow.

My extreme solution:

Each team lists four forward lines and three defesnive lines (7th defenseman = "4th liner"). This lists 1st to 4th liners, so as to give clarity.

If a first liner injures another first liner, regular rules apply. If the play is clean, no suspension. If the play is dirty, regular suspension rules apply. But if a 2nd/3rd/4th line player injures a 1st liner, an automatic suspension results, even IF the hit is clean, with increasing severity.

-2nd liner injuries 1st liner = 2nd liner suspended for same # of games 1st liner misses
-3rd liner injuries 1st liner = 3rd liner suspended for TWO times # of games missed
-4th liner injuries 1st liner = 4th liner suspended for FIVE times # of games missed

Again, this applies to even CLEAN plays. In game, no suspension/penalty would result, so as to not influence the outcome of the game. This rule would be applied after the game.


Example: Under this scheme, Steve Moore would have been suspended for 15 games as a 4th line player. That may seem harsh, but Naslund was winning the scoring race. Additionally, a 15 game suspension would have undoubtedly prevented the Bertuzzi incident.


Obviously my example listed is an extreme solution and I don't expect many people to agree with me. Perhaps it will take Sidney Crosby having his career ended by some nobody. But something has to be done.

Anyway,

TL;DR: Each team should list 3 first line forward players and 2 first line defencemen before each game. These players are "protected" from non-1st line players. If a non-1st line player injuries a listed 1st-line player, the result is an automatic suspension, with increasing severity for 3rd and 4th line players. The NHL must enact a rule like this to protect its star players.



Disagree with me? Instead of posting some stupid comment which lacks any kind of constructive criticism / alternative proposition:

What would you propose? Do you really see no problem with 3rd/4th line players injuring NHL stars? Because it is a huge problem. What would you propose to fix this issue?


Wow, what a terrific idea. I think you should go one further and have a reciprocal system where, say, one of your first line players ends the career of a mere fourth liner with a criminal assault he should get way fewer games suspension than if he ended the career of a star player. So Bert gets maybe a 5 minute major and maybe the key to the city of Vancouver instead of the whopping 17 games that he got. Maybe even get brownie points for nailing a "dirtbag".
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#11 Erik Karlsson

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:51 PM

stupid
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#12 drdeath

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:45 PM

Take away the instigator. Solved.

EDIT: And in the specific case of Steve Moore don't let someone hide behind the linesman when he's challenged after throwing a hit like that.

Edited by drdeath, 12 January 2013 - 07:45 PM.

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#13 etsen3

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:55 PM

I don't think certain players should be given special treatment over others. In sports, all players must play by the same rules. Why are first liners allowed to injure first liners but 2nd liners aren't? Shouldn't we be concerned about the safety of everyone, instead of only the stars? This is a terrible message to send.

The part I hate most is the part where even clean hits can be suspendable if an injury is caused. This is a complete joke. Everyone knows injuries can happen on fluke plays, or a player can walk away unscathed from a dirty hit. Again rules are rules, they apply the same to all players and they apply to all plays in a game, not just certain special situtations where players get hurt.
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#14 Matt_T83

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:21 PM

I'm glad to see some rational replies! You guys exceeded my expectations!!!

My extreme solution was obviously sarcastic... I guess you could say trolling.

But it was meant to stimulate discussion. I think the issue of targeting star players is a really serious issue. And right now in the NHL there's absolutely nothing to dissuade players from doing so. In fact, it's beneficial for teams to encourage their players to target NHL stars on the other teams.

How to fix this? I have absolutely no clue. It's such a complex problem. As Gumballthechewy mentioned, they probably should relax the enforcer rule a little bit. But I also agree with him -- we don't want the 70's NHL back.



The NFL is also dealing with this in the bounty type programs the NO saints enacted, which upon appeal the saints actually seem to have won (repealing suspensions). But you don't want to rely on dealing with this on a case-by-case basis.



But mark my words: When a 3rd or 4th line player ends Sidney Crosby's career, you will see movement on this issue.
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#15 Hobble

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:31 PM

Need to get rid of the instigator penalty.
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#16 - PikaBOO -

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:35 PM

I'd much rather have better reffing.
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