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An Argument For Standardizing League Discipline, And Discussion On How To Do It.


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After the next wave of players taking intentional runs at top players last night I find myself getting frustrated beyond reason at the lack of punishment and accountability on behalf of the league and players. The NHL disciplinary team is possibly the worst joke in sports.

But put this aside and focus on the reality of our current situation in Hockey. All players and teams now know that they can get away with intentionally injuring a star player at minimal expense. I could rant all day about the injustice of it, but I would rather propose a solution. My solution is STANDARDIZED SUSPENSIONS.

Standardized suspensions hold a two-fold value many people overlook.

First, it removes the responsibility from the league to the player. All players would know ahead of time what it will cost them for taking it too far. This removes pressure from the league to reduce suspensions to star players that cross the line, creating some parity for players and transparency for fans.

Second, it removes (from discipline) the notion that a playoff game is worth more than a regular season game. THE ONUS SHOULD BE ON THE PLAYERS to watch their actions and keep it clean!!! If you reduce the suspensions in the playoffs, it increases the likelihood of intentional injuring of star players. Why would you reduce the suspension to someone that has just hurt (or tried to hurt) an important part of the opposing team when the games are that much more important?!?!?!?!?

What are your ideas on how to create a standardized suspension criterion? Please discuss.

My Idea

How about creating a multiplication table

Infraction – Set number of games

Unintentional (x1), Reckless (x2), Intentional (ie intent to injure) (x3)

No injury and no intent (x1), No injury with intent (x2), Injury with intent (x3)

No history (x1), Previous fine(s) (x1-2 – league choice), Repeat offender (x2-3 depending on previous offenses)

Therefore if Duncan Keith hit Daniel like he did, it would be (say one game standard for major elbowing) times 3 for Intentional, times 3 for Injury with intent, times 1 for no history, equaling 9 games suspension. This would have worked out to the rest of the season and two playoff games. The big thing is when playoff games are no longer considered more important, it ends the trying to injure just before the playoffs hoping for lesser punishment bullcrap. This is of course just a proto-type, and would need tuning, but I feel it would be a step in the right direction.

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The way the "Canuck" games have been officiated, compared to that of lets say the "Rangers" and "Senators" yesterday, the difference is night and day, even after seeing the "BRU-GOONS" back in action against the "Capitals" punching after every whistle and the "BLACKHACKS" delivering a headshot to a goalie while playing the puck behind the net. (seemingly their 2012 game plan)...(2010 Hawk's game plan push Lou into the net)...'CBS CARES...CBC DOES NOT'

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How about creating a multiplication table

Infraction – Set number of games

Unintentional (x1), Reckless (x2), Intentional (ie intent to injure) (x3)

No injury and no intent (x1), No injury with intent (x2), Injury with intent (x3)

No history (x1), Previous fine(s) (x1-2 – league choice), Repeat offender (x2-3 depending on previous offenses)

Therefore if Duncan Keith hit Daniel like he did, it would be (say one game standard for major elbowing) times 3 for Intentional, times 3 for Injury with intent, times 1 for no history, equaling 9 games suspension. This would have worked out to the rest of the season and two playoff games. The big thing is when playoff games are no longer considered more important, it ends the trying to injure just before the playoffs hoping for lesser punishment bullcrap. This is of course just a proto-type, and would need tuning, but I feel it would be a step in the right direction.

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ONe of the biggest changes that needs to be made is to increase the amount they are able to fine players.

$2500 is less than one percent of Shea Webers yearly salary. LESS than one percent. Does it affect him in anyway? no. That much money lost its like if he lost a rolex. no biggie. Now if he was fined $50,000 to $75,000 (comprable to waht James Harrison got fined in the NFL for cheapshot hits) He might perk up and notice that this behaviour will lose him money.

Especially when the league is content to hand out fines over suspensions most of the time, then increase the finable amount.

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As much as I agree with the concept of these standardized suspenions. I don't think the above "math" is realistic. In the Richards example, 18-27 games? Thats a little excessive in my opinion. That ranges from 1/4-1/3 of the season. Although I agree that it warrants a large suspension... 30 games is nearly half the season. I don't think its realistic to expect the NHL to suspend "money-making" stars for nearly half a season. That is like cutting their profits. They won't do it.

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why not make it simple for example the Daniel Hit from Keith, Keith should be out as long as Daniel is that would sure stop the players from going to far and stop the head hits.

As well I agree if your going to fine a player less then 1% of the yearly wage It would be like speeding ticket costing 5 dollars its nothing no one would care about the speed limit.

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A playoff game IS worth more than a regular season game.

Playoff games are played with MUCH MORE passion, and with it, MUCH MORE raw emotions that lead to chippiness, dirty play and even tougher play. There's no way you can suspend the same number of games because overreactions are MORE LIKELY to occur in the playoffs.

That said, standardized suspensions with two values, 1 for regular, 1 for playoff would be nice. Say if a certain headshot/cheap hit is worth 5 regular season games, it is also worth 2 playoff games, etc.

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this is an interesting concept. i think the main point is that nhl officiating/discipline needs an overhaul. the past few seasons and this post season especially have exposed how poor things have become. its one thing if a coach/ gm or player go public with their disgust and then get fined. but what if they all banded together on it and demanded things improve. the league would have to listen no?

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I like the standardizing idea, however there still needs to be an element of accountability beyond suspension. You intentionally take a palyer out then you get a percentage fine of your yearly salary (say 10%) and minimum suspension of at least 25 games.

On the uneven reffing, how about giving each team three chances to ask for a review of the Zebra's call.

Questionable goals are reviewed, why not questionable calls? Each coach gets three review opportunities per game.

The review team has to be arm's length, independant of the NHL. Say former coaches, players etc,. Provide true assessment. . At least that way the hit on Sedin would have gotten a 10 minute major, and game suspension which is required by the rulebook, but was ignored. It is time to leave the sacred cow image of refs behind. they control the game with no accountability.

I know it wouldn't bring Daniel back, but at least the rules would have been followed.

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As much as I agree with the concept of these standardized suspenions. I don't think the above "math" is realistic. In the Richards example, 18-27 games? Thats a little excessive in my opinion. That ranges from 1/4-1/3 of the season. Although I agree that it warrants a large suspension... 30 games is nearly half the season. I don't think its realistic to expect the NHL to suspend "money-making" stars for nearly half a season. That is like cutting their profits. They won't do it.

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I like the standardizing idea, however there still needs to be an element of accountability beyond suspension. You intentionally take a palyer out then you get a percentage fine of your yearly salary (say 10%) and minimum suspension of at least 25 games.

On the uneven reffing, how about giving each team three chances to ask for a review of the Zebra's call.

Questionable goals are reviewed, why not questionable calls? Each coach gets three review opportunities per game.

The review team has to be arm's length, independant of the NHL. Say former coaches, players etc,. Provide true assessment. . At least that way the hit on Sedin would have gotten a 10 minute major, and game suspension which is required by the rulebook, but was ignored. It is time to leave the sacred cow image of refs behind. they control the game with no accountability.

I know it wouldn't bring Daniel back, but at least the rules would have been followed.

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Making the player stay out as long as the injured guy wouldnt work. Because if they were keeping out a key player the injured player would just continue sitting out even if he was okay.

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This idea is interesting too, though it might disrupt the flow of the game. I might change your idea to the CFL style. (for Americans and non-CFL fans - that would be you get to challange once. If you are wrong, then it cost you your time out, if right, your retain the right to challange again)

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A playoff game IS worth more than a regular season game.

Playoff games are played with MUCH MORE passion, and with it, MUCH MORE raw emotions that lead to chippiness, dirty play and even tougher play. There's no way you can suspend the same number of games because overreactions are MORE LIKELY to occur in the playoffs.

That said, standardized suspensions with two values, 1 for regular, 1 for playoff would be nice. Say if a certain headshot/cheap hit is worth 5 regular season games, it is also worth 2 playoff games, etc.

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