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With Helmets Off, Linesman to step in before Fight


Mackcanuck

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http://www.tsn.ca/bl...eger/?id=434817

NHL linesmen have been instructed to stop a fight when the participants opt to remove their helmets prior to swapping blows.

Linesmen now have the authority to step in, when it is safe to do so, and stop a fight when the combatants purposely take off their helmets.

The first clear example of this occured Tuesday night in Montreal when linesmen Steve Barton and Michel Cormier stepped in between Montreal'sTravis Moen and Edmonton's Luke Gazdic seconds after they dumped their helmets to scrap.

Both players received unsportsmanlike minors rather than fighting majors.

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good, I get a little sick to my stomach when I see them take their helmets off. Seeing a unprotected head bounce off the ice is a very unpleasant thing to witness.

Seeing guys break a hand punching a hard piece of plastic is also unpleasant. Let them punch a face like they're supposed to.

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Hockey will seriously lose some of its excitment with all these rules, and if they go further to removing fighting, well I'm not sure what to think anymore.

Hope the league takes a bunch of punches in revenue.

Refs will step in if players intentionally take helmets off but not if it comes off during a fight am i correct? How is that any different?

Also when a players helmet comes off during the play, should the ref not blow down the whistle? The players in as much if not MORE danger of getting crushed into the boards face first, puck/stick to the face, or potentially hitting the ice without a helmet?

NHL's targeting fighters unfairly. If the players want fighting in the game (which majority do) then leave it!

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Wth is this? Hockey or touch hockey? I'm all in for players safety with taking blindside hits out and everything but fighting isn't one of those, especially taking helmets off.

Fighting is it's own category and it's to spark a team and is great for fans. Once in a while a player will get hurt due to his helmet being off but so what, it's a rarity. That's like saying a ref can step in when a player is taking a slapshot if he thinks it can possibly hit a player in the face. You just can't do it, and it especially sucks seeing fights where guys are cutting their hands hitting the visor and helmet...that itself is more dangerous than the helmet off.

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@JohnLuTSNMtl: #Habs Moen says one linesman apologized to him for having to prevent his intended fight with #Oilers Gazdic last night (league directive).

well i guess you can't blame the ref for doing his job there. kinda sucky how they do that now. a good fight brings a lot of excitement and intrigue compared to the other major sports. i'm all for player safety as much as the next guy, but these are grown men who know the risk

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Seeing guys break a hand punching a hard piece of plastic is also unpleasant. Let them punch a face like they're supposed to.

I fought my way through the WHL, I'd rather punch a piece a plastic than have my head slammed into the ice thanks.

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Well, from one angle, I think this may be an admirable preventative attempt at controlling the situation ... especially if the league realizes it can't eliminate fighting from the game. I'll give them that much if they actually do realize they don't have a lot of options to control fighting. Not sure if that's where this decision is coming from.

As for the fighting debate at large. I think the league often misses the opportunity to truly understand WHY fighting is in the game and WHY it's been in hockey in general for a long, long time. And there's a reason WHY it's been part of the game otherwise it would have organically faded away over time or been a lot easier to control.

But here we are, the 21st century, and fighting is still in the game ... there's obviously a deeper reason beyond "we're just letting it happen."

I'm all for looking at various ways to make the game safer. No argument there from me!

From my side, it's more about understanding WHY fighting is in hockey - and has been for so long - so that you can own it and then take steps to put control measures in place. And I think the league has had a hard time owning it, or doesn't want to own it ... understandably ... especially the 1990s to now.

I mean, this latest move could be in that control measure headspace, or it could be more of throwing something at the wall and hoping it sticks.

And here we are in the 21st century with fighting still in the game yet I still can't use a jetpack to fly to work!!!!

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I fought my way through the WHL, I'd rather punch a piece a plastic than have my head slammed into the ice thanks.

stawns?

As a former WHLer - I can respect your opinion a little more than an armchair fan, What if two players Opt to remove them? You may prefer to hit a piece of plastic, but not all the players seem to feel that way.

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stawns?

As a former WHLer - I can respect your opinion a little more than an armchair fan, What if two players Opt to remove them? You may prefer to hit a piece of plastic, but not all the players seem to feel that way.

why take the gamble of someone suffering a horrific injury and dying right there on the ice? Say there's 20 000 fans at the game, how many of them are kids? I have no issue with fighting, I did a crap load of it, but I don't agree with taking helmets off and exponentially increasing your odds of ruining the rest of your life, the life of the player you're fighting......or worse.

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