Friday, October 26, 2007

NHL: Crime and Punishment?

1) When discussing this topic with the other members of the FAUXRUMORS Group, it dawned on us that the argument/discussion wasn't unlike the discussion of civil/criminal penal law and punishment. The question remains: Are sentences/suspension levied as punishment or as a deterrent?

2) We can understand both sides, but we believe that when it comes to NHL suspensions the goal/reason that they should be doled out is to punish the offender, NOT to try to prevent future offenses. Case in point last week, Philadelphia Flyers tough guy Jesse Boulerice brutally cross checked a Vancouver player in the chops. He deservedly received 25 games. Many pointed out that since another Flyer Steve Downie received a long suspension (20 games) for a head shot that Boulerice should have know better. They are mistaken if they believe players are thinking in the heat of battle about who got suspended for what.

3) If the NHL wants to crack down on head shots, or intents to injure we at FAUXRUMORS have no issue with that. We feel there is NO place for the kind of goonery that Boulerice displayed. To us incidents like that one make our avocation for more fighting more difficult, since the anti-fighting pansies usually lump stick incidents with fighting as if they are the same. We could even make a successful argument that the fighting restrictions, and more specifically the instigator penalty, make stick work MORE not less prevalent than it would otherwise be. The players are less able to police themselves, and on ice officials clearly are not up to the task of doing so, so retaliatory stick incidents are a natural reaction. Instead of the pre-1990's reaction of dropping the gloves and settling things one on one with bare hands, not a wooden weapon

4) Additionally, there has to be a way to make suspensions non-arbitrary. By that we mean the punishments through the years have NEVER been consistent. Last season in the playoffs TWICE Chris Pronger received 1 game suspensions. If he were a 4th liner/goon and/or if it were the regular season would the punishment been 1 game? No way! Some kind of quantitative measure should be legistlated. Here are just a few ideas we have:

  • Perhaps, as some have postulated in the past, suspending a player as long as the person he injures is out.

  • Automatic fining of not only players, but teams.

  • Not allowing a team to replace the suspended player's roster spot

  • Set/Specify the amount of games a player will be suspended based upon the offense. Say for example, all incidents that result in concussion get a minimum of 10 games, etc.

5) We're open to additional suggestions, as should the NHL, but the current system is broken.


The Dark Ranger said...

These hits should be PUNISHMENT, and rather than # of games suspensions, the league should mandate a 'repeating rule' with any player in the NHL in any season. If it happens twice, then that player should be thrown out of the league!

That will deter.


1) We believe that there needs to be a more quantitative measure to these suspensions so there is less guess work, and less arbitrary aspect to them.
2) Do star players get less severe punishment? The answer is yes. Could you see Dark, the NHL throwing out a guy who the fans pay to see? Throwing out a Chris Simon or Colton Orr would be easy. Would they do the same to Chris Pronger? Never!


I think head shots should be punished severly. I like one of your proposals. Don't let a team replace a suspended player. Its not a big punuishment, but if injuries pile up it could hurt. I agree with darkranger that repeat offenders should get more of a suspension.
Like faux said as long as guys like that piece of crap Pronger still gets away with murder the league policy is a joke

Jibblescribbits said...

As I have said before, I like not replacing the teams roster spot. A suspended player should be a detriment to his team, he hurt the team, not just himself


1) Jibble: We agree that this would seem to be an easy/logical step in the right direction. It wouldn't solve the problem of arbitrary punishment, but it would be a sensible inclusion in the rule book

Jibblescribbits said...

Solving the problem of arbitrary punishment means that the NHL needs to stop punishing based on results and start punishing based on the play, regardless of the result.

For example if Bergeron gets up and skates off, Jones doesn't receive a punishment at all, and no one thinks twice, but because he happens to get hurt (which really can be attributed to circumstance and luck) he will get a suspension. Either the hit is suspendable infraction or it's not, regardless of the injury on the play.


1) On that note a worse offense occurred that night. Sergei Gonchar slammed a Canadian player from behind. he got a 2 min roughing penalty but it could have been worse. He probably will get no suspension.
2) So you're right it all seems to depend upon public outcry and the result of the play, not the intent

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