1) Firstly, nice job by FAUXRUMORS2 on their story on how far the Flyers have fallen this season. We're embarrassed, but were not alone, in predicting they would be a playoff team this season.
2) Now on to our point. We have been doing a non scientific poll of our readers and among the many folks we have talked with during our trip around the NHL. The consensus among most is " BRING BACK OLD TIME HOCKEY!". We gleamed from that they didn't necessarily want a return to the dead puck era, but they did want a return to the emotionally charged game they knew and loved. To STOP the league's attempt to eliminate/legislate out fighting.
3) Fans were adamant in their desire to see a resurgence of pugilism. Its probably not "PC" to say so, but fans LOVE fighting. There is no way to gloss this over. Fans love this aspect of hockey. Its not hard to see. No one leaves during a fight.
4) Besides a teams leading scorer, who usually is the team's most popular player? Yes, the team enforcer! Want to fill arenas again? Want to increase TV ratings? Who cares what detractors say. They wouldn't like hockey if there was zero fighting. Why cater to non-fans? Give us what we want, and we'll keep coming back for more. Are you listening Gary?
5) Can we eliminate the silly last 5 minutes instigator rule. The actions of players in the final five minutes of a game should be treated the same as if they occurred in the first five minutes of the game. When games are out of hand, it is typically a cheap, and potentially dangerous, hit that leads to an instigated fight. Fights that are instigated to discourage these types of cheap hits used to be, and should still be, the norm in the NHL. If the NHL wants to increase rivalries (which would increase fan attendance and t.v. ratings), they should remove this rule!
6)Additionally, the NHL should strongly consider modifying the instigator rule. Research suggests that such a decision would increase fan attendance across NHL arenas. Fights, and the team enforcer, have been a staple of traditional NHL hockey for decades. Enforcers also deter opponents from taking liberties with star players. The current mentality that star players are fair game will lead to an increase in injuries to teams that do not carry tough players.
7) Also cheap hits and slashes have and will continue to increase as players to do not fear retribution as they are protected by current rules. Fauxrumors suggests removing the game misconduct that accompanies the instigator penalty. An instigator penalty should receive the five minutes for fighting plus the additional two for instigating the fight. Two instigator penalties in a game should result in an ejection. Instigators should be tracked by the league and a one-game suspension should be levied whenever a player reaches a total of five instigators. The length of the suspension should double after every five instigators. The tie down rule should stay as is. Fighting outside of a jersey gives the player an unfair advantage.
8) Secondary altercations should not result in an automatic ejection from the game. We suggest levying an additional unsportsmanlike conduct penalty if a player participates in a secondary altercation. These misconducts should receive the same treatment as an instigator penalty. Any combination of the two should result in an ejection from the game and count against the players track record.
9) Are you listening Bettman? We don't want larger nets or silly shapes painted on the ice, just give us back old time hockey!