Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/20/13 at 11:35 AM ET
from Darren Dreger of the Dreger Repost at TSN,
The NHL insists the additional two-minute penalty assessed to any player who purposely removes his helmet to fight has nothing to do with curbing or decreasing fighting - and everything to do with limiting the possibility of a player dying as a result of hitting his unprotected head on the ice.
As blunt as that sounds, that's the ultimate fear and the basis behind offseason debate among competition committee members as to whether a minor penalty would be enough to deter fighters from dumping their helmets.
A 10-minute misconduct or game misconduct was suggested as a much stiffer form of punishment for those who choose to ignore the leagues obvious safety concerns. Sources say a cumulative formula was also discussed to address the repeat offender of the newly formed 'buckets off' rule.
A stiffer punishment was not supported. Instead, the competition committee opted for a softer touch. And on Thursday night, the spirit of the rule was violated.
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