Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/16/13 at 12:01 PM ET
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
“I don’t even know all the new rules yet. Nobody has explained them to me,” admitted Thornton. “What if a guy’s helmet is taken off during a fight? Are they going to stop the fight? I know he’s not allowed to take off his own helmet. I’m not looking forward to punching [a visor] when I’m throwing at somebody’s face. If I’m in the middle of a fight with a guy with a visor on, I’m getting his helmet off. That’s the first thing I’d be doing.
“Why don’t they invent a visor that can be pulled off [the helmet]? How hard would that be? There has to be something you can just clip in, and then when you get into a fight you can click it off and toss it. I should invent it.”
Protective visors came to the forefront of NHL safety conversations following the serious eye injury suffered by Rangers defenseman Marc Staal last season. Bruins forward Carl Soderberg was seriously injured in Sweden when he took a stick to the eye earlier in his career so there is sensitivity to the subject in Boston.
But the sense is also that the NHL is creating an environment where it’s more difficult for hockey fights to happen -- not by out-and-out outlawing fighting or heavily penalizing fighting majors, but instead by introducing additional safety measures.
Players that take off their helmets prior to a fight will be served with a minor penalty along with the five minute fighting major this season. Whispers around the NHL also indicate that linesmen have been instructed to break up hockey fights as soon as either combatant’s helmet comes off during the scrap.
added 12:07pm, Below I have added a fight video from last night, Joe Vitale against James Wisniewski, both with visors on. Also, reports today stat the Penguins are observing Vitale, who took some mean punches in the fight.
Someone is going to break their hand if the helmets remain on the head during these types of fights.
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