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How About Playing The Puck?

from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,

Not to take face time away from Brendan Shanahan and his seemingly daily on-camera explanation of yet another suspension, but I think I can help clear the clutter for him. More importantly, I believe the solution to this complex issue—what constitutes a legal hit and what is out of bounds while the NHL struggles to eradicate hits to the head—is simple in its core solution. Better yet, the league already has a rule on its books that addresses the issue.

The last paragraph of Rule 81.1—Icing—states, “Any contact between opposing players while pursuing the puck on an icing must be for the sole purpose of playing the puck and not for eliminating the opponent from playing the puck…”

And there you have it: A provision that protects a player from a potentially dangerous and reckless situation while allowing for contact in the act of playing the puck. Isn’t that goal all over the ice? Instead of splitting hairs with shades of gray and another endless explanation, simply extend that notion to plays all over the ice.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink



Not a good idea, even in a rec league.  Most of us have been raised from an early age to get the puck by separating the individual with the puck by a clean bodycheck.  That’s pretty basic and to take THAT away is a change for the worse.  In an instance of icing fine, but in the corner I’m not sure that is even possible.

Posted by MattinSurrey on 12/21/11 at 07:39 PM ET


I mean I get it but wouldn’t that just turn hockey into bandy? Not really a solution at all, rather calling for you to drastically alter the game into a different sport almost.

Posted by JBM on 12/21/11 at 07:56 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I get what he’s saying. Engelland last night (and a lot of other questionable hits) could have been completely avoided if the player making the dirty shot had just made a play on the puck instead.

But yeah, making it a requirement in all situations just doesn’t work.  It would too-drastically alter the game.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/21/11 at 08:03 PM ET


I think if you read the rules they already protect the players.  Boarding, Charging, Hit from behind, I think they are already in the rule book.  Problem is they are not enforced.  problem is checking is now done to “smoke” the other guy.  Not separate him from the puck.  Due to the speed of game “icing” rule must be changed and goalies should be allowed to handle puck anywhere.  Perhaps the “Red Line” could be brought back for the 2 line pass.  Obviously with greater speed comes more concussions.  Also every headache is now a concussion.  Many would never have been treated as such 10 years ago.

Posted by 13 user names on 12/21/11 at 09:19 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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