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Dreger: NHL’s Hockey Operations department issues pre-playoff warnings

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the NHL’s Hockey Operations department had a little chat with every team to clarify the league’s points of emphasis in terms of rule enforcement:

The NHL’s hockey operations department issued many of the same reminders in its pre-playoff conference call on Monday with NHL coaches and general managers. The league once again stressed teams stay away from each other in the pre-game warmup, and warned all late-game message-sending will be disciplined.

Although there wasn’t a specific discussion on elbow-related incidents or elbowing penalties during the conference call, the trend of seven consecutive sanctions for elbows to the head in the regular season is a hot-button topic for some team executives. Are all elbows to the head suspendable in the playoffs? Should there be more tolerance or leniency in the playoffs, and if so, will this encourage players to embellish after getting hit?

In the final game of the regular season for Chicago and Detroit, Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader leveled Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook with an elbow to the face in the third period. No penalty was called on the play, even though, because of the NHL’s hard-line on headshots, some suggested the possibility of suspension or at least a fine should have been applied. It wasn’t.

Conversely, the Vancouver Canucks were upset after Raffi Torres received a 4-game suspension for elbowing Edmonton rookie Jordan Eberle in the head. Torres and the Canucks felt the punishment was too severe for a player who had never been suspended before.

Hockey Ops says the officials have been instructed to call and enforce all rules as they did in the regular season and assured the 16 postseason clubs, there would be continuity with supplemental discipline as well. Quirky trends emerge this time of year and they’re impossible to predict, but the TSN tally board is prepped and ready in the event this year’s crop of playoff participants takes a run at last year’s record number of too many men on the ice penalties. 36 is a tough number to beat.

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Comments

MsRedWinger's avatar

Hockey Ops says the officials have been instructed to call and enforce all rules as they did in the regular season…

Does this mean the Red WIngs are screwed?

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 04/13/11 at 12:06 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Abdelkader “levelled” him?  I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/13/11 at 12:42 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Hockey Ops says the officials have been instructed to call and enforce all rules as they did in the regular season and assured the 16 postseason clubs, there would be continuity with supplemental discipline as well.

Oh shit, they’re threatening continuity now?  I don’t know how the clubs are going to react to that.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/13/11 at 12:55 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Hockey Ops says the officials have been instructed to call and enforce all rules as they did in the regular season…

Well, if this is true, it can only be bad news for Doan & Company. He’s made it pretty clear that he’s going “head hunting” in the Yotes first-round series with the Wings. If the League allows him to get away with it, the Yotes have a 50-50 chance of winning. If the League enforces the rules the way they say they will, the Yotes will be playing golf two weeks from now.

It’s all up to you, Lil’ Gary. Are we gonna play hockey in the playoffs? Or are we gonna play Goons-On-Ice?

Go ahead, midget. Pick one or the other. Just keep in mind that your decision will go a long ways toward determining the future of the NHL.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/13/11 at 01:32 AM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

Oh shit, they’re threatening continuity now?  I don’t know how the clubs are going to react to that.

Exactly.

So, is Homer allowed to be in the offensive zone or not? How about North America?

Posted by The Hurricane on 04/13/11 at 02:21 AM ET

CaptNorris5's avatar

The league once again stressed teams stay away from each other in the pre-game warmup, and warned all late-game message-sending will be disciplined.

...unless of course your Evgeni Malkin and you’re playing the Wings. Then tomahawks to the back are fair play.

...Yeah. I’m bitter. Get over it.

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 04/13/11 at 04:35 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

The league…warned all late-game message-sending will be disciplined…and assured the 16 postseason clubs, there would be continuity with supplemental discipline as well.

You mean there WON’T be recission of automatic suspensions assessed for late-game instigator penalties assessed by on-ice officials (who apparently cannot be overruled in anything else, such as waved-off legitimate goals), and the NHL’s disciplinary rulebook will be followed to the letter?

Excuse me, I’ve just heard a knock at the door.  What’s that, Mr. DHL delivery man?  You want me to sign for ten strings of baloney, fifty kilos of bull crap, and thirty gallons of bilgewater?

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 04/13/11 at 10:21 AM ET

Bent's avatar

Andrew, I was just about to post the exact same thing.  Late game message sending is only disallowed if you aren’t the NHL’s favorite team.

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 04/13/11 at 11:23 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.