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AJgoal

AHL Adds New Rules to reduce Fighting, Eliminates time out after icing

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On the face, I like the changes around fighting. Staged fights are pointless to me, and I'm glad to see the AHL toughening up on goon hockey. I also like that they had the forethought to not count a fight where the opponent got an instigator towards a suspension.

 

The time out icing rule is fine with me. Can happen at most twice a game anyway, so whatever.

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I HATE the fighting BS that states you get a game for every fight past ten. Absolute BS.

 

 The rule about it becoming a game misconduct for staged fights where you drop the gloves after a puck drop, well that one I guess I can live with. But I get to a fewAHL games a year in Cleveland to see the Monsters, and watch the Griffins avidly on the computer, part of the allure of the AHL to me has always been the fighting, it is slowly fading from the NHL but still a big part of the game in the minors. I get the whole concussion thing but fighting has been a part of our game forever, rules that help phase it out bother me.

 

@AJgoal I agree the rule with the no timeouts for the offending team after an icing is a good idea. It makes sense to me to do so. What I would like is for it to go even further at the AHL level as a tester, on power plays if the defensive team ices the puck, call icing instead of the offensive team wasting 15 seconds chasing the puck. It would keep more time on the power play in the offensive zone and IMHO create more offense.

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I'll weigh in and say anti-goonery makes sense and fear of concussion damage may be another factor in "fighting counts."  Penalizing the icing more makes sense too.  

 

 

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  Just stumbled upon the new fighting rules in the AHL. A tad late, lol....so I came here to see if it had been discussed. AJ was all over this one. 

 

 Clamping down on staged fights after draws, I can see this, but the counter point is, who is really getting hurt here? Both are willing combatants, both are trying to spark their team. Yes, the game is a bit longer, but what fans DON'T want to see a nice fight, staged or not? The only time the crowd is louder than a good scrap is goals, and some of them are even outcheered by a nice bout.

 

 Totally different circumstances, but the OHL instituted new fight rules also. I believe it's a direct response to the NCAA rules. The OHL is competing with NCAA schools for all the top flight prospects. If they want to win that war, they HAVE to appease parents. How can you tell a parent of a 16 or 17 year old that your kid might get the snot beat out of him by a 19 or 20 year old?  A lot of parents would just dismiss the OHL and send him to the cleaner, safer league.

 

 The OHL's rules are even stricter. You can only fight 3 times a year and then the suspensions come flying. I have noticed division rivals of the Spits intentionally cheap shot smaller players in order to entice one of the older and tougher players to use on of their 3 fights to avenge a teammate from a dirty hit. I miss how violent the OHL was, REALLY miss it. Emphasizing skill is great, but so is a wicked fight.

 

 The OHL is not nearly as fun, and I suspect the same fate will befall the AHL. Fans like fights, fans pay the bills, lets give the people who pay the bills what they want, or the hard sought over entertainment dollers will flow away.

 

 

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4 hours ago, jammer2 said:

Yes, the game is a bit longer, but what fans DON'T want to see a nice fight, staged or not? The only time the crowd is louder than a good scrap is goals, and some of them are even outcheered by a nice bout.

I love the spontaneous fights that occur during the normal play of the game but I won't miss the staged fights. Yes they are still fun to watch but they should not be a part of the game. If you want to see a staged fight, I suggest MMA or boxing, both of which are highly entertaining.That said, I feel  spontaneous fights are like a pressure relief valve, they lower the building pressure of the game lessening the inevitable cheap shots from the seemingly wronged party.

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1 minute ago, flyerrod said:

I love the spontaneous fights that occur during the normal play of the game but I won't miss the staged fights. Yes they are still fun to watch but they should not be a part of the game. If you want to see a staged fight, I suggest MMA or boxing, both of which are highly entertaining.That said, I feel  spontaneous fights are like a pressure relief valve, they lower the building pressure of the game lessening the inevitable cheap shots from the seemingly wronged party.

 

 

 I don't care how they start, just like to see the guys throw, especially the ones that do it for a living. Some of the great fights of the past few decades were staged, Probert vs Domi, Chase vs Probert, Probert vs the Grim Reaper, Schultz vs Robinson etc, etc....those were some serious fun.

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On 2/8/2017 at 10:10 PM, jammer2 said:

The OHL is not nearly as fun, and I suspect the same fate will befall the AHL. Fans like fights, fans pay the bills, lets give the people who pay the bills what they want, or the hard sought over entertainment dollers will flow away.

 

that's kinda the tension to the whole situation, though, isn't it??  because you are right, a lot of the audience at a minor league game is there for the fighting.  or, at least, the fighting is part of the anticipated (and paid for) experience.  with these rules changes, there is a very strong likelihood that some percentage of the current fan base goes away.

 

then again, there are a lot of people that don't even consider following hockey because it can look like a boorish thug-fest to the uninitiated.  i have no science to back it up, but my impression over the last 30 years is that for every hockey fan that might walk if fighting goes away, there are 3 people that specifically won't give hockey a chance because fighting is still an accepted thing.  doesn't mean those 3 people would become fans if fighting were eliminated, but they are pretty much off the table as potential customers as things stand, removing a thing that is specifically keeping them away is the only possibility of converting them.  

 

so.  which is the better way to go?  continue to cater to a very niche audience and maintain their support at the cost of expansion of the fan base, or court that expanded fan base at the cost of happiness and/or continued support of the niche?

 

honestly don't know which is "smarter", which will end up with the league and sport in the best position.

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5 hours ago, aziz said:

 

that's kinda the tension to the whole situation, though, isn't it??  because you are right, a lot of the audience at a minor league game is there for the fighting.  or, at least, the fighting is part of the anticipated (and paid for) experience.  with these rules changes, there is a very strong likelihood that some percentage of the current fan base goes away.

 

then again, there are a lot of people that don't even consider following hockey because it can look like a boorish thug-fest to the uninitiated.  i have no science to back it up, but my impression over the last 30 years is that for every hockey fan that might walk if fighting goes away, there are 3 people that specifically won't give hockey a chance because fighting is still an accepted thing.  doesn't mean those 3 people would become fans if fighting were eliminated, but they are pretty much off the table as potential customers as things stand, removing a thing that is specifically keeping them away is the only possibility of converting them.  

 

so.  which is the better way to go?  continue to cater to a very niche audience and maintain their support at the cost of expansion of the fan base, or court that expanded fan base at the cost of happiness and/or continued support of the niche?

 

honestly don't know which is "smarter", which will end up with the league and sport in the best position.

 

 I'm guessing the NHL would welcome any new fans with open arms. If they don't like or want fighting, I'd rather they not be fans. I always go back to a surefire commonality....that being, to win at hockey, especially a 7 game series, you MUST impose your will on the other team. Imposing your will can come in many ways and forms....checking, forechecking, speed and or skating, basic physicality...elbows etc...AND fighting. When an opponents tough guy gets destroyed, that most certainly is imposing your will. For instance, the beginning of the end for the Broad Street Bullies was the complete and utter beating that Larry Robinson laid on Dave "the hammer" Schulltz. The Flyers totally lost their edge when he lost that fight. 

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2 hours ago, aziz said:

then again, there are a lot of people that don't even consider following hockey because it can look like a boorish thug-fest to the uninitiated.  i have no science to back it up, but my impression over the last 30 years is that for every hockey fan that might walk if fighting goes away, there are 3 people that specifically won't give hockey a chance because fighting is still an accepted thing.  doesn't mean those 3 people would become fans if fighting were eliminated, but they are pretty much off the table as potential customers as things stand, removing a thing that is specifically keeping them away is the only possibility of converting them.  

 

so.  which is the better way to go?  continue to cater to a very niche audience and maintain their support at the cost of expansion of the fan base, or court that expanded fan base at the cost of happiness and/or continued support of the niche?

 

honestly don't know which is "smarter", which will end up with the league and sport in the best position.

 

The niche has shown that the league can do virtually whatever it wants to it and it'll still come and watch hockey.

 

My fiancee had no interest in hockey because of the fighting. Going to see it live - and the fact that fighting is down so much - opened her up to the sport itself beyond the fisticuffs. She still hates them. My dad was the same way - couldn't stand hockey because "he went to the fights and a hockey game broke out." Seeing it live really changed his opinion.

 

She still doesn't like the fighting (a nice, heated playoff run down the stretch against a team you're playing again next week might help) and my dad never liked it either. As a fan who grew up with the Bullies and then the Legion of Doom, I don't mind a good donnybrook.

 

But there are a couple of generations who don't have the same attachment to old time hockey that we do (but even that has changed with "old time hockey" once meaning a time back before there was so much fighting until people started misinterpreting Slap Shot).

 

Whether that affects crowds at AHL games in a seriously adverse way is up in the air. But the NHL has shown nothing but continued growth and expansion for roughly 20 years and even with a series of work stoppages and lost games and seasons the league is more popular, valuable and visible than ever.

 

The issue is very much concussion, which repeated, closed-fist blows to the head is not conducive to avoiding.

 

There are definitely times for a good fight, especially a line brawl, and nothing on ice can duplicate the grace and splendor of a good ol' goalie fight, but doing away with it as a de rigeur part of the game hasn't hurt.

 

 

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13 hours ago, jammer2 said:

 

 I'm guessing the NHL would welcome any new fans with open arms. If they don't like or want fighting, I'd rather they not be fans. I always go back to a surefire commonality....that being, to win at hockey, especially a 7 game series, you MUST impose your will on the other team. Imposing your will can come in many ways and forms....checking, forechecking, speed and or skating, basic physicality...elbows etc...AND fighting. When an opponents tough guy gets destroyed, that most certainly is imposing your will. For instance, the beginning of the end for the Broad Street Bullies was the complete and utter beating that Larry Robinson laid on Dave "the hammer" Schulltz. The Flyers totally lost their edge when he lost that fight. 

 

You're not going to like this any more than I do, but Dave Schultz last played for the Flyers forty years ago.

 

At that point, what happened in 1936 wasn't particularly relevant to the state of the game. And, honestly, it's not relevant now.

 

Again, I do believe there is "a place" for fighting in the game. But it is the exception and not the rule.

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For that matter, here's Dave Schultz on fighting in hockey:

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Judging by all the fighting on ice you hear about you might get the mistaken impression that this is the way hockey actually is and, what's more, the way it should be. I can see why you would find it difficult to make such a distinction.

Let me say, first of all, that as a player your dad was not an angel. Far from it. I set a National Hockey League record for penalties and was nicknamed The Hammer because of the manner in which I bounced my fist off the enemy's head.

My penalty record is nothing to be proud of and the fighting I did as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins is not something I would like you to emulate. Quite the opposite. When it comes to hockey violence, your dad speaks first hand.

 

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15 hours ago, jammer2 said:

I'm guessing the NHL would welcome any new fans with open arms. If they don't like or want fighting, I'd rather they not be fans. I always go back to a surefire commonality....that being, to win at hockey, especially a 7 game series, you MUST impose your will on the other team. Imposing your will can come in many ways and forms....checking, forechecking, speed and or skating, basic physicality...elbows etc...AND fighting.

 

i'm with you, in terms of what brand of hockey i like to watch.  then again, the international version of the game doesn't have that aspect, at least not to the same extent.  I don't enjoy Olympic-style hockey for more than a small handful of games, but a good number of people do, and that version of the game is almost entirely skill and tactics, with physical presence a far less important thing.  i feel the game loses an important character there, but that's just me.  and maybe you.  

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1 hour ago, aziz said:

 

i'm with you, in terms of what brand of hockey i like to watch.  then again, the international version of the game doesn't have that aspect, at least not to the same extent.  I don't enjoy Olympic-style hockey for more than a small handful of games, but a good number of people do, and that version of the game is almost entirely skill and tactics, with physical presence a far less important thing.  i feel the game loses an important character there, but that's just me.  and maybe you.  

 

With the bigger ice, it's harder to have such an impact with a physical game. Plus, if you miss the big hit, you can be WAY out of the play.

 

The North American rinks - especially some of the smaller rinks backinnaday - really emphasized the impact of the physical game (something, for example, Boston always exploited in the Gahden until the Flyers knocked da Broons around on their own ice).

 

Not so much as the 21st Century dawned with more standard sized rinks. Still different from the international rinks, though.

 

But if Dave Schultz could be calling for cleaning up the game 35 years ago, I think the writing's been on the wall for a long time.

 

It doesn't need to go away completely, but adding in mandatory suspensions after X number of fights would cut down on the stupid "you just laid a clean hit on my teammate" fights and make "enforcers" unnecessary.

 

And it just might make the fights that do happen - when a Crosby drops the gloves with Ovechkin - more meaningful in terms of impacting the game's momentum. (Not that those two are necessarily going to do it again today, but they have gone at it in the past).

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        i'm with you, in terms of what brand of hockey i like to watch.  then again, the international version of the game doesn't have that aspect, at least not to the same extent.  I don't enjoy Olympic-style hockey for more than a small handful of games, but a good number of people do, and that version of the game is almost entirely skill and tactics, with physical presence a far less important thing.  i feel the game loses an important character there, but that's just me.  and maybe you.  
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      I HATE the fighting BS that states you get a game for every fight past ten. Absolute BS.    The rule about it becoming a game misconduct for staged fights where you drop the gloves after a puck drop, well that one I guess I can live with. But I get to a fewAHL games a year in Cleveland to see the Monsters, and watch the Griffins avidly on the computer, part of the allure of the AHL to me has always been the fighting, it is slowly fading from the NHL but still a big part of the game in the minors. I get the whole concussion thing but fighting has been a part of our game forever, rules that help phase it out bother me.   @AJgoal I agree the rule with the no timeouts for the offending team after an icing is a good idea. It makes sense to me to do so. What I would like is for it to go even further at the AHL level as a tester, on power plays if the defensive team ices the puck, call icing instead of the offensive team wasting 15 seconds chasing the puck. It would keep more time on the power play in the offensive zone and IMHO create more offense.
    • 1
      Post
        With the bigger ice, it's harder to have such an impact with a physical game. Plus, if you miss the big hit, you can be WAY out of the play.   The North American rinks - especially some of the smaller rinks backinnaday - really emphasized the impact of the physical game (something, for example, Boston always exploited in the Gahden until the Flyers knocked da Broons around on their own ice).   Not so much as the 21st Century dawned with more standard sized rinks. Still different from the international rinks, though.   But if Dave Schultz could be calling for cleaning up the game 35 years ago, I think the writing's been on the wall for a long time.   It doesn't need to go away completely, but adding in mandatory suspensions after X number of fights would cut down on the stupid "you just laid a clean hit on my teammate" fights and make "enforcers" unnecessary.   And it just might make the fights that do happen - when a Crosby drops the gloves with Ovechkin - more meaningful in terms of impacting the game's momentum. (Not that those two are necessarily going to do it again today, but they have gone at it in the past).

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