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The Worst Thing To Have Happened To Hockey?


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I have to be fair, there are good as well as bad things to have happened to hockey and, in all fairness, I think that, for all the good things in hockey, there are bad things into the game as well. I'm asking what did you find the worst about hockey.

There could be two or three really nasty things that came to my mind back then: violence in hockey as well as Gary Bettman. I don't have much of a choice, but I'm going to say...

Gary Bettman

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Garry Bettman, Canadian teams going

Yzerman and Gretzky know best that Canada was a hockey hotbed and that, in the current condition of hockey, Canadian markets slated to receive relocated teams are financially more viable than where they currently are.

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The worst thing to happen to hockey, is the insertion of the instigator rule. With the instigator rule now in place, the players don't police themselves and it's no secret that headshots have gone up. This wouldn't have happened if the league and players continued to go by the code, but the code is out the window now and headshots are up.

Bettman, let the players police themselves. It has worked for 75 years, obviously your method is not working cos you keep introducing new rules to balance out the mistake of the instigator rule.

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worse thing... players having no respect for each other or the game (IMO).

That all goes back to the code... Since the instigator rule was put into place, the code (the unwritten code) has gone out the window. So has the respect and it's no coincidence that headshots are an issue now.

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I have a few things I hate. 1) the trapezoid -- could they not have at least made it a rectangle. 2) the removal of the 2 line offside makes the game faster but keeps those cherry pickers (the guys that can't play 2 ways) in business. 3) NBC dictating playoff times. There should be no matinees in the playoffs!

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oh yea, it's all about the money now, for these players...

long story short .. my grandmother- in -law's neighbour was recruited to play for the Sabres by Scottie Bowman. After he backstopped the 1961 Canadian team to the World Championship. After his first season in the NHL, He had to make a choice play in the NHL or be a fireman (and keep his pension). he made his choice but he is still in the IIHF hall of fame. The owners made a killing on the players' backs and they still do. Loyalty doesn't amount to much if you are injured or toil in the minors.

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Bringing in the instigator nonsense... which is the direct cause of all the dirtiness and cheapshots!

Funny, my dad, uncle, cousin and I were discussing just this last night, dad uncle and me all saying the above statement, and how much better hockey was, my cousin (he was born in '88) disagreeing... well, the kids who didn't see how hockey was before 1990 can't understand it, because they haven't seen whole seasons of hockey like that. They may see one game like Habs-CSKA in 1974 and say wow, that was a great game, or see a game like the Good Friday Battle (which comment of mine naturally brought about a discussion of Alain Cote's goal)... they see one or two games here and there, either a superb game or a big brawl, and they automatically conclude that the goons were out there killing everyone, and how dangerous everything was... we tried pointing out that when they played without helmets there were far fewer head injuries than there are now, and NO head shots because you KNEW Schultz or Nilan or Semenko would be there the next instant to punish you, and how the players policed themselves... but the kids who didn't grow up with it can't understand it, because they didn't see /whole seasons/ played like that, and so can't know how self-policing worked.

They actually think the modern game is better...

:(

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And how did a trapezoid crease worsen the game?

It kills the game... Goalies can no longer go into the corners to retrieve a puck and send it up to his defensemen. The goalie has to sit in the trap and wait til the puck reaches him. All the while, players are coming up the ice, by the time the puck reaches the trapezoid, there's already a forward on your d-man, so in most cases, the d-man gets clobbered. It slows down the game and causes injuries.

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Bringing in the instigator nonsense... which is the direct cause of all the dirtiness and cheapshots!

Funny, my dad, uncle, cousin and I were discussing just this last night, dad uncle and me all saying the above statement, and how much better hockey was, my cousin (he was born in '88) disagreeing... well, the kids who didn't see how hockey was before 1990 can't understand it, because they haven't seen whole seasons of hockey like that. They may see one game like Habs-CSKA in 1974 and say wow, that was a great game, or see a game like the Good Friday Battle (which comment of mine naturally brought about a discussion of Alain Cote's goal)... they see one or two games here and there, either a superb game or a big brawl, and they automatically conclude that the goons were out there killing everyone, and how dangerous everything was... we tried pointing out that when they played without helmets there were far fewer head injuries than there are now, and NO head shots because you KNEW Schultz or Nilan or Semenko would be there the next instant to punish you, and how the players policed themselves... but the kids who didn't grow up with it can't understand it, because they didn't see /whole seasons/ played like that, and so can't know how self-policing worked.

They actually think the modern game is better...

:(

It was all about respecting the code... Clean hits were accepted, but cheap shots weren't. Once a player was branded as cheapshot artist, the code no longer applied to them and they were punished on a regular basis.

The code is taught at a young age in Canada. Kids learn young what is and what isn't accepted-and that you'll pay for anything that isn't accepted, your own players will tell you, "keep your head up, you're gonna have to pay for that dirty play. American players picked it up pretty quick in the AHL. But with the high amount of European players, who have never heard of the code, the code kinda got distorted in the 90's. It completely died in 2005 with the instigator rule, due to gary's great idea to put in an instigator rule.

Well, since then, he's had to add even more rules to make up for all the cheapshots, headshots that have come about since then. Cooke would've never gotten away with the stuff he gets away with today. After his first dirty hit, his clock would've been cleaned and if he did it again, he would've gotten some of his own medicine.

Funny how at the end of the season, Evander Kane knocked out Cooke with one punch. Well, Kane is a player who grew up with the code in minor hockey, he was playing by the code and made Cooke pay. If the code still applied, there wouldn't just be one situation involving cooke... Every enforcer or agitator across the league would've made him pay for his cheap hit.

Not to say hockey was flawless back then, but it's funny that there are more concussions today than there were 20 years ago. And 20 years about 15% of the players didn't even wear helmets. The unwritten code is there to keep players in check, to cut down (not eliminate) cheapshots, stick work, hitting the guy in the numbers and the injuries that occur due to these dirty plays.

*Back then, guys who were in vulnerable positions weren't knocked head first into the boards, they might've been hit, but the player dishing out the hit woud've said something like, "dude, I had you in my sights, keep your head up cos I could've sent you to the hopital". Tough guy Terry O'Reilly had Parise lined up one night, but instead of plowing him, he told Parise to keep his head up. Today, Parise would've been on his way to the hospital. There was respect back in the day, a respect we don't see today.

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The worst thing to happen to hockey, is the insertion of the instigator rule. With the instigator rule now in place, the players don't police themselves and it's no secret that headshots have gone up. This wouldn't have happened if the league and players continued to go by the code, but the code is out the window now and headshots are up.

I've never fully understood this "code", I assume it says it's okay to nail someone with your stick (Mcsorley) or sucker-punch someone from behind (Bertuzzi). I don't know if the first was pre or post instigator, and the second was post instigator, but both are examples of "players policing themselves" and no one can say with a straight face either was caused by or prevented by the instigator rule.

The problem I have with the "remove the instigator" argument is it often ignores the fact that without the instigator guys "have to answer" for clean hits. Is this right? McSorely readily admits that he didn't just protect Grezky from cheap shots, but was there tO make sure he wasn't hit, because (paraphrased) "otherwise Gretzky would be hit all the time" (taken from the Fifth Estate). Is that really what we want? In our recent series, should Ovechkin and Crosby have been de-facto off liits (otherwise our players would have to get the crap beaten out of them for legal hits?)

Player policing themselves is not the answer, and the instigator is not the problem. I regularly watch high-level hockey in which fighting is banned, and it's not particularly dirty or anything. The probem is the league continuing to get bigger, faster, and more physical combined with lack of enforcement by the NHL of rules.

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I'm not so sure on the instigator rule being the worst thing to happen to hockey. A return to players policing themselves could yield incredibly ugly incidents, like the Bertuzzi situation. Players are bigger, tougher, faster, and more dangerous now than ever before. A lot of the "take out the instigator" argument seems to stem from the head-shot debate. Well, how about just making it so someone that delivers a head-shot gets suspended indefinitely instead of for one or two games? The solution, to me, seems to lie in a more direct approach against the players responsible and less about letting players police themselves so, say... Richards doesn't murder Booth a few months back. Perhaps the gear, like elbow pads, need to be toned down, too.

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For those complaining about Bettman, you obviously need to look up the days of Ziegler or Campbell.

Eh, I've said it before, compared to Bettman I almost long for the days of John Ziegler...

Back to headshots/cheapshots/etc, I do think removing the instigator rule would help. Further, suspensions for ANY crosscheck from behind into the boards, and ANY headshot. And these suspensions, not on a case-by-case basis, but flat-out randomnumber 15 game suspension, automatically.

That, and clarification of the rules, to as far as possible remove referee's discretion from calling penalties.

Remove the trapezoid and return to the crease, and bring back the foot-in-the-crease-is-automatic-no-goal rule. No penalty for a goalie removing an opponent out of his crease (I pray for the advent of another Billy Smith, who will say damn the penalty, and *remove* a guy from in front of him... does that twice, I bet nobody would try to do to him what Byfuglyen et al were doing to Luongo for example).

Bring in automatic icing. I like the flow of not having a two-line-pass rule.

And make goalies' pads smaller!

NHL constantly goes on about wanting more goals, but they refuse to do the obvious: SHRINK THE PADS! I know it's not near as bad as it was in the middle-90s and thereabouts, but dude, compare a current pad to the ones worn in the 80s... with modern technology, the pads can be made considerably smaller and still offer sufficient protection.

(I also detest these composite sticks, bring back the wood IMO, but that won't happen, too much money to be made off all the sticks get broken each game).

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