Friday, 21 November 2014

NHL can't get out of its own way, enforce its own rules written black on white, to protect its own stars, interests.

Nicolas Deslauriers got a match penalty for spearing Vladimir Tarasenko, as he should have, during the November 11 game between the Sabres and the Blues.

Spearing is considered so abhorrent, so against the spirit of the game and fair play, that the rules call for a very strict interpretation of the offence, and the penalties are very harsh.
Rule 62 - Spearing

62.1 Spearing - Spearing shall mean stabbing an opponent with the point of the stick blade, whether contact is made or not.

62.2 Double-minor Penalty - A double-minor penalty will be imposed on a player who spears an opponent and does not make contact.

62.3 Major Penalty - A major penalty shall be imposed on a player who spears an opponent (see 62.5).

62.4 Match Penalty - A match penalty shall be imposed on a player who injures an opponent as a result of a spear.

62.5 Game Misconduct Penalty - Whenever a major penalty is assessed for spearing, a game misconduct penalty must also be imposed.

62.6 Fines and Suspensions - There are no specified fines or suspensions for spearing, however, supplementary discipline can be applied by the Commissioner at his discretion

The thing is, this rulemaking should have taken care of the issue, except the league acted like it painted itself into a corner, like a parent who threatens to send a child to bed without supper, but then relents.  The league and its referees rarely interpret this rule as it's written, so we've been seeing spearing run rampant, despite measures being available to deal with this subject decisively.

Last season, we saw Corey Perry and certainly Milan Lucic among others get away with spears, repeatedly, and it ballooned and mutated until we now get a situation where a worthless plug like Nicolas Deslauriers, who doesn't belong on the same ice as Vladimir Tarasenko, is somehow charged with covering him on a faceoff, and gives him the North American-game, Nick Kypreos-approved 'shot to let him know you're there', and then another, then more, until he's trying to apendectomicize him with his VaporLite.

This is what fighting begets.  Goons run roughshod over smaller players, who are deemed not be 'an NHL'er', like David Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher, because they're violence-averse.  Instead of having guys who can play hockey, we get to watch Nicolas Deslauriers, with his 'big body', and a 35 goal 4-year junior career under his belt, ply his trade for the Sabres.

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