I don’t think any of us should be shocked that the Anti-Fighting Cabal at the Hockey News is applauding the AHL’s new Fighting Rules. They've never saw a fight that they liked. Looking at the number of fights in the AHL, the NHL's minor league definitely has more fighting majors than the NHL. It's a proven fact. Moreover, I have never seen a fan get up and leave their seat during a hockey fight.
The AHL is a development league for the NHL and has been used to try out new rules. That being said, I don’t think this rule is as bad as some have suggested. First, even in the AHL, it’s going to take some time to accumulate three misconducts penalties via the fight. So with the new rule in place, players are going to learn to pick their fights. That being said, the AHL guys are going to have to pay a little more attention to their stats if they don't want to be sitting out hockey games for suspensions.
Ken Campbell, The Hockey News -- First, let’s look at fighting. AHL president Dave Andrews put forward a motion to give a game misconduct to any player who is involved in more than one fight in a game. And what’s more important, that misconduct will count against the players’ accumulated total when it comes to suspensions. With the exception of the egregious fouls, the AHL gives a one-game suspension to a player when he accumulates three game misconducts in the same season and a game suspension for each subsequent game misconduct.I did a little digging around, and I looked at both the NHL and the AHL. Of the top fighters at hockey fights, Chris Neil is one of the few NHL tough guys that got into two fights during the same game. Krys Barch is another one of the top fighters to have two fights in one game.
The intention of the rule is clear. The AHL is trying to basically get the message-sending baloney out of its game. You see, the AHL plays a lot of back-to-back games to save on travel costs, so there are often times when this kind of ridiculousness breaks out near the end of the first game. If a player has already been involved in a fight, he’ll be far less likely to get into another one once the game is out of hand. And who knows? It might deter a player from getting into a fight in the first period, knowing he might have to “save” his fight for later.
When it comes to fighting in AHL games, it was pretty obvious right away, that fighting is more frequent in the AHL. Again, being a development league might actually promote that, if you're a pugilist, you might want to get your name out there.
Looking at the numbers: Norfolk Admirals tough guy Zach Stortini had one multi-fight game during the 2013-14 season when he fought Joe Finley twice during the same game on October 6, 2014. Milwaukee’s Admirals tough guy Michael Liambas had multi-fights games, twice during the 2013-14 season. Providence Bruins resident tough guy Bobby Robins had multiple two-fight games during the 2013-14 season. Bridgeport Sound Tigers tough guy Brett Gallant actually was in four fights in three games.
I am not anti-fighting by any stretch of the imagination. In my humble opinion, Fighting still has a place in the game. You're welcome to disagree if you like. What I am more offended by are these gutless pukes that run around the ice smoking their opponents from behind or in the head with dangerous, dirty hits. I would like to see these types of plays punished more severely.