Showing posts with label Ontario Hockey League. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ontario Hockey League. Show all posts

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Face it, Ryan Mantha isn't coming to UND.

If I was a betting man, and I am. I would say that this kid is OHL bound, and is not heading to UND next fall. No mention what-so-ever about UND. As I wrote in May, since 2011, UND has had five high-end recruits decommit and go the Major Junior route. Mantha would make six.

Update: Brad E. Schlossman from the Grand Forks Herald is reporting that Mantha is an  academic causality.
SNYRangersblogspot.com --On what is next, “we will see soon, Niagra has my rights and it will come down to what the Rangers want me to do.”

Who did you root for growing up, “I didn’t have one but during the Cup I was rooting for the Rangers so this is an awesome feeling.”

From the Rangers: “With the first of the two fourth round selections, New York drafted defenseman Ryan Mantha. The Clarkson, Michigan native split this past season between the Sioux City Musketeers and the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League (USHL), registering a total of three goals and 12 assists for 15 points, along with 71 penalty minutes and a plus-11 rating in 53 games. Mantha added three assists in 10 playoff games with Indiana.”


Monday, June 02, 2014

Ryan Mantha, traded from the Soo to Niagara

If I was a betting man, and I am. It would appear that UND is about to lose their 7th recruit to the CHL since 2011. It looks a lot like the some of the other CHL defections. The other day, I wrote a blog post breaking down the previous six defections at the Hockey Writers.




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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Monday, October 07, 2013

NHL players insist fighting still has a place in hockey

Here’s a really good article on fighting and the players wanting it to remain in the game. I think the point by the writer about Steve Yzerman and having Bob Probert protecting him, is another good point. The writer is right, he did enjoy one of the toughest players to ever play in the NHL protecting his backside.
Mark Lazerus, Chicago Sun Times – An NHLPA/CBC poll conducted in 2011-12 found that 98 percent of players were against banishing fighting. Ninety-eight percent. Some of that has to do with protecting the jobs of the likes of John Scott and Parros. But most of that’s simply the ingrained culture of the sport. To players, fighting is as much a part of the game as faceoffs. You can’t change that overnight. It’s going to take generations to get past that.

Yzerman’s concerns ring particularly hollow, given how glad he was to have legendary enforcer Bob Probert watching his back in Detroit. Yzerman rarely had to worry about being touched, because Probert was always lurking. At the very least, opponents would think twice before taking a run at him.

“That’s where fighting comes in, where you want to stick up for your teammates and you want to have tough guys who protect you so you’re not getting run out of the building every night,” Hawks star Patrick Kane said. “If you take it completely out of the game, and they don’t have to think twice about hitting skilled guys because they know they won’t have to fight someone, there’s no [price] for a cheap hit.”

There’s no easy answer. Yzerman proposed game-misconduct penalties (ejections) for all fights, but all that would do is embolden and encourage goons to try to goad star players into fights to take them out of the game. Full-blown suspensions for simple fights would effectively end fighting, but would lead to vigilante justice and serious injuries caused by guys hell-bent on defending their teammates in other ways. What the NHL needs to do is get rid of the useless fights — the staged ones at face-offs, the forced ones during blowouts, the ones where all a guy is trying to do is wake up a sleepy bench or a bored crowd. Players and fans might like those — as Kane put it, “From a fan’s perspective, there are probably three things you love in hockey: scoring goals, big hits, and the fights” — but they serve no real purpose. They police nothing, they solve nothing.

So do what the Ontario Hockey League did last year — create a quota system. Each player in the OHL now is allowed 10 fights, with the 11th and each one thereafter earning a two-game suspension. This forces players to pick their spots. Someone levels your teammate with a dirty hit? Fight him. Trailing 6-0 at the end of a game and just want to send a message? Not worth it.
I will have to admit that I like the staged fights too. I mean think about this, people go to MMA bouts or pay big money to watch them on pay-per-view and it’s one of the most popular sports on the blogsphere, but we have people that are offended about a bout between two hockey players on the ice. Why is that? Here’s my advice, don’t like fighting, don’t watch hockey. I am more grossed out about the pukes that won’t fight and skate all over the ice hammering people into the boards from behind.
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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

London Knights Max Domi suspended 4-games by the OHL (Video)



Max Domi of the London Knights, was suspended 4-games by the OHL for this dirty hit on Guelph Storm's Brock McGinn. As you can see from the video, Domi targeted the head of McGinn, and one could make the argument that Domi deserved more than a 4-game  suspension.


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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

USA Hockey Trims Camp Roster

Here is the roster for the Team USA's National Junior Evaluation Camp, after it was cut down from 43 to 31 players. Not that many players from the CHL this year. 
GOALIES: 
Thatcher Demko, Boston College, HE (2014 draft eligible) 
Jon Gillies, Providence, HE, (Calgary)
Anthony Stolarz, London, OHL (Philadelphia)
DEFENSEMEN:
Michael Brodzinski, Minnesota, BIG 10 (San Jose) 
Will Butcher, Denver, NCHC (Colorado) 
Connor Carrick, Plymouth, OHL (Washington) 
Connor Clifton, Quinnipiac, ECAC (Phoenix) 
Matthew Grzelcyk, Boston University, HE (Boston) 
Ian McCoshen, Boston College, HE (Florida) 
Brett Pesce, New Hampshire, HE (Carolina; 
Steven Santini, Boston College, HE (New Jersey) 
Patrick Sieloff, Windsor, OHL (Calgary) 
Brady Skjei, Minnesota, BIG 10 (N.Y. Rangers)
FORWARDS
Riley Barber, Miami, NCHC (Washington); 
Taylor Cammarata, Minnesota, BIG 10 (N.Y. Islanders) 
J.T. Compher, Michigan, BIG 10 (Buffalo) 
Andrew Copp, Michigan, BIG 10 (Winnipeg) 
Thomas Di Pauli, Notre Dame, HE (Washington) 
Adam Erne, Quebec, QMJHL (Tampa Bay)
 Hudson Fasching, Minnesota, BIG 10 (Los Angeles)
 Jake Guentzel, Nebraska-Omaha, NCHC (Pittsburgh)
Nicolas Kerdiles, Wisconsin, BIG 10 (Anaheim)
Stefan Matteau, Rimouski, QMJHL (New Jersey)
Michael McCarron, London, OHL (Montreal)
 Tyler Motte, Michigan, BIG 10 (Chicago)
 Boo Nieves, Michigan, BIG 10 (N.Y. Rangers)
 Daniel O'Regan, Boston University, HE (San Jose)
Henrik Samuelsson, Edmonton, WHL (Phoenix)
Quentin Shore, Denver, NCHC (Ottawa)
Zach Stepan, Minnesota State, WCHA (Nashville)
Dominic Toninato, Minnesota-Duluth, NCHC (Toronto)
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Studay: Rules Changes Didn't Reduce Concussion Rates in the NHL.

Original NHL logo, used until 2005. A version ...
Original NHL logo, used until 2005. A version of the logo features it in the shape of a hockey puck. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Oh boy, the Anti-Fighting Cabal is going to have a hay day with this study. Next thing we're going to see is a big push from the same Anti-Fighting Cabal to eliminate fighting from the NHL or the lower leagues, so we can have a study on that.
TSN.CA The data showed that there was no statistical significance in the incidence of concussions in the NHL in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons compared to the 2009-10 season. That latter was the year before the NHL rule change went into effect.

The researchers estimated there were about 5.23 concussions per 100 games in the NHL regular season. Despite its stiffer rule, the OHL didn't have markedly different concussion rates, clocking 5.05 per 100 games in the regular season.

The analysis also showed that the type of hits outlawed by the NHL rule weren't actually the major cause of concussions.
About 28 per cent of interactions produced a concussion also generated a penalty call, said Cusimano. In that 28 per cent, the bulk of the penalties were for fighting. "And blindsiding, which was what the rule was initially was written about, was only 4.1 per cent of all those.... But four per cent of 28 per cent is a very small number."

"I wasn't totally surprised, but I was disappointed that we weren't able to show a difference," Cusimano said.

"Part of it's the way the rule's written. Part of it's the way the rule is enforced. Part of it's the penalties associated with the rule. And part of it is that concussions are also coming from other causes like fighting, that is still allowed."
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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Max Domi hammers Shane McColgan



Wow! What a hard clean hit by the London Knights forward Max Domi on Saskatoon Blades forward Shane McColgan. This is Domi's draft year and he's a players that will probably get drafted this pretty high this summer in the 2013 NHL draft. The Memorial Cup is on the NHL network May 17-26 May.
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Sunday, April 07, 2013

UND recruit Christian Evers drafted by the London Knights


Being a high profile program, the University of North Dakota Hockey team has had some of their highly sought recruits decommit and go a different route.
It’s been highly documented as of late.
In August, right before the 2011-12 season, J.T. Miller decommitted from UND, and signed a signed with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. Miller’s decommit put UND in a precarious situation. Without Miller, UND immediately became a different type of team.
In 61 games with the Plymouth Whalers, Miller scored (25g-37a—62). After his season with the Whalers was over, Miller played in eight games during the Calder Cup playoffs for the Connecticut Whale of the AHL.
This season, Miller was called up to the New York Rangers and scored two goals, leading the Rangers to a 4-1 victory.
Last January, USDT U18 recruit Stefan Matteau, who had originally committed to play at the University of North Dakota, decommitted from UND, and decided to play for the Blainville-Boisbraind Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Matteau had a strong start to the season with the Armada (18g-10a—28pts) in 35 games and was invited to the New Jersey Devils camp once the NHL lockout was settled.
Matteau ended up playing in the Devils first five games of the season before being a healthy scratch for the next four games in a row.
The New Jersey Devils could have sent Matteau back to Blainville-Boisbraind, but instead he remained with the New Jersey Devils and last night he was skating on a line with former Fighting Sioux forward Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk to start the game.
Matteau has played 17 games with the New Jersey Devils this season, scoring (1g-2a—3pts). On the March 17, 2013, Matteau was returned to his junior team Blainville-Boisbraind Armada and has scored (1g-4a—5pts) in 6 QMJHL playoff games.
In April of 2012, Miles Koules announced that he had decommitted from the University of North Dakota and was going to be a member of the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL. In his first season with Medicine Hat, Koules recorded (19g-21a—40pts) in 69 games for the Tigers.
This past November, Brendan Lemieux, son of former NHL pest Claude Lemieux, left the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL, decomitted from the University of North Dakota, and decided to play with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. In 42 games with the Colts, Lemieux scored an unimpressive (6g-8a—14pts).
We’re not done yet!
UND has two other recruits that have been drafted by the OHL clubs. Nick Schmaltz brother of current defenseman Jordan Schmaltz was drafted by the Windsor Spitfires last spring. Nick has not ruled out going to the Spitfires.
Also, today, UND recruit Christian Evers was drafted in the 5th round by the London Knights in the OHL Draft. Lets just say, UND fans are a little worried, based on past experience, if Evers will ever make it to UND. Evers is an impressive kid who is 6’4” and 200 pounds who will turn 16 on May 25, 2013. So you have to think, that the London Knights, will be hard after Christian Evers, to sign with them.
Evers had an impressive year with the Omaha AAA Hockey Club 16U team, scoring (17g-42—59pts) in 67 games. Evers tweeted this on his twitter account today.  So, only time will tell.


Cross-posted at the Hockey Writers Combine.
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Saturday, April 06, 2013

Christian Evers drafted by the London Knights



Well, this is an interesting development. I do think this is a concern, because the Hunter brothers have shown little concern for college commitments in the past. This should give UND hockey fans some grounds for concern.

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Friday, April 05, 2013

OHL Hockey; Greyhounds defenseman Chris Buonomo hits Owen Sounds forward Kurtis Gabriel



Looks like the OHL has their problems as well in the player safety department, this is a head scratcher to me. That's a blatant hit to the head that happened during game four of the OHL playoffs, between the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and the Owen Sound Attack. There was no penalty called on the play. There will also be no additional supplemental discipline handed down by the OHL. Unbelievable!
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Friday, March 08, 2013

The First Loser of the Year Nominee is....

Brett Cook now formerly of the Nipissing University Lakers hockey team (CIS) was a former OHL goon.  His OHL resume is stacked with 19 goals 47 assists and a mere 344 penalty minutes (oh yeah, and an amazing -26 Plus/Minus between Erie and London his final year of OHL) to go with 2g 5a 62 PIM performance at the North Bay, Ontario University.

Why should I care about this guy?  Well, he managed to achieve the ULTIMATE Penalty:  A LIFETIME ban.  Why?  He sucker punched a linesman.  Watch the video below.  I mean, the linesman wasn't even in the middle of a scrum.  It's just the linesman and Cook!  I'd be a bit more sympathetic if the linesman jumped into the middle of a fight and blocked a fist with his face but oh my GOD!  It was a straight up Uppercut right to the mouth/nose.  I'm surprised he didn't lose any teeth and it appears as though he's not bleeding (but there's no way to tell either). 

I felt compelled to bring this up because I'm one of the most outspoken critics of officials out there and I want to say the following:  I'd love to say that I'd love to do the same thing but that's not right.  Refs may at times be awful, inconsistent, and seemingly biased, but they are NOT punching bags.  You want to punch a ref?  Punch him in the pocket book by registering a complaint with the league and get him suspended without pay or worse.

What Cook did was WRONG and he knew it.  Here is the news article.

Here's the Video (it happens near the bench.  The scrum nearest the camera is the wrap up of a different scrum):



With fighting on the ropes being pushed out of the game, I think instances like this will only make things worse.  I hope he's done with hockey in any league anywhere (the ban is only for CIS hockey for which he apparently voided himself 4 years of eligibility). The last time a guy couldn't skate, couldn't defend, and couldn't do anything other than fight, he made the NHL.  His name?  John Scott (there was another but I do not speak ill of the dead).

In the end, Brett Cook will be remembered.  And his reputation will be sullied for it.  I hope he's proud. 
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Friday, December 28, 2012

Slovakia's Richard Buri hits Canada's Dougie Hamilton



In one of the odd plays of the day, Slovakia's defenseman Richard Buri hits Canada's defensema Dougie Hamilton. Buri was only given a two minute minor on the play. Team Canada scored on the ensuing power play with a goal by Morgan Rielly assisting on the goal were Mark Schiefele and Oliers star Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Hamilton is a Boston Bruins first round draft choice who was picked ninth overall during the 2011 NHL entry draft. Hamilton plays for the Niagara Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League.
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Friday, November 30, 2012

Former PSU recruit Thomas Welsh to sign with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL

Thomas and Mike Welsh
Back in September of 2011, I was informed about a highly regarded hockey player that had chosen the NCAA hockey route instead of the CHL route.

At the time, it appeared that the Penn State Nittany Lions had landed Canadian born Thomas Welsh to play his Division I hockey at Penn State University instead of playing in the CHL.

I interviewed his father Mike via email about his son’s decision to join PSU hockey. That article can be found at Inside Hockey.

This past September, Welsh decommitted from Penn State and decided to weigh his options, I wrote about that back in September and that article can be found at Inside Hockey as well.

Yesterday, while I was monitoring my twitter feed I saw a tweet where Thomas Welsh had decided to play for the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL.

Last night, I reached out to Thomas Welsh and he agreed to an interview.

EB: Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. Sorry to hear about the passing of your father Mike.  Can you tell us what It was like to play for Canada East during the recent 2012 Junior “A” Challenge?    

Thomas Welsh: This was an opportunity of a life time.  When I was notified that I had made the final selection camp I was pumped.  It was sad as well, as my Dad passed away the day earlier of being notified, so he wasn’t aware.

The Team Canada East camp was intense, every player there deserved to be there.  The caliber and bar were set high to make the team.  I gave it 100% every practice and game, in fact on the final day, final game, 1st period I broke my nose.  Had it reset on the bench and continued to play with packing in it.  I was notified the next day by the Team Canada East coaching staff that I had made the team.  Everything happened very quickly as the next day the team left for Yarmouth.

With our first exhibition game against Russia, our bus pulled up to the arena and it was unreal to see fans had lined up 2 hours prior to game to try to get tickets to a sold out event.  The community of Yarmouth was nuts, loud, and extremely supportive of all the teams, but especially to the Team Canada Teams.  I have played in front of crowds around 500 but not 1700 people.  It was so professional, from the volunteers, to the staff running the event.

Team Canada East visited a school, played floor hockey with the kids, and talked about the importance of schooling, what it’s like being a player and such.

Disappointing finish for our team, not the result the team should have gotten but none the less an experience that I will forever be grateful for.  Wearing the jersey and representing Canada is a thrill.

EB: Congrats on your next endeavor in hockey. I noticed on twitter that you were heading to the Mississauga steelheads of the OHL. Can you give us some details what led to your making the jump to the OHL?   When did the OHL become an option again?

Thomas Welsh: Well, as you were aware I had a commitment with Penn State for 2013 but decommitted in September of this year, when we could not come to terms with the original agreement.  I was still very much interested in NCAA hockey and as such was doing my due diligence with other Div. 1 NCAA schools.

When Steelheads contacted my advisor and family for a meeting in June, of this year, it was just a meet and greet sort of thing.  They have been monitoring my development steadily since my acquisition and have stayed in contact.

This week, less than 24 hours ago, the Steelheads, presented an offer.  After discussion with my mom and my advisor were able to come to an agreement.  I have a strong interest in schooling along with developing as a player and I feel at this time that the Steelheads will assist me in this next step academically and athletically.  I am looking forward to developing as a player with the Steelheads and Coach Boyd.

NCAA is a fantastic option and I have been lucky to have the option of the OHL as well.   I think either option is great and it’s an individual thing.

EB: When are you going to be NHL draft eligible? My NHL draft is 2013. Who is your favorite NHL team and who would you like to be drafted by? 

Thomas Welsh:  I think being drafted by any NHL team would be a dream, but would probably have to say Leafs.  I’m a hometown boy.

EB: According to the Toronto Sun, you’re expected to play tonight against the Niagara IceDogs.  
Thomas Welsh: Yes, I am expecting the paperwork to be finalized prior to game time.

EB: Thank you for your time and best of luck to you.  If you don’t mind I would like to follow up with you as your season in the OHL progresses. 

Thomas Welsh:  No problem, Thanks Eric you have been fantastic




Originally Posted at the Hockey Writers Combine.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Winter Classic to be cancelled soon...



If you have been following your twitter feed or glancing at your favorite NHL and college hockey sites, you will see that the NHL is close to cancelling the Winter Classic, actually it sounded like the Hurricane Sandy might have actually postponed the cancelling of the Winter Classic.



Since rejecting the union's trio of proposals, the league has made two rounds of game cancellations. The latest, announced on Friday, wiped out the regular-season schedule for November. A source familiar with the league's plan told ESPNNewYork.com that the league is expected to cancel the Winter Classic on Thursday, the source said.[Katie Strang, ESPN.COM]
So if the NHL cancels the Winter Classic, that would mean all the other events that were supposed to take place during that time frame will also be cancelled or moved to other venues as well.
The bigger loss to the city of Detroit is the Winter Festival, a two-week event set to start in late December at Comerica Park and featuring a slew of hockey games ranging from high school to juniors to college to a Wings' alumni doubleheader.

While it may seem like that could still be held regardless of the state of the NHL, it is the NHL that would be building and funding an ice rink at Comerica, a trade-off the Wings agreed to in exchange for having the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor rather than Detroit.
So here is the schedule of everything that is supposed to take place during the Winter Classic. There is a full slate of game from the NCAA, OHL, AHL and the NHL scheduled. That is set to be cancelled on Thursday if no agreement is reached.


DEC. 15-26: Celebration of Hockey featuring amateur games, corporate outings and open skates. Information on booking ice time can be obtained by visiting DetroitRedWings.com/icetime.

DEC. 27-31: Outdoor Festival featuring interactive games, autograph signings, face painting and ice sculpture exhibits as well as musical performances and entertainment.

DEC. 27-28: Great Lakes Invitational featuring the Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Western Michigan Broncos and Michigan Tech Huskies all competing for the 2012 MacInnes Cup.

DEC. 29: Ontario Hockey League doubleheader featuring the Windsor Spitfires taking on the Saginaw Spirit, and the Plymouth Whalers battling the J. Ross Robertson Cup champion London Knights.

DEC. 30: American Hockey League Game featuring the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies, AHL affiliates of the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, respectively.

DEC. 31: Red Wings-Maple Leafs Alumni Showdown featuring legendary players from two of the National Hockey League’s most storied franchises going head-to-head.



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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Former PSU Recruit Thomas Welsh makes Team Canada East Selection Camp

Cross Posted at the Hockey Writers - Combine...

I just found out via email this morning, that former PSU recruit Thomas Welsh has been selected to the final evaluation camp for Team Canada East, in hopes of playing in the 2012 World Junior A Challenge.

Welsh is a kid that I have profiled the blog on two previous instances for Inside Hockey. [Link 1] and [link 2]

Welsh had committed to play at Penn State over going to the OHL but changed his mind and decommitted from PSU and is currently considering his options, the NCAA and the OHL are both options that he is considering.

Q: I read on a blog that your son’s rights were traded from Sarnia to Mississauga. Is the CHL still an option as well?

Mike Welsh: Thomas was initially drafted by Sarnia in 2011 but was recently traded to the Steelheads this spring (2012).  There has been some discussion with the Steelheads but that is as far as it goes.  Thomas will need to explore other Div 1 schools.
The selection camp is scheduled for Oct. 28-31, will be held at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, Canada.



Thomas found out he was selected to Team Canada East selection camp roster on October, 18, the day after his father Mike died from throat cancer.



According to a Tradition of Excellence, UND Hockey recruits Wade Murphy Penticton-BCHL)Adam Tambellini (Vernon-BCHL) are expected to take part in the WJAC Canada West selection camp as well so there is a good chance that Thomas Welsh could cross paths with UND recruits Murphy and Tambellini in November.
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Former Bruin Ken Belanger doesn’t like the OHL new fight rule



Boston Bruins and Ottawa 657's tough guy Ken Belanger is also not a fan of the OHL’s knew fighting rule. I also think that it's just a matter of time before more current and former players come out against this ridiculous rule.

Belanger thinks that the new rule might actually increase acts of violence. I agree with his assessment. You're going to have players that aren't going to be afraid to commit questionable acts on the ice because they will have no fear of retribution.
Jeffrey Ougler, Sault Star --- “(Hockey’s) a game of emotion, it’s a game of teamwork, it’s a game of guys protecting guys, watching each other’s backs, guys stepping up to each other if someone does a dirty hit ... It’s a game of accountability,” he said, adding NHL instigator rules have only seen concussions increase, “respect rates” diminish and “head shots” hike.

In 1992, the league ushered in the controversial “instigator” rule, which adds an additional two-minute minor penalty to the player who starts a fight.

“But I really think there will be an issue when a guy can’t stand up for a teammate,” Belanger said.

“If someone hammers a goalie, that’s OK now because, guess what, my excuse is I can’t do anything to the guy because I don’t want to get suspended.

“So now, is there accountability for anybody?”

In other words, what you might see now are some players thinking they can, perhaps, high-stick or do other dirty deeds with impunity — violations that would have earlier landed them a crack in the jaw.

“(The new rules are) not going to eliminate head shots and guys getting into fights, because, guess what, if your top-line players aren’t going to be getting into fights, they’re going to be running around, and now you’ve got your small guys who don’t have to worry about fighting,” he added.
I don't like this new rules one bit, because I am afraid that some genius in the NHL is going to come up with the idea that this 10 fight rule -- or a rule similar to this one needs to be enacted in the NHL as well. I think it's a slipper slope that we don't want to go down - if the NHL went to a rule like this the "rats" would flourish in the NHL.

If you don't know what I mean by "Rats" -- think of the players that you despise the most -- these are the players like Matt Cooke, Raffi Torres or other players like them that skate around and head hunt the opposition. NHL tough guys are the ones that keep these players in check.
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Monday, September 24, 2012

Western Hockey League addresses player safety

Three North American junior hockey leagues have taken major steps to tighten rules to the game of hockey and improve player safety.  From my vantage point, it would appear that all three leagues are also trying to limit the players that play a reckless brand of hockey or at least change the way they play the game of hockey.

This season, the USHL instituted a new rule which has specified a number of penalties that the league has termed as “dangerous play” to include minor penalties (ie: elbowing, head contact, kneeing). Also, the USHL will monitor and review the above penalties as well as all major penalties throughout the season.
When players start accumulating multiple penalties they will be notified and addressed by the USHL Commissioner’s office. This action is being presented as a way to educate the league’s players.  If league office deems it necessary they will punish players via supplementary discipline.

Translation, the league is sending a message to their players – if the players rack up penalties that the league has deemed as dangerous play the players are going to pay the consequences for their actions.
The Ontario Hockey League has put a limit on the number of fights that a player can participate in during the course of a hockey season after a player reaches 10 fights the offending player will begin serving a two game suspension for each fight over 10.

The OHL and the USHL are not alone the Western Hockey League is also enacting some stiffer rules of their own to address on ice play.

During the summer the WHL has adopted this as a rule:
Adoption of a staged fighting rule. Should a fight occur following a face-off during a game, it will be considered a staged fight. Should a stage fight occur during a pre-season, regular season or playoff game, the players involved shall each receive an automatic game misconduct in addition to the major penalty. Should one player clearly initiate or instigate the fight, only that player will receive the game misconduct in addition to a minor penalty for instigating the fight. Should the linesmen intervene and prevent the fight from starting, the players involved will each receive misconduct penalties. [WHL.CA]
The WHL is also going to address player’s safety and deal with the repeat offenders and issue supplemental discipline where it’s necessary.
 The WHL also announced it remains fully committed to the Seven Point Plan introduced this past season to address player safety concerns in the area of head blows and concussions.  The Seven Point Plan includes continued emphasis on discipline as it applies to repeat offenders; production of an education video on player safety; seminar for all General Managers and Head Coaches on September 11, 2012; continuing to provide players with best available protective equipment; working with the WHL Arena Advisory Committee to adopt acrylic glass as a standard for all WHL arenas; continuing to collect and study research data on concussion injuries and their causes.
That makes at least three Junior Leagues in North America are looking to stop a certain type of player in their ranks and have taken steps to address those issues. In reading and interpreting these new rule changes, it would appear that the various leagues are going after the predator/agitators that skate up and down the ice taking liberties with the opposition players – truth be told, these players have been put on notice and their days could be numbered in junior hockey if they don’t change their behavior.

Also, the message should be – if you don’t change your on ice behavior – we will compel you to change your on ice behavior. The Western Hockey League has a page that lists the players that have been given supplemental discipline. To date, 10 players have been suspended a total of 21 games.

Originally posted at the Hockey Writers - Combine


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OHL reduces penalty against the Windsor Spitfires

Back in August the OHL announced that they have fined the Windsor Spitfires for $400,000.00 fines for violating the League's Player Benefit and Recruitment Rules and Policies.

Fast forward to last Friday – now we find out that the OHL has lowered that orginal fine from $400,000.00 to $250,000.00 and now the Spitfires also won’t lose as many first round draft choices as well.
Toronto, ON - Ontario Hockey League Commissioner David Branch met with representatives of the Windsor Spitfires Hockey Club to review the sanctions taken by the League against the Windsor Spitfires for violations of the League’s Player Recruitment Policy which resulted in the team having to make a payment of $400,000.00, losing three (3) first round draft selections, and two (2) second round draft selections.

During the meeting with the Commissioner the Windsor Spitfires accepted that there were certain violations of the League’s Recruitment Policy.

In recognition of the acknowledgement and the cooperation of the Windsor Spitfires, Commissioner Branch modified his earlier decision and the team will pay to the League a payment of $250,000.00 and will lose a first round draft pick in 2013, a second round draft pick in 2015 a first round draft pick in 2016 and a second round draft pick in 2017.

As a result the Windsor Spitfires will not appeal the decision.

Neither the League nor the Windsor Spitfires will be making any further comment in relation to this matter.
So now instead of losing three first round draft choices in 2013, 2014 and 2015, as well as a 2nd round pick in 2015 and 2017 – the Spitfires are only going to lose two first round draft choices in 2013 and 2016 also they will lose a second round draft pick in 2015 and in 2017. Sounds like a capitulation by the OHL front office.
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