Thursday, February 01, 2007

Instigating Change

Eric over at Off Wing has a great post up today about the effectiveness of the current instigator rule (which, contrary to popular belief, was in place prior to the beginning of Gary Bettman's tenure as Commish).

The post is written in the context of Brendan Shanahan's outburst last night regarding the perceived reverse-star treatment that Jaromir Jagr gets from NHL referees, and contains a lot of food for thought, including a lengthy excerpt from an article by former Cap (and Harvard grad) Neil Sheehy.

But what I find somewhat ironic is that Shanny was on the rules committee (or whatever they called themselves) that actually strengthened the instigator rule after the lockout. Had the League done away with the rule at that time (i.e. if all the plumbers supposedly taking their cheap shots at poor Jaromir could be dispensed with by, say, Colton Orr without fear of an extra penalty) maybe Shanahan et. al. wouldn't have to rely on the referees to make sure Jagr had adequate space on the ice.

Update: Caps Nut has a good post following up on this issue with some interesting pre-last night quotes from Shanny. Basically, he was against obstruction penalties before he was for them. Quoth Shanny:
There is nothing in the rule book that says if one player touches another player with his stick, it's two minutes for hooking. There's nothing in the rule book that says if one player touches another player with his hand, it's two minutes for holding.... We would rather have a missed call than a phantom call.
Well, Brendan, they missed some last night. Happy? No?


Fauxrumors said...

1) Poor Jaromir. The refs aren't protecting him enough. Guess its hard to play with a bruised vagina, huh Jagr?
2) We agree the current instigator rule is silly. Making it more of an infraction if it occurs in the waning minutes of a game.
3) The rule itself is fine, but it should have stayed as it was originaly; an additional 2 minute minor to the instigator of a fight.

Capital Fanatic said...

The instigator rule is awful to begin with. It actually increases the chances of someone taking a cheap shot against one of your star players because they know that if the team retaliates, they will get an instigator penalty.

JP said...

It's similar in that respect to when a baseball pitcher drills a guy intentionally and the ump warns both teams - the team that got hit has no chance to retaliate (or even throw inside), because they know that their own pitcher will be tossed if a pitch comes anywhere close to the opposing batter.