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The Ray Emery Rule? NHL may ban goalie fights according to report

Nov 5, 2013, 2:24 PM EDT


A surprising number of Flyers fans thought it was a good idea for Ray Emery to pick a fight with and beat up an unwilling combatant during a 7-0 blowout loss against the Washington Capitals last week. Many around the sport of hockey were appalled by the goaltender’s behavior though, to the point where that part of the game may soon be no more.

Per CSN’s Tim Panaccio, Gary Lawless of the Winnigpeg Free Press reports the NHL is considering a new rule that would slap a 10-game suspension on any netminder who leaves their own end of the ice to fight. They’re not wasting any time either, as the potential rule change will be on the agenda when the league’s general managers meet this weekend.

Just because it’s on the agenda doesn’t mean the new rule will pass, but the league has been wagging its collective finger at Emery’s actions from the get-go. As Panotch points out, Commissioner Gary Bettman was critical of the fight afterwards, so anybody who’s been paying attention to recent rule changes around pro sports can see where this is going.

Here’s a video of Emery’s assault on Caps goaltender Braden Holtby and the line brawl that ensued.

Most hockey fans seem to agree fighting has a place in the sport, and I should think that includes goalie brawls as well. If netminders run the risk of an immediate 10-game ban though, that would mean we’ve likely seen the masks come off for the last time. 10 games equates to almost 10 percent of the NHL season, which is a long time for one round of ice boxing.

A suspension for goalies would also seem to put us one step closer to a similar rule that would discourage skaters from fighting as well. Sports leagues are more concerned than ever with their image, as well as the safety of the players (primarily for legal reasons no doubt). Fighting arguably is not helping in either department.

For the time being though, it’s just the goalies that are in danger being frozen out of the fisticuffs. Apparently, you can blame Ray Emery for that should the rule come to pass.

>> Report: Goalies could be suspended for fights [CSN]

  1. stb5048 - Nov 5, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    I would think a good compromise would be that goalies couldn’t pass the blue line on the other team’s side during a fight. That way if there was to be a goalie fight, both combatents would have be willing to fight. If one goalie did not want to engage, they could stay safe behind their blue line (assuming the other goalie didn’t want to get a suspension of course). Therefore, there would be a nuetral zone between the blue lines where goalie fights could occur, and a “safe zone” behind their own blue line. This would prevent a Holtby-Emery beatdown/disaster, because Emery wouldn’t be able to pass the blue line with out garnering a suspension.

    • BenE. - Nov 5, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      That’s a decent idea, but here’s a caveat: a goalie has the right to go all the way down the ice if the other goalie involves himself in a scrum in his own zone and creates a one-man advantage.

      Personally, I think the NHL is jerking itself around. Can you name another sports league like the NHL that seeks the creation of new rules based on knee-jerk reactions? Guess what, whether you liked the brawl or not, everyone talked about it. And if the NHL allows the drama of the next Caps-Flyers game to play out, and slaps it on national TV, it would be a ratings boon. But instead, Bettman and the NHL will continue to cater to the PC soccer moms like Pierre McGuire and “keep a lid on things.” Thus, turning what could be an entertaining, chippy rivalry game into a power play bore-fest that will be largely forgettable.

    • wert - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      Or the ref could have just used his judgement and stopped the fight instead of letting Emery continue to beat the shit out of Holtby. I know the refs aren’t technically supposed to get involved and it’s the linesmen’s job, but in a line brawl situation they should be able to step in.

      If the ref breaks up that fight as soon as Holtby goes down the first time, this doesn’t become a national story and embarrassment for the organization.

  2. - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Come on, Holmer… fight the good fight to keep fighting in hockey!

    Think of your legacy in this town. And this weekend when they bring up goalie fights I especially want you to think of the legacy of your Assistant GM!

    I’ll make a deal with you: If there’s a report coming out of the GM meetings this weekend saying there’s one GM/Assistant GM tandem telling everyone to go screw themselves whenever a fighting ban is brought to the table, we all wipe the slate clean on your GM record and start over like you’re a brand new hire.

  3. willh888 - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    The first person to break this rule will be Ray Emery

  4. Earl - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    I’ve played goalie for over 20 years. (Actually closer to 25, crud I am old). There’s pretty much no reason for goalies to fight each other. I understand a goalie fighting a skater because the guy is hacking at your gloves going for puck. Or the guy who runs you. Or the guy who snows you. Or a scrum breaks out near your net and you get involved. Your tempers flare and you start going at it. That happens. Goalies are separated by 185 feet of ice. You have time to cool off.

    Goalies serve a specific role on a team. Fighting is not one of them. I don’t want to see snipers fight either. You don’t want another ugly incident like this one.

    • Bob Clarke - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      Go back to Russia, you commie!

      • Earl - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        What are you doing on these message boards? Shouldn’t you be getting ready to take over as Flyers GM in two months?

  5. T800m101 - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    All this talk about banning certain types of fights in hockey….how far this league has fallen.

    • mike - Nov 5, 2013 at 9:55 PM

      Yep. Time to just eliminate all fighting in hockey. Put an end to the arguments.

      Now I just wish there were a sport where I could watch two guys punch each other.

      • T800m101 - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:20 AM

        If you’re gonna cry like a pussy about fights, why don’t you just watch soccer then? That sport fits you, hockey obviously doesn’t.

      • Earl - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:54 AM

        T800, if you want to see people fight, why don’t you just watch boxing or MMA or WWE?

        The Olympics have the best hockey tournament in the world and there is not a single fight. Fighting is outlawed in European and IIHF hockey. Fighting is also extremely rare in NCAA hockey.

      • T800m101 - Nov 6, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        You would take Olympic hockey over NHL hockey? Are you on drugs. Olympic hockey is usually boring as hell, just a bunch of robots skating around. Unbelievable, you sound like you started watching hockey five years ago.

      • Marvin Monroe - Nov 6, 2013 at 11:08 AM

        @T800m101, are you a gym teacher?

        If not, you should be one. You talk like one.

      • BenE. - Nov 6, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        Earl, the Olympics argument is stupid. I see people bring it up all the time. The reason you think it’s entertaining is because there’s about five good teams, all loaded with the best players from each country. That’s not the case in the NHL. The talent pool is greatly diluted. There’s not a single team in the NHL full of superstars skating around like Team Canada.

        Why are some people so adamantly against fighting? Emotion breeds drama, and drama breeds entertainment. You wouldn’t watch a movie that had no drama.

        The MMA argument is stupid, too. We don’t want to watch MMA. We want to watch hockey, and we want to watch hockey with intensity.

      • T800m101 - Nov 6, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        Marilyn……I mean Marvin Monroe, looks like you’re another uneducated new-NHL sympathizer, what a disgrace.

    • Marvin Monroe - Nov 6, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      T800m101. I give you credit. I sit here and try to come up with these little clever jokes to show everybody how stupid you are. Yet, you still manage to do it so much better than I do.

      • t800m101 - Nov 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM

        Hey, don’t be so hard on yourself, not everyone can be as good as I. Perhaps one day you’ll get there, Marilyn, maybe….

  6. T800m101 - Nov 6, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Earl, seriously, why don’t you just watch soccer then or one of those fairy Euro leagues? I want speed AND toughness, that’s what got me into hockey over 20 years ago. The three best hockey leagues are the NHL, LNAH, and the KHL. All three of those are by far and away the most entertaining hockey leagues. Leagues like the SEL are a travesty.

    • Marvin Monroe - Nov 6, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      I go to eastern Europe a few times a year for work. The average KHL game is played with the same toughness and intensity as the NHL All Star game. The KHL allstar game looks like the NHL skills competition.

      The smaller European leagues are mostly held back by finances. They can no longer afford to compete with the NHL. You do get to see plenty of brothers of NHL players. The game play itself is fun and entertaining. The skill level just isn’t there.

      The LNAH is a joke. The team bus just takes the players back to prison after the games. It’s three hours of “Hey, I remember that guy.”

      • T800m101 - Nov 6, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        The Swedish, Finnish, Czech, Slovakian, etc leagues are faggot hockey leagues. There’s barely any physical contact, just a bunch of broads dancing around the ice.

      • Marvin Monroe - Nov 6, 2013 at 2:16 PM


        Are you Richie Icognito?

    • T800m101 - Nov 6, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Are you Jonathan Martin? I bet you’re gonna start sulking about you be “bullied” online. Don’t drown us in your tears.


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