The Ontario Hockey League has implemented a new fighting rule and, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, it could have ramifications on how the NHL handles on-ice pugilism.
Starting this season, the OHL will suspend players that accumulate more than 10 fights in a season:
1. If a player is assessed a fighting major for the 11th to 15th time during the regular season, such player is assessed an automatic two game suspension for each additional fighting major in addition to any other penalties assessed.
2. If a player is assessed a fighting major for the 16th time or more during the regular season, such player is assessed an automatic two game suspension and the hockey club is fined $1,000.00 for each additional fighting major in addition to any other penalties assessed.
3. If a player is deemed to be the instigator in any of the fights above the 10 game threshold, such player would be assessed an automatic four game suspension in addition to any other penalties assessed.
NHL senior vice-president of hockey operations Colin Campbell said OHL commissioner David Brach consulted him prior to making the rule change.
Campbell also said his department had conversations about a similar “fighting limit” idea.
“We’ve discussed the aspect of fighting over the years,” Campbell told ESPN. “We had a couple of initial discussions about this last spring. They were thinking about implementing some sort of quota. I mentioned to we had debated that internally in Hockey Operations at the NHL level.
“We’ll be watching closely. It will be interesting to see how it works.”
LeBrun notes the 10-fight threshold might have to be adjusted at the NHL level, given the NHL schedule is 82 games compared to the OHL’s 68-game slate.
As promised, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin rocked a pair of custom skates in honor of Russian Heritage Night on Thursday.
On his right skate, he paid tribute to the United States with a custom design, and paid tribute to his home nation on his left skate while taking the pre-game warm-up prior to facing the Columbus Blue Jackets.
He’ll be auctioning off the skates, as well.
From CSN Mid-Atlantic:
The skates were painted by noted custom shoe artists Nick Avery and Polo Kerber, whom Ovechkin personally selected. The skates feature the U.S. and Russia flags as well as the Capitol Building and Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Sidney Crosby has made news lately for his goal scoring and his use of the stick.
He speared Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly below the belt the other night, and on Thursday he delivered a slash to Senators defenseman Marc Methot, who has since not returned to the game.
The slash rendered a finger on Methot’s left hand bloodied and injured. It certainly didn’t look good as Method (calmly) skated to the bench.
There was no call on the play.
Updated: Methot won’t return to this game.
Toronto’s talented rookies were back at it again Thursday, as William Nylander and Auston Matthews combined to set up the Maple Leafs’ first goal versus the New Jersey Devils.
Nylander added the second assist on the power play goal, giving him 35 helpers on the season.
That’s significant for a couple of reasons: He extends his point streak to 10 games, which sets a new Leafs rookie record. And the assist reportedly secured him another entry-level bonus:
The Anaheim Ducks have been without goalie John Gibson for almost two full weeks because of injury, but head coach Randy Carlyle provided reason for optimism on Thursday.
Per reports, Gibson took part in practice and Carlyle has said that his No. 1 netminder will play again during the regular season. Anaheim has nine games remaining on its schedule.
That’s good news for Anaheim heading into the post-season.
While Gibson has been out, Jonathan Bernier has stepped beyond his back-up role and provided solid goaltending for the Ducks during the stretch drive — which should also be a bonus for this club with the playoffs quickly approaching.
Bernier has wins in six of his last seven starts. In nine games this month, he has only twice allowed three goals or more.
The Ducks have fought their way back into contention for the Pacific Division with a recent surge that has coincided with San Jose’s current skid — only four wins in their last 10 games and four straight losses.
Related: Career back on track, Bernier hopes he can re-sign in Anaheim