NHL possibly considering “Ray Emery rule”

  • Meaghan Frazier
msn.foxsports.com via Getty Images

msn.foxsports.com via Getty Images

If what we are hearing from the NHL general managers’ meetings in Toronto this past Tuesday are true, fights similar to Capitals’ goaltender Braden Holtby and Flyers’ netminder Ray Emery early on in the month in Philadelphia will now be met with serious punishments. That punishment being a 10-game suspension.

After Caps’ general manager George McPhee attended the annual GM meeting in Boca Raton, FL. he said that, “I think there might be an appetite for eliminating goaltender fighting and I guess we’ll discuss it more when we get down to the meeting in March.” He later continued to say, “..It seems that people want to eliminate it, so we’ll see where that goes in March.”

Earlier this week, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman discussed with reporters a conversation he had with Flyers’ goalie Emery while his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks, were attending the White House after last year’s Stanley Cup. The White House visit just happened to be a couple days after Emery went out of his way to skate the full-length of the ice to battle Holtby.

The following is from CSN Washington:

“I said, `Oh, Ray. It’s good to see you. I’ve been thinking about you,’” Bettman told reporters.  “We had a nice chat. And I said, `So, just hypothetically, if there was a rule that said if you cross the red line to get into a fight with the other goaltender and you get a 10-game suspension, would you have done it?’

“He goes, `What? Are you crazy?'”

AP Photos

AP Photos

McPhee told media that he expressed the Capitals’ opinions on the “Ray Emery rule” and that they would keep their opinions behind closed doors for no one else to know.

The fact of the matter is Holtby says he has nothing against goaltenders fighting but thinks that the possibility of a 10-game suspension is far too severe for the incident. He also said that as a fighter, Emery is in”another class” and nothing good could have ever came out of dropping the gloves with him.

“Goalie fighting is part of hockey,” Holtby said. “If there are two willing combatants it happens. I think it’s more about being an instigator. If you don’t have two willing guys, that’s the problem. I think two goalies willing to fight should be treated like any other players.”

Although I personally don’t think there should be a ban on goaltenders fighting, there should be limits. If two goalies wander into the neutral zone and fight, it becomes fair game and they should have punishments like every other player. On the other hand, if a goalie has to cross both blue lines in order to fight, then he should be punished… Although I don’t quite think it should be a 10 game suspension, one should be put into affect that limits what a goaltender can do. As of now, I don’t seeing a rule change happening.

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Meaghan Frazier

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