ALBANY, NY – The new icing protocol wasn’t the only rule change to come from the American Hockey League’s Board of Governors’ meeting earlier this month. There have been updates to the fighting and game misconduct rules.
• Players who enter into a fight prior to, at, or immediately following the drop of the puck for a faceoff will be assessed an automatic game misconduct in addition to other penalties assessed.
• During the regular season, any player who incurs his 10th fighting major shall be suspended automatically for one (1) game. For each subsequent fighting major up to 13, the player shall also be suspended automatically for one (1) game.
• During the regular season, any player who incurs his 14th fighting major shall be suspended automatically for two (2) games. For each subsequent fighting major, the player shall also be suspended automatically for two (2) games.
• In any instance where the opposing player was assessed an instigator penalty, the fighting major shall not count towards the player’s total for this rule.
The voice of the Albany Devils Josh Heller provides his take on the new rule:
“The fighting rule is another step to not necessarily get rid of fights, but to eliminate the “staged” fights that occur right after a draw. Fights will happen, but the pre-arranged fights will likely diminish with the threat of a game-misconduct. In regards to suspensions, while the Devils didn’t have any players with more than 10 fighting majors, there were 22 players in the league who did, and eight players who had at least 14. I have to imagine that those numbers will go down with this new rule.”