Or Is It Simply The Way Of The Future?????



Have you paid attention to minor hockey games in recent years? I mean have you really paid close attention?

There are many penalties which can be given out during a game, but they can usually be classed into several simply categories.

There are "good" penalties which are necessary to prevent a goal or to prevent a good scoring chance. Unfortunately, these penalties are rare.

Then there are the "lazy" penalties. I would literally "blast" my players for getting a lazy penalty. You know the type. A player is too lazy to skate after an opponent, so he hooks or trips the person and puts his club a man short. Most penalties in the game are of this nature because players today tend to make mistakes and instead of putting their head down and trying to outskate their opponent, they use their stick.

There are the "retaliation" or "undisciplined" penalties. I also call these the "selfish" penalties. These occur when a player is caught trying to "get even" with an opponent.

Finally, there are the "stupid" penalties. I really think some players should be put in the penalty box and the announcer should come on the Public Address system with something like, "Penalty to #15 for being stupid." These are the penalties which are given when a player punches an opponent when the referee is looking directly at him. Or when a player skates over to the other bench and hits an opponent who is on the bench.

What I am getting at is that a player who gets a penalty today is often penalizing his team mates as a result of something that is generally because he is lazy, selfish or stupid. So why should the rest of the team suffer?

Most hockey games today run in stop time. So when a player gets a 2 minute penalty, it usually means that the next two lines must play short-handed and therefore someone must miss a shift. When the 2 minute penalty is over, the penalized player's line is usually ready to get back on the ice again. So, what we are really doing, in reality, is simply giving the offending player his normal 2 minute rest period and forcing at least two of his team mates to miss a shift.

What I would suggest is making a penalized player sit out a total of four minutes in the penalty box. However, do not make the team play short-handed. This means that, if anything, the rest of the players on the team will get extra playing time when one of their team mates is lazy, selfish or stupid. The only person who will be punished is the offending player who will definitely miss one or two shifts as a result of the penalty.

At the end of the game, the referee can tally up the number of penalties from both clubs. If Team A has eight penalties and Team B only has five penalties, then Team B would be given "three" penalty shots and have an opportunity to score three goals.

Not only would this eliminate a lot of lazy, selfish and stupid penalties, it would definitely clean up the entire game. It would also force teams to play especially smart in the third period since every penalty taken would either give the opponent an extra penalty shot or reduce one from their own team.

Minor hockey is supposed to develop hockey players. You can't do that by forcing players to miss shifts because of the players who are lazy, selfish or stupid.






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