Last night I was involved in a very minor post-whistle scuffle during a rec hockey game (whatever – it was playoffs!!). Basically, I drove the net and gently rubbed up against the goalie. The opposing defenceman didn’t like it and wanted to let me know how he felt about it. That provoked me to communicate my feelings about his mother, blah blah blah. Of course when I say “gently rubbed up” I really mean whacked and bowled over.
This is one of those unwritten rules within the game. Defencemen always stick up for their goalies and players (probably) shouldn’t hit opposing goalies. Given this story, I thought it would be appropriate to look at some other unwritten hockey rules that exist on and off the ice.
Fighting after a hit
In the New NHL, you have to fight after making a big hit. Hell, you have to fight if you thought about making the hit but decided against it. This rule pretty much applies to every NHL player except Tomas Kaberle. Come on, we all know Tomas wouldn’t ever think about making a bodycheck, much less make one!
Celebrating Stanley Cups when you’ve been traded
As we saw with Dustin Bufyglien, it’s sort of a faux-pas to celebrate your day with the Stanley Cup in your new team jersey (Buff’s case: Thrashers jersey) when the Cup was won a few months ago with the Blackhawks. Or maybe the mini media frenzy that spurred from this was a subtle play by the Canadian hockey media to voice their opinions of struggling sunbelt teams??
The NHL, owners and players all frown upon bad and/or inappropriate TV commercials. When Bruce Boudreau continued making terrible TV commercials, the hockey Gods punished him by making his Capitals lose a playoff series against team who boasted players like Hal Gill, Dominic Moore, some “out of nowhere” goalie, coached by Jacques Martin. When George Laraque did the Octane 7 Energy drink commercial, the Montreal Canadiens basically terminated his NHL career. The combination of losing your NHL contract and ending up working in Canadian politics is a pretty rough punishment by anyone’s standards.
The line between drawing a penalty and faking an injury is blurred at best. Most players barely understand where that line starts and ends. In an effort to help, let’s just put that line at Albert Haynesworth and that night Sean Avery nearly died.
No matter what is said, trash talking on the ice during a hockey game is perfectly acceptable. Even if you have zero intention of fighting. However, the following are places that aren’t regarded as appropriate for trash talking: Dressing room treadmills, on-ice Stanley Cup celebrations and Twitter.
Ease up on icings
The NHL wants to create dramatic and exciting races to pucks by continuing with touch-icing. The players seem to be against “trying to kill each other” and – for the most part – do their best to not hit one another while racing for the puck. In my opinion, this is a good example of the NHL’s inability to fully conceptualize ideas… The most exciting part of touch-icing is seeing how quickly the ambulance can get to the hospital. Hello CAM-bulance.
Stay classy, unwritten hockey rules.