Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 70, Rule 70

The game: Anaheim vs. Atlanta.

Why I chose it: It's my birthday and I'll ogle cute Swiss goalies if I want to. Even if they're on the losing team.

So, I met the future of the NHL and: They are very tall, they are very smart and they are very cool. If you live in Portland, Oregon, are free from 7 -9 pm on Monday, Feb. 8 or March 8, stop by Stark Street Pizza. It's a super cool, super casual way to meet hockey's future before it starts dating underwear models and driving Ferraris.

The rule: Section 9, Other Fouls. Rule 70, Leaving the Bench.

Number of sections in the rule: 10.

Definition: 70.1, Leaving the Bench. No player may leave the players' or penalty bench at any time during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation. And if you do:

My favorite highlights:

70.2, Legal Line Change. If a player enters the game while play is in progress from his own players' bench or legally from the penalty bench, who starts an altercation is subject to supplementary discipline. Player or players who enter the game on a legal line change change during a stoppage of play who line up in preparation for the ensuing face-off who participate in an altercation will be subject to supplementary discipline. And if you're already on the penalty bench for starting some different crap:

70.4, Leaving the Penalty Bench. A penalized player who leaves the penalty bench before his penalty has expired, whether play is in progress or not, shall incur an additional minor penalty after serving his unexpired penalty. Any player who, having entered the penalty bench, leaves the penalty bench prior to the expiration of his penalty for the purpose of challenging an official's ruling, shall be assessed a game misconduct penalty. He shall also be automatically suspended for the next three (3) regular League and/or playoff games of his Club.

Calling all math majors: 70.10, Fines and Suspensions. For all suspensions imposed on players under this rule, the Club of the player or goalkeeper shall play to the League a sum equal to the pro-rata of that player's salary covered by the suspension. For purposes of computing amounts due for a player's suspension, the player's fixed salary shall be divided by the number of days in the regular season and then, said result shall be multiplied by the number of games suspended. And if the team tries to get around this by reimbursing the player on their own the team is fined $100,000.

The final score: Atlanta 2, Anaheim 1.

Morals of the story:

The game: Don't leave the bench to start a fight, don't follow the guy who leaves the bench to start a fight, don't try to leave legally and then start a fight. In fact, to ensure your safety and that of others, don't even think about leaving the bench to start a fight or even look at another player like you're going to get up and start some business. Fines are too severe, penalties are too lengthy and it's not like you can pass it off as a mistake during a line change. What would be your excuse. "Sorry, Mr. Official, I was just changing up with my teammate here, and I noticed that the opposing player had a little fluffy thing on his jersey and I just went to pick it off and he starting something with me. Must have thought I was starting a fight..."

Life: There are times to sit quietly on the bench and times when it's ok to leave and start some business. It's simple: know the difference and always follow your instincts. For example, if you are sitting in cubeville wondering how and when you sold your dream to the highest bidder who promised a better, more secure life than the one where you subsist on instant coffee and baked beans while you write the next big novel that everyone will read in about 100 years after you've long since died from caffeine poisoning and malnutrition, even though every minute would still be happier than the office-bound prison you live in now...that would be a good time to bust out and make a bigger noise.

Next up on 1/27: Section 9, Other Fouls. Rule 71, Premature Substitution. Rule 72, Refusing to Play the Puck.

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