Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 73, Rule 73

The game: Ottawa vs. Pittsburgh. Chicago vs. San Jose.

The quirk: It was the Pens vs. the Sens. And the Hawks vs. the Sharks. Sounds like a Broadway musical.

The rule: Section 9, Other Fouls. Rule 73, Refusing to Start Play.

Number of sections in the rule: 3.

Definition: 73.1, Refusing to Start Play. This rule applies to teams who refuse to play while both teams are on the ice or who withdraws from the ice and refuses to play or who refuses to come onto the ice at the start of the game or at the beginning of the period of any game, when ordered to do so by the Referee.

My favorite highlights: 73.2, Procedure - Team on Ice. If, when both teams are on the ice, one team for any reason shall refuse to play when ordered to do so by the Referee, he shall warn the Captain and allow the team so refusing fifteen (15) seconds within which to begin the play or resume play. If at the end of that time, the team shall still refuse to play, the Referee shall impose a bench minor penalty for delay of game on a player of the offending team to be designated by the Coach of that team through the playing Captain. Hold it - so, these guys are refusing to play, but they're going to momentarily stop pouting and get organized enough to designate a player and tell their Captain in an orderly fashion? Sure. If you say so. And if the refusal continues, the Coach is also fined and removed from the bench and assessed a game misconduct. In case all that doesn't work: should the offending team still refuse to play, the Referee shall have no alternative but to declare that the game be forfeited to the non-offending Club and the case shall be reported Commissioner for further action (see Rule 66 - Forfeit of Game).

The final scores: Sens 4, Pens 1. Face-off for the Hawks vs. Sharks is in 10 minutes.

Morals of the story:

The game: This is the grown up, NHL version of children pouting until they get their way. It comes complete with a "I'm going to count to 10 and then you're going to be in trouble" rule. Why any team would do this and continue to do it when the final penalties are fines to the Coach and Manager and forfeit of a game to the non-offending team, I don't know. If hockey experts are reading this, do enlighten me.

Life: Oh please. NHL pros have no idea how lucky they are. If you did this in life and refused to come into work and got warned and still didn't do it, you'd be on the unemployment line. Your whole career would be forfeited to pretty much anyone who doesn't whine or have an overly inflated sense of personal importance.

Next up: It will be the official start of my personal stretch run. As of January 29, it will be 14 days until the Olympics and there are 13 rules to go. The next rule on deck for 1/30 is Rule 74, Too Many Men on the Ice.

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