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League's RDO camp may test 'Bear Hug'

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08:24 AM ET 08.10 | Kids aren't the only ones heading back to school soon. School will be back in session next week in Etobicoke, Ont. as the National Hockey League gathers its top professors and prospective freshmen for another Research, Development and Orientation Camp in order to test potential changes to the game ranging from the subtle variety to the more drastic kind. For instance, if you want to know how today's game would play if the trapezoids behind the nets were erased, then you'll want to pay attention to the news coming out of the two-day research camp. ... [Brian Burke] has been an avid proponent of a "Bear Hug Rule" for several years now. He believes some dangerous hits along the wall can be eliminated if players are permitted to wrap their arms around their opponent and take him into the boards.

NHL.com

Brian Burke, Getty Images Brian Burke, Getty Images
August 10, 2011  08:29 AM ET

we know how the game is played without the trapezoids, and with the "bear hug rule". they just didn't call it "bear hugging"

August 10, 2011  08:38 AM ET

Dangerous hits can also be eliminated if you........eliminate hitting !!

Sorry Burkie, love ya but dumn idea

August 10, 2011  08:42 AM ET

Go back to the Chara hit on Pacioretty. Can you picture a bear hug at any time in that sequence? I can't.

August 10, 2011  08:44 AM ET

...Dangerous hits can also be eliminated if you do away with the instigator rule - And anyone who pulls that bush-league crap gets the living tar beaten out of him, each and every time he tries that nonsense.

It worked just fine for almost a century.

August 10, 2011  08:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

...Dangerous hits can also be eliminated if you do away with the instigator rule - And anyone who pulls that bush-league crap gets the living tar beaten out of him, each and every time he tries that nonsense.

It worked just fine for almost a century until the Buttgoblin's minions messed with it.

Good comment. I just tweaked with it a little....

August 10, 2011  09:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

...Dangerous hits can also be eliminated if you do away with the instigator rule - And anyone who pulls that bush-league crap gets the living tar beaten out of him, each and every time he tries that nonsense.It worked just fine for almost a century.

Does "worked just fine" mean there was only rare, sporadic dirty play? That players like Claude Lemieux didn't exist because the ice was effectively policed one-on-one?

I think there is some nostalgia at work when people recall the clean, honest play of the enforcer era.

August 10, 2011  09:19 AM ET

I can't begin to imagine how that rule would help. Not only that, what would be the difference between that and just plain holding?

August 10, 2011  09:32 AM ET

Get rid of the stupid trapezoid, it makes no sense, and has done nothing to help the game.
And there is always going to be hitting and bad hits, it's hockey...NEXT

August 10, 2011  09:41 AM ET

Sigh.........

August 10, 2011  09:42 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Does "worked just fine" mean there was only rare, sporadic dirty play? That players like Claude Lemieux didn't exist because the ice was effectively policed one-on-one? I think there is some nostalgia at work when people recall the clean, honest play of the enforcer era.

No nostalgia, there - Players were simply held immediately accountable for their decisions.

There was an implicit acknowledgement that a hit (purposefully delivered, with the intent to injure) would not be subject to "review by committee".

There were still bad hits - And there were still "dirty players" - But, none of these players delivering these hits were afforded the opportunity to hide behind the league office's skirts...

You did the crime, you got your ass wupped - Pronto. It didn't involve Freudian analysis of the offending player's intent, and whether his mother hugged him enough or he felt "underappreciated", or whatever.

There was an immediate price to be paid for one's transgressions - Intentional, or not.

August 10, 2011  09:54 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

No nostalgia, there - Players were simply held immediately accountable for their decisions.There was an implicit acknowledgement that a hit (purposefully delivered, with the intent to injure) would not be subject to "review by committee".There were still bad hits - And there were still "dirty players" - But, none of these players delivering these hits were afforded the opportunity to hide behind the league office's skirts...You did the crime, you got your **** wupped - Pronto. It didn't involve Freudian analysis of the offending player's intent, and whether his mother hugged him enough or he felt "underappreciated", or whatever.There was an immediate price to be paid for one's transgressions - Intentional, or not.

perfectly put.

August 10, 2011  10:12 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

No nostalgia, there - Players were simply held immediately accountable for their decisions.There was an implicit acknowledgement that a hit (purposefully delivered, with the intent to injure) would not be subject to "review by committee".There were still bad hits - And there were still "dirty players" - But, none of these players delivering these hits were afforded the opportunity to hide behind the league office's skirts...You did the crime, you got your **** wupped - Pronto. It didn't involve Freudian analysis of the offending player's intent, and whether his mother hugged him enough or he felt "underappreciated", or whatever.There was an immediate price to be paid for one's transgressions - Intentional, or not.

Agree 100 million percent. There are always going to be bad apples and there are always going to be dirty hits. You can't ever eliminate all of them no matter how much you legislate down to the lowest common denominator.

There was a respect once for fellow players which is now almost gone.

Trust me, if Cooke was afraid of being Evander Kane'd every other game, those elbows would stop coming up. He is just one example. What about the guys that are borderline? When you make a couple million per year, getting a 50 grand fine is chump change. I don't care how rich you are, **** whipping's hurt and depending how bad it is can be pretty humiliating. Guys who aren't necessarily dirty might think twice about taking advantage of a prone player if the threat of violence was looming right behind them.

No, it's not going to fix everything, but how can you argue that implementing the instigator was good for the game? Where is the evidence? I see none.

If you want to fix headshots and dirty play, you might want to consider getting rid of that rule. Nothing else they tried has worked yet.

August 10, 2011  10:19 AM ET

Anyway, back on the topic of the thread, am i reading this correctly? It seems Burkie is rationalizing basically legalized holding. I don't understand how wrapping your arms around a player on the boards isn't obstruction. I mean all the other guy has to do is start moving his feet and a penalty will be called.

This isn't going to eliminate dangerous hits, it's going to eliminate hockey from happening in the offensive zone.

August 10, 2011  10:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Anyway, back on the topic of the thread, am i reading this correctly? It seems Burkie is rationalizing basically legalized holding. I don't understand how wrapping your arms around a player on the boards isn't obstruction. I mean all the other guy has to do is start moving his feet and a penalty will be called.

This isn't going to eliminate dangerous hits, it's going to eliminate hockey from happening in the offensive zone.

He knows what he's talking about.

He's done that effectively in To***to for the past couple years. :-)

August 10, 2011  10:30 AM ET

I just liked the fights.

That they were retribution just made them better.

Doesn't even bother me when a completely clean hit draws retaliation. That's called protecting your assets.

August 10, 2011  10:46 AM ET

[Brian Burke] has been an avid proponent of a "Bear Hug Rule" for several years now. He believes ..... if players are permitted to wrap their arms around their opponent .....

Oh, yeah? So ..... how come BB didn't sign the master of bear hugs himself, Zack Stortini?

August 10, 2011  11:02 AM ET

"Hockey" and "Hug" should never be in the same story. Ever.

August 10, 2011  11:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Good comment. I just tweaked with it a little....

Actually it was the immortal Gil Stern who was the idiot in this case . Remember him non-game day suspensions neutral host games and the worst the instigator rule. Had himself elected to the HoF but the backlash had him pass

August 10, 2011  11:07 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

I just liked the fights.That they were retribution just made them better.Doesn't even bother me when a completely clean hit draws retaliation. That's called protecting your assets.

Oh god we agree next thing you know you'll be a devout Canucks fan





Okay even in an alternate universe I wouldn't believe that

 
August 10, 2011  11:24 AM ET

I'm with Ice Hound

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