New Fighting Rules In Effect In OHL Today

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New Fighting Rules In Effect In OHL Today September 20, 2012 8:15 AM

The Ontario Hockey League is opening the 2012-2013 season today. With four games on tonights schedule, players who find themselves in the role of team enforcer need to remember that new rules are in place this season that are designed to curb fighting in the OHL.

The new rules would punish players who have more than ten fights in a season. Although most would consider ten fights in a season to be a lot, its not uncommon for a player to have fifteen to twenty, if the right circumstances present themselves throughout the year.

According to the league:

If player is assessed a fighting major for the eleventh to fifteenth time during the regular season, he would receive an automatic two game suspension for each fight.

If a player is deemed to be the instigator in any of the fights above the ten game threshold, he would be assessed an automatic four-game suspension.

A sixteenth fighting major in the regular season would result in a two-game suspension and a $1,000 fine for the player’s team.

A fight would not count against a player for supplementary discipline reasons if his opponent were the instigator.

While fighting in the National Hockey League has been greatly reduced over the last few years, there is still more than enough to go around in junior and minor pro hockey circuits.

Last season, twenty five OHL players went above the the ten fight threshold, led by Windsor Spitfires Forward Ty Bilcke with thirty seven. Bilcke was just seventeen years old at the start of the last OHL season. Listed at six foot two inches and two hundred and fifteen pounds, Bilcke is known as one of the top fighters in junior hockey. Unfortunately that looks to be his only role as his total of five points in sixty two games and minus eleven rating are not going to give him much playing time resulting on scoring situations.

One OHL insider told TJHN that these new rules were specifically created to not only reduce fighting, but to reduce the number of players within the league who’s sole role on their team is as a fighter.

With these new rules in place, some teams will be opening up their check books on a regular basis after the first sixty days of the regular season. Some players may prove to be too costly in this area in very short order and may find themselves in lower level leagues come December. What happens to their education packages then?

By Joseph Kolodziej

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