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What do you think of the Rangers season so far?

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 INJURY REPORT
Vladislav Namestnikov 12/7
Expected to be in the line-up tonight
 
Mats Zuccarello 12/7
Appears as if he will not be in the line-up tonight, but has been rotating in during practice
 
Pavel Buchnevich 12/7
Skating as an extra in practice, close to returning
 
Adam McQuaid 12/7
Is skating in a non-contact jersey as he edges closer to a return
 
Kevin Shattenkirk 12/11
Left the arena with his arm in a sling, and likely won't know the extent of the injury until Wednesday
 
Cody McLeod 11/23
Broken hand will keep out to about New Year's eve
 
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SEPTEMBER 24TH, 2014
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2012-13 ~ 2011-12
2010-11 ~ 2009-10

RUMOR MILL

Tuesday - October 25th

Either Josh Jooris (New York Daily News) or Dylan McIlrath are likely to find themselves on waivers when Pavel Buchnevich returns from back spasms.

The team is expected to cut the roster down to 22 players, and as such one of the two will need to be either moved or sent down.

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Question Of The Day

September 29th, 2017

How many rostered players were on the ice for opening night 2016-17

Answer...
  BIRTHDAYS

Bill MacKenzie - 1911
Clint Smith - 1913
John McKenzie - 1937

  SEARCH BIRTHDAYS
  RANDOM RANGER

JOHN WEBSTER
(1949-1950)
  Born: Nov 3 - 1920  
  Pos: Center  
  GP: 14  
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  PIMs: 4  
 
Marian Gaborik came out in support of Crosby's call for eliminating head shots

Coming To A Head
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ 11:56:53 AM - September 9, 2011

Eliminate all head shots from the NHL.  Sounds like a worthy endeavor, and even something that can be achieved with relatively little effort given the number of concussions to some of the premier offensive players like Sidney Crosby, Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik and Marc Savard among others.  But as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Perhaps the best example in recent times is the instigator rule, added in 1992.  The rule was introduced to help protect players from being jumped by an opponent when they weren't prepared.  It didn't eliminate fighting altogether - it does still allow willing combatants to square off - but it has to some extent reduced the violence in the sport.

It also opened up a window of opportunity for the "agitator" role.  Typically an undersized forward who has no problem crossing the line, and in many cases contributing to the very problem that Sidney Crosby and other leading players are now coming out against.

Matt Cooke, Raffe Torres, Vaclav Varada, Darcy Tucker, Ryan Hollweg, Patrick Kaleta and even Sean Avery are all modern day examples of this role to a more or lesser degree.  Most are disliked by the majority of their opponents, but they have carved out a role in the NHL.

Ultimately it was the instigator rule that helped these players reach their prominence, and it's the lack of accountability that has enabled them to continue to wreak havoc in the league.

That's not to say the instigator rule couldn't have worked.  The issue is really in the enforcement of the existing rules, and the ability to pose increasingly stiffer penalties, than the relatively soft ones that are now in place.  Perhaps instead of giving a handful of games here and there, a player faced a 20 or 40 game suspension, then they might think twice about crossing the line.

Last year the league introduced the blind-side hit clause to the interference rule.  The goal was to prevent players from being hit when they weren't prepared for the contact.  The result this past season was a series of cases that ultimately cost Colin Campbell his job as the league's enforcer.  The task at hand - to evaluate comparatively whether a hit was good or not - was ultimately too subjective, and put the league on the defensive more often than not.

The issue is that there is no way to objectively measure what is legal and illegal.  All hits become judgement calls, and there will almost always be someone who has grounds for disagreeing with the call.  The media, internet pundits and, even the fans themselves have the capability of undermining the credibility of those in charge, simply by disagreeing - albeit vociferously.

The incoming league discipline committee, headed up by Brendan Shanahan, is only all to aware of these issues.  His changes to the process - including public explanations for why a penalty was or was not implemented - is intended to address some of these concerns, and yet there's a good chance it simply increases the level of critiquing.  Perhaps the only mitigating factor will be that Shanahan is likely to get a good deal more respect than his predecessor.

If the league is to embrace Crosby's call to eliminate head shots, then they'll be faced with the challenge of putting in a set of rules that can work in the majority of situations.  It'll then be up to the referees to enforce them.

How do you take into account the height difference between players for instance.  Would a player like Mats Zuccarello benefit, while the likes of Zdeno Chara and Brian Boyle suffer, in much the same way as Eric Lindros would get called for interference penalties when players ran into him and bounced off?

What about players who are falling, or leaning over, or for that matter incidental contact?  In the case of high sticking, a player can be called when their opponent skates into their stick, could a similar situation happen with head shots?

We're still at the discussion phase of this proposed rule change, and there's no guarantee anything will get done at this point.  With that said, it does appear only a matter of time before some form of adjustment is made - later if not sooner.

At that point we'll likely experience the same sort of uneven enforcement of the rules that is common when a new subjective judgement is added to the referee's responsibilities.  While I can respect the players' calls for eliminating head shots, I have to wonder whether it might be yet another step on the road to reducing the level of excitement of the game.



Profile of the Author:
Has been an active follower of the New York Rangers since the 1996-97 season. Began OutsideTheGarden.com in 2001, and has continued to collect data and provide analysis on the team through to the current day.

 Additional stories from Toby Ivey:


YOUR COMMENTS

 
December 10th, 2018
TAMPA BAY TIMES FORUM
  1 2 3 T
2 0 1 3
1 2 3 6
FIRST PERIOD: 1. NYR Hayes (Strome,Namestnikov) NYR 1-0   2. TBL Stamkos (Hedman,Miller) Tied 1-1   3. NYR Hayes (Vesey) NYR 2-1    SECOND PERIOD: 4. TBL Stamkos (Hedman,Point) Tied 2-2   5. TBL Mcdonagh (Point,Kucherov) TBL 3-2    THIRD PERIOD: 6. TBL Cirelli (Cernak) TBL 4-2   7. TBL Stamkos (Palat,Coburn) TBL 5-2   8. NYR Fast (Chytil) NYR 3-5   9. TBL Cirelli (Killorn,Miller) TBL 6-3   
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