Punish NHL Teams for Player Suspensions - Take Away The Roster Spot sign now

To reduce major injuries caused by reckless or malicious play and return the game of hockey to respectability, NHL teams should pay for their players' suspensions by losing a spot on their active roster for each game that a player is suspended.

Currently, it is beneficial for teams to carry players who often play without enough consideration for their colleagues' safety. Such players give a strategic advantage by making players on opposition teams fearful. The only risk to the team is that the player could be suspended and the roster spot will have to be filled with another player who might not be as talented. This is not enough punishment for the danger to players and loss of respectability caused to the game overall.

This idea can work in combination with current and future rules to create a team-based disincentive to make dangerous, suspendable plays. If a teams roster was reduced from 20 to 19 while a player was suspended, it would be harder for the team to win those games. The remaining players would also be more careful not to get suspended because losing another roster spot would be even more harmful to the team. When the suspension is over, it will be harder for the player who was suspended to come back to the dressing room and look his teammates in the eye if they had to work harder because he was suspended, especially if they lost crucial games over that time.

I realize that roster positions are not as important in hockey as they are in some sports, but, there is no question that in a grueling 82 game schedule, every player helps. Dressing one less defenseman or forward can make it more difficult to juggle lines and gives a coach less options to manage. If 2 or more players are suspended at the same time, then the team would really feel the difference and have to skate even more.

As a fan of the game of hockey, I believe it is important to keep the safety of the players in mind and the best way to do this is to instill a sense of honour in the players. If we want the game to continue to be strong, parents must see the benefits of letting their children play the sport outweighing the risks. I strongly believe that this is one way to help keep a code of honour and fair play that is essential to maintaining respectability and safety of the sport. Please consider this proposal to help protect the integrity of the game of hockey for generations to come.

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Adrian DuncanBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
NHL Competition Committee

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