NHL: Krys Barch, Brett Gallant get around the helmet rule; Will fighting be banned?

The two fighters found a loophole to get around the league's new 'no helmet removal' rule.

Forwards Krys Barch and Brett Gallant remove each other's helmets before fighting



The debate will rage on and on and on and it will take one issue and divide it into many questions: Should fighting be allowed in the NHL? Should there be greater penalties for fighting? Should we still have the instigator rule? Should players be allowed to remove their helmets before a fight?

The last one was recently dealt with, probably because it’s the easiest. Another question: since when has the NHL actually tried to answer a difficult question?

The league responded with a “No”, meaning players were forbidden to remove the buckets before a tussle, something that wasn’t done by every player before a fight, but it still wasn’t uncommon. It became a wider-discussed issue after the 2005 lockout – to my knowledge – when heavyweight WHL players started doing frequently, but they were in junior, and if they didn’t do it on the ice in Alberta, maybe we just assumed they would do it in a barn in Alberta.

On Thursday night, however, New Jersey Devils forward Krys Barch and New York Islanders winger Brett Gallant found a loophole: they took each other‘s helmets off.

It was a pretty diplomatic approach, and you can even see both players fumbling as they try and devise a system where they can work it out. It’s so friendly to start, it reminds you of that Georges Laraque clip from back in the day… although, it does soften the start of the fight.

Still, if players are going to go these lengths just to pull it off, doesn’t that mean there’s some reasonable resistance to the NHL’s ruling?

You can say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”, but that’s just avoiding the conversation.

Don’t forget: fighting is allowed in the NHL. The league doesn’t dare touch that one – yet – because they know just how much attention they get from their fights, which have depleted in quantity in recent years.

The players are the only ones who can attest to the real question here…

Is fighting without a helmet safer or not?

It’s certainly easier and more convenient. You’re already fighting on the ice. Isn’t this rule kind of like that episode of Breaking Bad where Walt and Jesse spend the whole hour trying to kill a fly, just in case it gets in their crystal meth batch?

“It’s all contaminated,” Walter finally says, realizing that drugs are drugs and a little bit of egg shell in your omelette won’t hurt you anymore than the egg already will.

Of course, maybe this isn’t a rule designed to combat the ruling, at all.

Maybe it’s just the NHL’s way of slowly eradicating fighting altogether, without having to actually do it directly.

Yup. That’s probably it.

Just Posted

Beware of geese: Nesting season may trigger aggressive behaviour

Greater Victoria residents will have to be wary of nesting geese in the area

Royal B.C. Museum faces space, seismic standards and accessibilty issues; calls for public input

People can share their ideas online and in person from April 1 to June 27

British Columbians are paying more for booze but also broccoli

Victoria’s inflation was 2.3 per cent, a tick above Vancouver’s of 2.2 per cent

Scottish cultural centre proposed for View Royal

A 10,000 square foot building is proposed for the Craigflower Manor grounds

Victim of cyber attack speaks out, highlights Sidney generosity

Business association head talks of ‘horrendous consequences’ in wake of scam

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

SPCA seizes 54 animals from Vernon property

Animals weren’t receiving adequate care

Morneau unveils principles for Indigenous ownership in Trans Mountain pipeline

The controversial pipeline was bought by Ottawa last year

Refugee who sheltered Edward Snowden in Hong Kong arrives in Canada

Vanessa Rodel and her seven-year-old daughter Keana arrived in Toronto this week

New UMSCA trade deal getting a boost from Trump, business groups

The trade deal is designed to supplant the North American Free Trade Agreement

Trudeau says he, Wilson-Raybould had cordial conversation last week

Trudeau denies anything improper occurred regarding SNC-Lavalin and the PMO

SNC-Lavalin backtracks on CEO’s comments surrounding potential job losses

Top boss had said protecting 9,000 jobs should grant leniency

Vancouver Island home to B.C.’s luckiest lotto store

Five million-dollar winners have bought tickets from same Port Alberni corner store

Most Read