Hockey

Crack down on staged fights, NHL GMs urge

At their annual meeting in Naples, Fla., Tuesday, the NHL's general managers, recommended a 10-minute misconduct penalty for players who drop their gloves right after a faceoff.

The NHL's general managers want to see the league crack down on staged fights.

At their annual meeting in Naples, Fla., Tuesday, the GMs said they'd like to see a 10-minute misconduct penalty for players who drop their gloves right after a faceoff. According to the NHL, this type of confrontation accounted for up to 21.6 per cent of fights this season.

Referees would also be able to call the penalty in other situations where they think players are engaging in a pre-planned fight.

"I'll be the first one to say I enjoy when guys square off and it's an even play. It brings energy to your building, and it could bring energy to your team," Phoenix GM Don Maloney told NHL.com. "But that gratuitous start, the two 250-pounders that look at each other and nod and say, 'You want to go?' 'You want to go?' 'What are you doing after?' That to me is just staged."

The GMs are also recommending more strict enforcement of the instigator rule, especially when a player starts a fight after a teammate has been legally bodychecked.

These recommendations are subject to approval by the competition committee and board of governors.

With files from the Canadian Press

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