April 21, 2007

Hasek's unsportsmanlike call.

Goaltender Dominik Hasek was angry with himself for an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty during the first period that resulted in Calgary's first goal.

Hasek felt he was bumped by Flames forward Jarome Iginla and fell to the ice. When Hasek didn't get the call, he used his stick to lunge at Iginla and pulled it back. [DetNews].


I try my best to know the rules, but when I saw the call against Hasek that led to a 5-3 and a goal I wondered what rule was applied in order to call such as penalty.

A quick search of rules that relate to unsportsmanlike conduct penalties revealed 5 sections of the NHL rules that relate to unsportsmanlike penalties:
Rule 14: Captain of Team
Rule 36: Linesman
Rule 41: Abuse of Officials and other Misconduct
Rule 56: Fisticuffs
Rule 78: Protection of Goalkeeper
Rule 88: Throwing Stick
It would make the most sense for the rule Hasek broke to be in the Throwing Stick rules.

Protection of Goalkeeper has an unsportsmanlike call:
A goalkeeper who deliberately initiates contact with an attacking player other than to establish position in the crease, or who otherwise acts to create the appearance of other than incidental contact with an attacking player, is subject to the assessment of a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
I don't think this is the rule, because this relates to either actual contact or embellishment.

Rule 41 is a general category of rules, which includes:
A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct shall be imposed on any player who uses obscene, profane or abusive language to any person. If this conduct persists, he shall be assessed a misconduct penalty and if this conduct further persists, then a game misconduct penalty shall be imposed.
This seems to only relate to language used, not actions, and:
"A minor penalty shall be imposed on any player who is guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct including, but not limited to hair-pulling, biting, grabbing hold of a face mask, etc." [Rule 41.n]

You can peruse the sections I skipped as they have completely unrelated unsportsmanlike penalties. What it appears is that Hasek was penalized under Rule 41.n, which includes a nice 'etc.' at the end of it. However, I don't see how "lunging" fits into "hair-pulling, biting and grabbing". I'm not trying to say that this is appropriate action by a player, but there should be a rule relating to such action. Players don't get penalties for "losing their cool" very often so long as they don't initiate the actual contact.

A rule that relates better is:
Players shall not use obscene gestures on the ice or anywhere in the rink before, during or after the game. For violation of this Rule, a game misconduct penalty shall be imposed and the Referee shall report the circumstances to the Commissioner of the League for further disciplinary action. [Rule 73.a]
However, I believe there are few who would consider what Hasek did as obscene.

1 comment:

MikeP said...

Unless you've got rinkside microphones, we don't know what Hasek said. It's possible he said some nasty things to Iggy or the ref; calling strictly by the book, an f-bomb can get you an unsportsmanlike. I find it quite likely that he's been warned previously, and this time the ref let him have it. Maybe next time Hasek will think twice about lunging towards another player with a stick - and really, if you need a specific rule saying "don't lunge towards another player with a stick or else you'll get a penalty," then you Just Don't Get It. Not everything should require a specific rule, else the rulebook would look like our country's tax laws.