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

Sea bus service proposed along Fraser River

Maple Ridge councillor just wants to start discussion

Pitt Meadows gets some help for flood plan

$412,000, but not for dike upgrades

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows folks take in rides at PNE

Fall exhibition heralds end of summer

Pantracia Chronicles paves path for Pitt Meadows author

First trilogy in epic fantasy series released this year

Homes found for abandoned hedgehogs in Maple Ridge

Lucky new owners picked up their pets on Aug. 20

Pickle me this: All the outrageous foods at this year’s PNE

Pickled cotton candy, deep-fried chicken skins, and ramen corndogs are just a start

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Mammoth sturgeon catch was ‘a fish of a lifetime’ for Chilliwack guide

Sturgeon was so enormous it tied for largest specimen every tagged and released in the Fraser

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

Body found believed to be missing Chilliwack senior with dementia

Police say case is now in the hands of the coroner

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Most Read