Fraser: A look at a slashing call on Brad Marchand

Kerry Fraser
4/30/2011 11:41:17 PM
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Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn.ca!


I am completely confused over this 'slashing' rule where a player knocks the stick out of the players hands. I can understand when a player slashes hard and breaks it or even if he slashes hard and knocks it out of the players hand. I can't understand why Brad Marchand received a slashing penalty in Saturday's game when he barely hit the stick! You can tell Ville Leino barely had his stick in his one hand. It gets called? I have seen many plays where the ref lets it go? What is a slashing penalty? Please define the "stick slashing" rule.
Lou Melissis from Whitby

Lou: Let me attempt to eliminate your confusion here because there are actually two rules that applied in the case of Marchand chopping the stick out of Leino's hand. Since you don't care for Rule 61.1 part of which states, “Amy forceful or powerful chop with a stick on the opponent's body, the opponents stick, or on or near the opponent's hands that… is not an attempt to play the puck, shall be penalized as slashing” let me refer you to the Interference rule.

The answer, I believe, is found in paragraph 5 of Rule 56.2 - Interference: “A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who deliberately knocks a stick out of an opponent's hand,...”.

Since “Interference” can be often used as a generic penalty term the referees are instructed to label the infraction what it really is. Marchand's act of “slashing” knocked the stick out of Leino's hand so the referee applied the most obvious terminology in assessing the penalty. A 'chop' by any other name, as it applies here, is still a penalty! Since Ville Leino can't play without a stick - good call, Ref.

Brad Marchand (Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)


(Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
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