Dreger: NHL tightens rules on language use by clubs

Darren Dreger

1/8/2010 2:36:00 PM

It's fair to say New York Rangers coach John Tortorella is as passionate a coach as you will find, perhaps, in any sport.

It's also fair to say that Tortorella's passion gets the better of him every now and again and manifests into an occasional rant with the odd profanity dropped in to emphasize his point.

Whether the salty language comes from Tortorella, another NHL coach, or team personnel, the National Hockey League has had enough and today issued the following memo, acquired by TSN, to remind teams and club representatives there may be consequences.

(NHL Memo)

"Recently, we have had several instances of team personnel using inappropriate and profane language in media interactions and, in particular, in press conference settings.  We appreciate the intensity and passion with which you approach your jobs, however, what is said publicly, and how it is said, reflects directly on the images of your respective organizations, the National Hockey League, and the game of hockey generally.  In this context, profanity in public areas or where likely to be overheard by members of the media and/or general public is clearly inappropriate and unacceptable and, as previously advised in a memorandum to Clubs dated April 28, 2006, will be deemed a violation of the Media Regulations, NHL By-Law 17.4(a) (prohibiting statements "prejudicial to the welfare of the League or the game of hockey or of a Member Club"), and Article 6.3(j)(1) of the NHL Constitution (prohibiting conduct "detrimental to the League or the game of hockey").  Please be reminded that any such violations will subject both the individuals involved and their Clubs to potential fines."

Waiting for Approval

Meanwhile, the National Hockey League is waiting patiently for the NHLPA to grant its approval of the NHL's plan to make soft cap shoulder pads mandatory next season.  

The Players Association currently has a survey posted on its members website and is continuing to gather feedback from the players, however a P.A. source doesn't expect the union will attempt to block the league's equipment change.

That said, a number of players don't believe modifying shoulder pads will make much of a difference and would much rather see the NHL revisit what some players believe is a much larger issue; unforgiving boards and glass in a handful of NHL cities.