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Campbell: Rule changes possible after Devils-Rangers brawl

TSN.ca Staff

3/20/2012 8:16:15 PM

NHL executive vice-president Colin Campbell says the NHL may be willing to contemplate some rule changes following Monday night's melee in the opening seconds of the game between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils.
 
In the game, three fights took place simultaneously as soon as the puck was dropped to start the game.
 
In an interview with ESPN hockey insider Pierre LeBrun, Campbell said it would not be out of the question for the NHL to institute a rule similar to the one employed in the last five minutes of a game. Rule 46.22 - which Campbell helped institute - says that an instigator fighting penalty in the last five minutes of a game carries with it a one-game suspension and a $10,000 fine levied to the offending team's head coach.
 
"What we did with the competition committee coming out of the lockout, we crafted a new rule at the end of the game," Campbell told ESPN.com. "We put the onus on the coach and the player."
 
Campbell explained to Lebrun that the new rule would follow in the footsteps of Rule 46.22, and could become a possibility if there was an appetite for it among the 30 NHL general managers and the NHL Competition Committee.
 
"If the GMs find this [line brawl from Monday night] unacceptable, maybe we'd craft it the same way at the start of the game, put the onus on both the player and the coach? Or you'd have to find a current interpretation of the rulebook," Campbell said.
 
LeBrun reported that NHL GM's were not happy with the brawl and said the issue may be discussed again next summer as part of talks for the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.
 
The incident between the Rangers and Devils occurred three seconds into the first period. Stu Bickel, Brandon Prust and Mike Rupp were all handed five minute fighting majors for the Rangers. Ryan Carter, Cam Janssen and Eric Boulton all received fighting majors for the Devils, while Bryce Salvador was handed a ten-minute misconduct.