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What's the deal with game misconducts for wardrobe malfunctions? I don't get it, you get five minutes for breaking a guy's nose or bashing his brains in, but you get a game misconduct if your jersey comes off? What's the reasoning behind this?
Perry Stone - White Rock, BC
I know a game misconduct might seem excessive for exposing underwear or a little skin given all the events we have witnessed thus far in the first round of these Stanley Cup Playoffs but the rule has a purpose and a history. Here's the skinny on it!
You hockey fight enthusiasts know that pre rule 46.13 tough guy Rob Ray of the Buffalo Sabres purposely stripped down to expose his bare upper body before a mutually agreed upon fight even began. If he didn't have time to “gear down” his loose fitting attire usually ended up in the hands of his opponent on the first tug as Ray slipped out of jersey and pads quicker than a fireman slides into his one piece pants and boots when the alarm bell sounds!
Aside from the poor optics that resulted from a fight stripper's yard sale it provided a distinct fighting advantage with nothing to grab onto but skin. You Tube is full of classic fights from the day when both combatants finished trading punches with their upper torsos bare. Two rules were adopted in an effort to prevent this situation from continuing.
Presently, if a player deliberately removes his jersey prior to participating in a fight or who is clearly wearing a jersey that has been modified receives a minor for unsportsmanlike conduct and a game misconduct. Rule 9 standardized uniforms and disallowed alterations to the manufacturer modifications of player jerseys. This includes Velcro inserts, use of over-sized jersey's, altered collars, etc. Sleeves must extend into the cuff of the glove and players must be “tied down” properly at all times.
This where Paul Bissonnette of the Phoenix Coyotes failed to comply with the rule when his jersey ended up in the hands of the Hawks' Brandon Bollig following their fight just over five minutes into game four. ‘Bisnasty' was ejected from the game when he violated rule 46.13 - a player who engages in a fight and whose jersey is not properly “tied down” (jersey properly fastened to pants), and who loses his jersey (completely off his torso) in that altercation, shall receive a game misconduct penalty.
Like my TSN colleague and game analyst Ray Ferraro, I couldn't believe that a player most likely of engaging in fight such as Bissonnette would not be tied down. I thought the “tie down” must have broken and scanned the fight on replay looking to see where the snap must have broken. I clearly saw that the tie down was closed shut; just not through the loop of the pants. Paul Bissonnette failed to properly tie his jersey down before he took to the ice!
Wardrobe does matter Perry. It is important for all game participants to be properly attired and have everything buttoned down. That includes game officials no matter their age or experience.
Finn Kennan Fraser, the newest addition to the Fraser family officiating team and first born of our eldest son, AHL referee Ryan and his wife Annie is seen making his first call after being born just three days ago. The picture was photo shopped by a colleague of Ryan's with the NJ Transit Police and includes our sweet baby Finn's face; place on his daddy Ryan's body; and then finished off with his Papa's perfect hair pre-helmet days.
Ryan and Annie have informed me that the first thing they learned as new parents and in the spirit of rule 46.13 was that Finn's diaper must always be properly “tied down.”
I am sure that Paul Bissonnette has now learned his lesson as well.
The Nashville Predators have eliminated the Detroit Red Wings; the Sharks are singing the Blues following their series ending loss yesterday and Claude Giroux and the Flyers have disposed of Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.
I am sure we will have much to discuss following the suspension to Raffi Torres and the games this weekend.
You can catch me Monday morning between 8:15-9:00 AM with Mike Richards on TSN Radio as we talk about the Torres suspension; Chris Neil's hit on Brian Boyle in game 5 and the current events of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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