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NHL watching as OHL cracks down on fighters this season

The Canadian Press with TSN.ca files

9/19/2012 4:33:26 PM

TORONTO -- Fighting could end up costing players more than five minutes in the penalty box in the Ontario Hockey League this season.

The league announced several rule revisions Wednesday, with some noteworthy changes to how the league will handle supplemental discipline.

Players who exceed 10 fighting majors will face suspensions from the 11th fight on.

They will get two-game bans for every fighting major assessed after the first 10 and four games if they are deemed the instigator. From the 16th fighting major on, the player's team is fined $1,000.

Under the new policy, 25 players would have faced suspensions in the 2011-12 season.

OHL commissioner David Branch contacted NHL senior vice president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell when the idea began to take form and during the process.
 
"They talk to us when they make rule changes like this," Campbell told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun on ESPN.com on Wednesday. "We've discussed the aspect of fighting over the years. We had a couple of initial discussions about this last spring. They were thinking about implementing some sort of quota. I mentioned to him we had debated that internally in hockey operations at the NHL level."

The NHL will keep a close eye on how the new OHL rules play out this season. "We'll be watching closely," said Campbell. "It will be interesting to see how it works."

The OHL also announced it will be adjusting its playoff format.

The higher-ranked team in a playoff series will host the first two games, while the lower-ranked team hosts the next two. The final three games would alternate.

Currently, all seven games in a playoff series alternate between the two cities.