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Shanahan lauds USHL program aimed to reduce “dumb and dangerous” play

Sep 24, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

Brendan Shanahan Getty Images

Chief NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan has praised a United States Hockey League initiative designed to cut down hazardous play.

The pilot program, spearheaded by USHL commissioner Skip Prince, is a five-point plan designed to eliminate what the league refers to as “the dumb and dangerous play.”

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The five primary elements of the USHL initiative include:

* New regulations governing dangerous play.

* Monitoring, review, early intervention and supplementary discipline by the commissioner’s office.

* Conferencing among the league’s hockey ops, competition committee, coaches, officials and players on how to improve play.

* A focus on improving equipment.

* Devising a more consistent way of tracking injuries.

The USHL liaised with the NHL about the pilot program, one that Shanahan seemed impressed with.

“The National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety applauds the USHL for taking a proactive approach to player safety that focuses on changing on-ice behavior,” Shanahan said. “Instilling the proper approach to the game at the junior level is critical both to improving player safety and developing players who someday will become effective NHL players.”

The plan has several wrinkles that are intriguing to all levels of hockey:

— Team captains and players are informed of their roles in the safety program.

— The league is allowing players to wear three-quarter shields instead of full face cages, in an effort to provide better visual fields.

— Rather than eliminate fighting, the USHL is attempting to fix the “lead-up” issues without taking the overall aggressiveness out of the game.

The announcement of the league’s pilot program comes just days after the Ontario Hockey League implemented its new fighting rule for 2012-13.

  1. Paul Busch - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Four junior leagues announced new rules for the upcoming season targeting fighting and violence in the game. Get an overview of what each league did here –

    The USHL rules should be followed closely by the NHL and perhaps implemented. Basically they have designated specific minor penalties as dangerous and they are tracked, along with majors like fighting. A player who accumulates these minor and major dangerous penalties will be called in for a disciplinary hearing in an effort to curb behavior. Unlike the other junior leagues that are targeting fighting exclusively (which is still a positive move in my opinion) the USHL process addresses head hunters and instigators, players who usually prompt the fights with their reckless play.

  2. blomfeld - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:16 PM


    Here you have these candy-ass efforts to reduce violence in hockey, only to have 20,000 assholes pack the same arena the following night, in-order to watch a bunch of idiots beat each other to senseless, bleeding pulps. That’s quite the society we have, eh ? And we wonder why there’s so much “anti-western” sentiment in the world today ?

  3. johnwwt1976 - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Blomfled, there’s no way your from North America, don’t pretend to be one of us!!!

    • blomfeld - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:31 PM

      listen you fool … I don’t “pretend” to be one of you … I “am” one of you ! .. now cease with your silliness, lest you come to the attention of my gun captains ! … ya dig ?

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