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Report: NHL to discuss 10-game suspension for goalie fights

Nov 4, 2013, 4:44 PM EDT

Emery and Holtby fight Getty Images

Could goalie fights one day be punished with a 10-game suspension?

League sources tell Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press that the NHL will discuss an automatic 10-gamer for goalies who leave their zone to fight, similar to the one that applies to players who leave the bench to fight.

Who knows, maybe it ends up being just three games. Or five. Whatever the number, a rule like that would’ve certainly made Flyers goalie Ray Emery think twice about skating down the ice to attack Washington’s Braden Holtby on Friday in Philadelphia.

Thrown out of that unwinnable contest (it was 7-0 Capitals at the time of the brawl), Emery was still allowed to start the Flyers’ next game, a 1-0 shutout over New Jersey on Saturday.

That Emery wasn’t suspended for his role in Friday’s melee didn’t sit well with many observers.

“There was no rule that was violated to elevate things to the level of a suspension,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. “It’s something we’ll continue to discuss…I’m sure it’s something we’ll focus on, particularly with the general managers.”

Related: Flyers say brawl helped bring them together

  1. travishenryskid - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Goalie fights are not the problem. Goalie jumpings are. Does the NHL really not understand why this looked so bad?

    • dipthatchip - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:17 PM

      Agreed. The fact that two goalies fought isn’t the issue, Emery conduct is. Holtby declines, Emery decides to fight anyway, and then proceeds to throw 8 or 9 haymakers to the back of Holtby’s head, while he is clearly defenseless, after the fight was clearly decided.

      I would also like to thank the linesman for standing there like a dip$%&# and letting the entire thing continue.

      • kingjoe1 - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:44 PM

        Holtby should man up next time.

        Hey BTW the guy with the orange stripe on his arm is a Ref, not a linesman.

      • velocettereed - Nov 5, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        I think the linesmen were tied up with other fights but the red band could have tried harder to get Emery off. Emery jumping Holtby makes John Scott look like a choir boy.

      • c9castine - Nov 5, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        why would Holtby man up?/ the whole “man up” scenario rarely makes sense in hockey let me tell you. Holtby was winning 7-0. why in the F’in world would he want to fight ray emery??? his team isn’t an absolute disgrace and actually needs him in net to keep competing for something.

    • boltsfan777 - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:07 PM

      Goalie fights are stupid for a several reasons.

      First, neither goalie can possibly have a real quarrel with the other from what happened in the game. They’re obviously play on opposite ends of the ice, so there should be a rule in place to prevent that kind of non-sense.

      Second, a top goalie, and non-fighter like Holtby should have been rescued immediately by a teammate. There were plenty Caps the ice that wouldn’t have received a 10 game suspension for leaving the bench. How can you stand by and watch your ace goalie, the most important guy on your team on a daily basis, get beaten down for what seemed like an eternity?

      Third, the officials should stop these kinds of one-sided beatings (it wasn’t a fight), especially the kind that come from a team that is just a bunch of poor losers.

      • bethgoesglobal - Nov 5, 2013 at 2:14 AM

        I was similarly shocked that it seemed like none of the Caps on the ice were coming to Holtby’s aid. However, when you watch it from a different angle you can see that a couple guys did try to get in, but the Ref kept waving them off and didn’t let anyone come in to try and pull that crazy f*#@ off Holtby.The 3rd man in rule is probably why the Ref did that, But…

        Someone should have broken up that fight and if a teammate isn’t allowed than I agree, the Ref should have inserted himself into the situation and broken up that beat down.

    • mp1131211 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:07 AM

      No they don’t. Between this and varlomov’s disaster, the NHL may have just had one of the lower weeks for its image. It’s starting to come across as a league full of losers.

    • upper90cheese - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:51 AM

      Good job NHL. More knee jerk rule changes. Heaven forbid the players police themselves.

      This has gotten the NHL more press than anything else that has happened this season. It draws people to the game.

    • stevefromsacto - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      “Man up?” Holtby had no reason to fight and Emery had no reason to attack him. But that doesn’t matter in Filthadelphia. Unfortunately, the Broad Street Bullies mentality is still alive in the “City of Brotherly Love” (LOL).The fact that Emery gave up 4 goals on 17 shots and was still voted #3 star by the Philly media says it all.

  2. mnwildfan15 - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    When did Roger Goodell start running the NHL? This is turning into the no fun league

    • nj666 - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      emery is to blame for this… bettman would have never come up with this consideration if it weren’t for that debacle on friday night.

      • claudegirwho - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:31 PM

        Leave it up to philthy to ruin goalie fights for us all.

    • bigbenh8tr - Nov 4, 2013 at 10:52 PM

      No fun league shares the NFL acronym moron. Gosh hockey fans are not very intelligent

  3. nj666 - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Way to go ray emery you’ve ruined goalie fights with your stupid antics…

  4. hockeyflow33 - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Ridiculous. The hon-hockey people just continue to ruin this sport

    • President Charles Logan - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      Couldnt agree more hockeyflow33 .. you’re right it is ridiculous that the hon-hockey people do continue to ruin this sport

      • desertfan - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:15 AM

        I am unfortunately sentenced to USA announcers.

        Some recent comments on air:

        – swing and a miss on a whiff from the blue line

        – leadoff hitter -first up on the shoot-out

        -pop-up – a flip from the defensive zone

        etc, etc etc

    • hockey412 - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:28 AM

      When you say “non-hockey people”, you mean the Flyers, right?

  5. orangejynx - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    I swore years back the NHL inserted a rule that if a goalie crosses his own blue line for the purpose of fighting it was an automatic suspension. What happened to that?

    • mshantz22 - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      2 mins for leaving the crease. Kinda like the instigator penalty.

    • killerpgh - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      I thought it’s an automatic games misconduct for goalies who cross the red line to fight. But then I don’t remember Thomas getting tossed after his “fight” with Price a few years back. Suspending goalies for fighting is a horrible ideal. 2 grown men both willing should be no different than any other pair of players willing to settle there differences.

      • thesportsjudge - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:06 PM

        Holtby wasn’t willing.

      • killerpgh - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:30 PM

        And after thinking about it more it may not be an automatic penalty for a goalie crossing the red line to fight. Any fight that happens after the original fight gets an automatic game misconduct. Since goalie fights seem to only happen when everyone else is fighting it could fall under that rule. And if one player is determined to be the instigator the player he fought doesn’t get the game misconduct. So if one goalie skates all the way down the ice he easily could get the instigator penalty.

      • bigedpvd - Nov 5, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        I have no problem with what Thomas did in that fight….Price left his crease to join in on the fight making it an odd man situation, a 6 on 5 so to speak.

  6. blues1988 - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    lol wow emery sure is a p.o.s.

  7. hy3rid28 - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    in other news all players will be required to wear dresses and play on figure skates next year

    • babykaby - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:16 PM

      Every comment you make is more stupid than your previous one. Like to see Emery take it out on you.

    • stevefromsacto - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      7-0 Caps? Maybe it was the Flyers who were wearing dresses and figure skates. LMAO

  8. sjsharks66 - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Jesus Christ NHL… You really are clueless.

  9. canucks30 - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Suspend Bettman

  10. sabatimus - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    What a complete crock. One unhinged goalie does this, and now we want to punish goalie fights with suspensions? Ridiculous. I’d be much more in favor of referee suspensions for allowing players to get pummeled to the ice and not stepping in, even though they could have. If that’s not part of a ref’s job description, then it needs to be. The linesmen do it. Time is called so there’s no play going on to try to govern.

  11. ikillchicken - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    How about this: Instead make it a suspension if you go into the other team’s zone. Then, if the goalies both actually want to fight they can still both skate out to neutral ice and do it. But also if one doesn’t he can just stay in his net. He doesn’t have to worry about the other guy coming all the way down the ice and jumping him like Emery did.

    • thesportsjudge - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:08 PM

      A sensible solution, yet gets thumbs-downed. Some people.

    • killerpgh - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:46 PM

      That makes some sense. But what happens when you have a goalie jumping into a scrum in his own end? The other goalie has to wait a center ice or he gets suspended if he goes in to even up the situation.

  12. ibieiniid - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    nj666 says, “Ray Emery why did you do that stupid thing you did? Now nobody else can do that stupid thing you did. I really wanted to see OTHER goalies do that stupid thing you did in the future. I blame you.”

    • mp1131211 - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:50 AM

      What emery did wasn’t stupid because it was A goalie fight. It was stupid because Holtby didn’t want to fight. Sorry, but you clearly aren’t understanding this

  13. skinsfolife - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    This guy Emery is a piece of garbage and deserved at a minimum 5 games. If this is what the nhl wants to promote as hockey then I am out.

    • hockeyflow33 - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      For what?

    • blackhawksdynasty - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:45 PM


    • kingjoe1 - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:45 PM

      I am sure the sport will miss a person who still embraces a racist name for a sports team. You might want to get your priorities straight.

      • capsrockva - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        That’s not a racist name. I checked This Division was nicknamed the “Blackhawk Division”, after a Native American of the Sauk nation, Black Hawk, who was a prominent figure in the history of Illinois.[3] McLaughlin evidently named the hockey team in honor of the military unit, making it one of many sports team names using Native Americans as icons.

      • mp1131211 - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:53 AM

        I think he’s talking about original poster having Skins in his name (redskins)

  14. ibieiniid - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    wait a tick. I just realized what happened when I reloaded this. nj666 only read the headline… jumped to comment. better or worse?

  15. skinsfolife - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    You sound like a real tough dude.

  16. multiplemiggs - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    I cant believe im watching the entire world of sports crumble right before my eyes

  17. selldannysell - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    A little late to do this, don’t you think?

  18. thedavesiknowiknow - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    So another unnecessary rule prohibiting something that happens once or twice a year, tops? Give us 30 outdoor games and we are sold! You so craaaaaazy NHL!

  19. cmpuck - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    While what Emery did was wrong and he should’ve been punished for his act… Attempting to ban goalie fighting is over the line. The media complains for the sake of complaining. Half of them probably don’t even watch hockey. Sometimes a scrap can be good for a team. Just google 97 wings-avs. The wings even said that brawl highlighted by Osgood vs Roy gave them a huge momentum swing to finally beat Colorado.

    People have to accept hockey is an emotional game that sometimes boils over to fights. It is what it is..Take that away and you’ll basically be watching the Allstar game night in and night out with a few cheap shots here and there.

  20. capsrockva - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    It’s good that now their looking at that possibly. The only question I would have is if the BOG approve this is it retroactive? If so, then do the right thing. Holtby said no and the ref should’ve ended it right then and there

  21. wingsfan97 - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:41 PM


  22. broadstreetbeatdown - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed the beating he gave Holtby. The beating on the scoreboard, not so much.

  23. superman4u2nv - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Emery should have saved this for varlomov!!!

  24. jimw81 - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    i think this is beginning of the end of fighting in nhl. the league lead by bettman,shanaban and yzerman are looking for a way to get rid of it. look as happen so far, they outlawed stage fights, forcing fighters to keep their helmets on during a fight(who is going to fight with visors on?) putting in a rule fining a coach for sending a fourth liner to fight…..

  25. spitfisher - Nov 4, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    mandatory ten games for two goalies fighting, the most heavily padded players on the ice, a dance that lasts for what 30-45 seconds?, but Scott only gets 7 games (actually 28minutes, he only plays 4 minutes per game)

    What the fudge is the NHL thinking?

    • bigedpvd - Nov 5, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      it’s clear they are thinking more of protecting their image then they are protecting the players. Plain and Simple!

  26. stakex - Nov 5, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    As usual the NHL missing the mark.

    Here is a much better idea: A ten game suspension for a goalie who enters the other teams defensive zone. That way, if two goalies want to go at it they can meet at center ice without a suspension. If one doesn’t want to fight, they can just stay in their crease. That’s the best of both worlds…. protecting goalies who don’t want to fight, but still preserving the very entertaining goalie fight.

    Also the NHL REALLY needs to instruct refs to break up fights in which one player is in a bad way, goalie or not. This fight looked bad, but what looked worse was the ref sitting there watching it happen from a few feet away while he waited for the linesmen to get there to break it up. If he had just jumped in right away to stop it, we probably wouldn’t even be having this conversation…. but the refs NEVER get involved with breaking up fights, and that shouldn’t be in situations like this.

    • mp1131211 - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:58 AM

      That would leave to a 5 on 6 line brawl in the defending teams zone

  27. desertfan - Nov 5, 2013 at 4:23 AM

    Fighting is part of the game.

    Two idiots who look at each other before the play and then drop em is not and both idiots should be sent to the ECHL for 20 games as a result.

    Goalies only when they both are up to it.

    Emery belongs with Vick in a “LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN”

  28. mp1131211 - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:02 AM

    NHL, please listen: no one is upset because this was a goalie fight, they’re upset because this was a minimally punished one sided attack.

  29. wmmepete - Nov 5, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    Fighting needs to stay in the league to allow teams / players to police themselves and because it is a violent, fast game. Goalies are not part of the violence of the game and they are protected by the rules / officials. Why would a goalie ever need to fight the other teams goalie? Did Holby give anyone a cheap shot that needed policed? How can any player police up Emery’s actions? He didn’t and they can’t.

    In order to keep fighting in the NHL, the ridiculous sideshows have to stop. People like John Scott are one of these sideshows. This Ray Emery attack on Holtby is another.

  30. joewilliesshnoz - Nov 5, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Bad teams don’t play hockey, they goon it up. Typical Flyer squad.

  31. fightguy42 - Nov 5, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    goalie fights & more.

  32. vbcaps - Nov 5, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Auto suspension if goalies “leave their zone”

    What if two willing goalies both leave their zones to fight each other?

    The problem isn’t goalie fights…you wonder why Bettman gets booed out of the arena everywhere he goes

  33. bigedpvd - Nov 5, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    So, let’s see….a goalie leaving his crease to join a fight, when goalie fights hardly EVER land any damaging blows, warrants a ten game suspension, but having a straight up goon lay a late hit head shot on another player only warrants a seven game suspension? Well, it’s clear to me now, the NHL cares more about protecting it’s image than it does protecting the players.

  34. zta7991 - Nov 5, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Look…anyone who plays hockey obviously knows that fights are a big part of hockey…if you don’t like fights then dont play the game…I am not saying jump into a fight a game…all I am saying is don’t be on the ice if you can’t defend yourself…especially a team like the flyers in which fighting has been a key part of the culture even the goalies (ron hextall) who have been known to chase down players and beat the crap out of them…and the funny part is the caps had their enforcer line out and still couldn’t stand up for the goalie…while the flyers had out brayden schenn and vinny lecalvier who never really fight and still they couldn’t handle it…so I blame the caps on the ice because if someone whould have taken a run at a flyer goalie he wouldn’t have made it past the blueline without getting his head taken off no matter who was on the ice…

  35. southernflyersfan - Nov 5, 2013 at 10:48 AM


  36. zta7991 - Nov 5, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    And plus its just the start to try to ban fighting and if you take out fighting then you get players like crosby who willalll of the sudden grow a pair and start cheap shotting people more than usual without fear of getting his face pounded in

  37. southernflyersfan - Nov 5, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Flyers wanted to make a statement and put on a show for the fans Emory realized tht and wanted to pump up the crowd even more with a goalie fight when holby declined he wasn’t gonna let him. Stand up and fight or go be a soccer goalie.

  38. defenz77 - Nov 5, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    I don’t care who waves you away. You always protect your goaltender.

    • bomber2428 - Nov 6, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Exactly!!! Volpatti was on the ice & did nothing. He should get suspended by the caps. Up 7-0 & did nothing?
      check out what Andrew Peters(Buffalo) did to Emery (sense) when he beat up on Biron…. Peters tuned him up.
      Caps should be ashamed

  39. mahasw777 - Nov 5, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    This is the NHL’s solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Way to go, Bettman!

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