Photo credit: CTV Toronto
MAR 15, 2023 (10:33)
Leafs GM Kyle Dubas gives his thoughts on players being forced to fight after a clean hit
BY MIKE ARMENTI
We've seen several examples this season of players who have landed good, clean, heavy hits and attempting to just move on and resume play, only to be pursued by a combatant from the opposition looking for retribution. There are obviously two sides to this conundrum. On one side is a player just carrying out a routine play and finishing a check. On the other, there's a teammate who is perhaps sticking up for a star or maybe a smaller player who was banged up on the play. Whichever side you're on, there's no easy answer to what is right and what is wrong. Dubas echoed as much during his media availability from "The Sunshine State".
"It's a real tough one to discuss. Because, if there's a clean hit against anyone on your team and your team doesn't do anything about it, you get heavily criticized for it. If you do do something about it, you take a penalty, and you get criticized for that. I think people use your reaction to clean hits to judge whether your team is tough or not. And that's the hard part is we can talk about the rules and everything, but there's also the noise that comes after because people are looking for indicators of what your team is about."
These meetings are where the GMs vote on rule changes that they might want to implement for the upcoming season. By the sounds of things, this has been a hot topic for GMs and one that doesn't have an easy solution. Sure, you can get rid of the instigator rule, but then you'll have to deal with guys running around trying to actively start fights with unwilling combatants to set up offsetting minors or fighting majors. On the other hand, keeping things the same as they are now doesn't necessarily do anything to address the current headaches either.
SHOULD A PLAYER HAVE TO FIGHT AFTER A BIG HIT EVEN IF IT WAS CLEAN?
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