A REAL, EFFECTIVE Way To Get Rid of Obstruction
I was thinking about the obstruction problem. By this point, everyone should realize that referees are not going to fix it (we differ on the reasons referees won’t fix it, but that’s not my point here…let’s not turn this into another “refs suck!” thread).
Unfortunately, there is just too much obstruction in the game to effectively curb it w/ penalties…when you try that, the game just turns into an endless series of power plays, which can be more boring to watch than than the trap (carry it into the zone, defense takes it, clears it down the ice, carry it into the zone, defense takes it, clears it down the ice, carry it into the zone, keep it there, pass, pass, pass, pass *continue for 45 seconds* shoot, defense takes it, clears it down the ice).
So what can you do over and over and over again (potentially 50 times a game) to discourage obstruction, that won’t destroy the flow and integrity of the game?
This is been an intense topic of debate for a long time, and nobody’s been able to come up w/ an effective solution. Then, when I was reading that thread about diving, it hit me. Its so obvious, I can’t believe that I didn’t think of it sooner.
Call obstruction like the refs have been calling it. Infrequently, only if it prevents a goal type thing.
Instead, after every game, have a bunch of video replay ppl watch the entire game from a camera angle that will cover the entire ice (or watch it live for the same effect). Have them count the obstruction charges each individual player commits. Then, FINE that player 10,000 dollars for every offense.
Think about it. Say a certain player averages obstructing an opposing player 5 times a game over the course of a season (reasonable estimate, I think). Multiply 5 by 82. That’s 410 cases of obstruction if I did my math right. *checks w/ calculator* Yep. At 10,000 dollars per obstruction, that player would lose 4,100,000 dollars!!!!
Do the math on even less. If they committ one obstruction a game for the entire season, they’d lose 820,000 dollars. That would wipe out just about the entire salary for half the league. Even better, the less money you make (and thus generally the more likely you are to obstruct, b/c you’re a defensive role player), the less you can afford to obstruct. Obstruction would VANISH off the face of the earth in two weeks. The entire problem would be solved instantly and permanently.
I’m sure the NHLPA would howl like wolves, of course. But I’m pretty sure the NHL can legally apply whatever fines they want, and as I’m sure they’ll point out, all the player has to do is not obstruct anyone, and they won’t lose a penny.
I GUARANTEE this idea would work. It would work better than any reffing system you could possibly come up with. If someone could provide me w/ an e-mail address to Campbell or Bettman or something, I would e-mail this idea to them right now. It would solve all the obstruction problems in the NHL just like that.