Bobby Clarke's Solution to Hockey!

Believe it or not, Flyers general manager Bobby Clarke, master of the controversial sound bite and inane comments, actually had something intelligent to say recently.On the topic of what to do to improve the state of the game, Clarke told the New York Post that the NHL should ban goaltenders from leaving the crease to play the puck.

The suggestion is one of the best yet on how to make the NHL a more exciting league without messing with the game too much.

To be sure, if a rule were passed limiting goalies’ rights to handle the puck, many people would be up in arms, calling the change too extreme. In actuality, such a rule change, would not have nearly as radical an effect as some of the other ideas being bandied about, such as removing the center ice red-line, or going to four-on-four hockey full-time. In fact, an NHL where goalies remained in their crease would be a lot closer to old-time hockey than today’s version.

The great puck-handling goalie has been a 1990s phenomenon. After all, you did not see Ken Dryden, Grant Fuhr, or Patrick Roy (in his early Habs days) roaming around out there, and coincidentally or not, a lot more goals were scored in those days.

Currently, goalies are like third defencemen. Forwards used to be able to dump the puck in and chase it…not anymore. Negating goaltenders’ ability to play the puck would lead to many more quality scoring chances. There would be more dump-ins, and more defensemen making bad plays, leading to turnovers as they hurry to get the puck out of their zone.

To make things worse, goalies have all kinds of time out there to make plays because there is an unwritten rule that they cannot be touched outside of the crease. Giving the goalie a free pass to ponder the situation before making a play only makes it easier for goalies to contribute to the sleep-inducing defensive style of hockey that is all the rage in today’s over-expanded NHL.

Making goalies fair game wouldn’t be a good solution either. They make too much money to be exposed to the mayhem that goes on behind the net. It would be far more practical and effective to keep them in the crease, where they belong.

The presence of Martin Brodeur, one of the best puck-handling goalies of all time, has been a huge reason why the Devils have won three Cups since 1995. Surely the Devils and other teams such as the Islanders (who drafted Rick DiPietro first overall in 2000, largely because of his skills playing the puck) would complain bitterly about having one of their main strengths wiped out.

If goalies could no longer play the puck behind the net or at the face-off circles, it’s logical to assume that there would be around five more good scoring chances per period, or fifteen per game. These new chances would likely generate about two more goals per game.

That number may not seem like a lot upon first glance, but adding those two goals would be equivalent to bringing in a third more offense to the game, without radically changing the rules. Yes defensemen would get their brains scrambled by fore-checkers on a more regular basis, but that problem could be solved by the implementation of a no-touch icing rule. Yes, Brodeur and his imitators would have one of their main talents taken away, but for the good of the game, this rule should be implemented. You guys can have your say

94 Responses to Bobby Clarke's Solution to Hockey!

  1. greatlife15 says:

    That’s why when you implement the goalie stay-in-crease rule you also implement the no-touvh icing rule, so that injuries can be prevented.

  2. Spektor says:

    That is something you are probably right on.

  3. wingedim says:

    If I recall correctly there is a rule in the rule book that isn’t called that much anymore regarding goalies leaving the painted area to play the puck. The result would be a delay of game penalty. I could be misinterpreting it or incorrect though.

  4. cgolding says:

    Hit Them! Hit Them! Hit Them!

    You can’t come up with one good reason why they shouldn’t be hit. The money argument is the same crap that is going on in the NFL right now and it just plain sux. If the goalie doesn’t want to get nailed he won’t play the puck… and in so doing basically interfere with forechecking even when he doesn’t get there.

    And it would absolutely change how goalies play the puck. Because if a goalie gets checked off the puck they suddenly have a huge problem, so they will only go out when they are sure they can stop it and play it before someone is on top of them.

    Instantaneous offensive improvement due to the fact that creating possession in the offensive zone is so much easier to create… and by logic more time in the offensive zone creates more opportunities to score.

    down with the goalies!

    nevermind the bullox,


  5. wingedim says:

    Okay misinterpreted the rule sorry. It’s rule #79b that I was thinking of. Regarding the delay of game penalty called if “any player, including the goal keeper, holds, freezes or plays the puck with his stick, skates or body in a manner to deliberately cause stoppage of play.

    (note with regard to the goalkeeper, this rule applies OUTSIDE the goal crease area”

    So it’s the stoppage when the goaltender jumps on the puck to stop play outside the crease that isn’t called.

  6. dkball7 says:

    All you accomplished with that sentence was telling me you’re not a flyers fan.

  7. jerzjayme says:

    well, it has come to this, banning lemaire from hockey for life.



  8. jerzjayme says:

    maybe its the equipment (larger) and training (better) rather then the goalie movement

  9. matteo says:

    I think they should be fair game. I hated that we couldnt hit them in college, so when they pissed me off I just ripped a few at their melon. Short of scoring a goal, and laying someone out, nothing gave me more satisfaction than ripping one upstairs on a goalie and watching them sprawl to the ice. Even better is the delayed reaction where they fall slowly…..their knees buckle and they crumble like the bitches they are. I hate goalies.

  10. movingfire says:

    a hex on you…I am a proud Hab fan.

  11. matteo says:

    you forgot lap dances between periods!

  12. Spektor says:

    That’s true but anyone knows that the unwritten rule of not touching the goalie would be out the window and would give players a green light to run the goalie’s alot more often even when they are in their crease. It would work if the refs did their job which we all know isn’t going to happen.

  13. matteo says:

    he dies………..bottom line….if you don’t want to be hit (cough pussy cough) then stay in the blue ice you little creasemonkey

  14. cgolding says:

    well…. strictly speaking more of a reason for “real” enforcement to be necessary in the game rather than this crap of pre-meditated goon fights that we have right now which is just stupid.

    nevermind the bullox,


  15. Lint07 says:

    Don’t worry, I can handle it!

  16. matteo says:

    If the goalie comes out – HIT THEM

    If the goalie is interfered with inside of the crease – 2mins

    If a player takes a blatant run at the goalie – 4 mins

    They are hockey players correct?

    THey have more protection than anyone else correct?

    They don’t HAVE TO come out to play the puck correct?

    We are simply asking goalies to utilize their gift of free will. If you want to play the puck you risk getting mushed.

    I think 2 rules need to be tweaked

    – goalies are free game outside of the crease

    – No more instigator penalty

    Let the men be men for the love of mike.

  17. devfanman4 says:

    I thought it was a written rule that any contact with the goalie is illegal (as opposed to the unwritten rule you mentioned)? Granted, if you hit a goalie, there’s an unwritten rule that the whole bench will come after you for the rest of the game.

    I think it’s ok for the goalies to play the puck. What happens if they can’t leave the crease and their team is on the powerplay and the pk team ices the puck. He can’t come out and throw a lead man pass to someone to try to catch the PKers on a change?

    Not many goalies are good at handling the puck either. Brodeur is obviously the best, but there’s a lot of goalies that come out and screw up and that causes alot of empty net scoring chances.

    And there’s also the race to the puck when it’s up near the top of the faceoff circle and one of the forwards is charging it at it while the goalie is also.

    If goalies can’t come out of the crease, we’d lose all that excitement. I really think the only solution to all the “problems” in the NHL would be just to get hte damn referees to call penalties like they see it. If goalies are fair game when they come out and they get hit, that’d be great. If they get hit by today’s NHL standards though, you’d see alot of 9-8 games with missed calls when goalies are pinned along the boards or tripped up behind the net with no call.

    The bottom line is the referees have to start calling the penalties the right way. After that, we can worry about making the ice bigger, taking away the red line, making nets bigger, dropping the instigator rule, etc.

  18. Spektor says:

    I am with you on the enforement……lose the instigator rule and let them police themselves.

  19. Frankenstein says:

    If the goalies come out of their crease, I think you should be able to chop off their fucking heads.

    All you have to do is sharpen the blades of your sticks just like all the native hockey players do.

  20. Frankenstein says:

    Yo mikster,

    Suck my big fat fucking Frankencock until the Frankenberry juice in my Franken balls has run dry.

    Mikster, you have made a complete asshole of yourself and proven to be worse than half the people you ban when they disagree with you. That is why I am starting a movement to completely terrorize this site and you until you are removed as an administrator and removed from this site. You have fucked with me one too many times motherfucker and you can take that little loaf of shit GretzNYR99 with you down the toilet.

    For those of you who don’t know me, you might recognize me by my other names:

    DirtySanchez, ThePurpleHelmet, the notorious DonkeyDick 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,2000,2001,2002, mikstersuxdikster, Niggercock,Niggertits, TheVaginalPulverizer, TheAnalAnihialator, TheMangler, SoakingWetPussy, ElephantitisoftheBalls, RickHuff, themorman, bigdoglog, big-booty, mikster_ and list just goes on and on………

    It all starts here you cocksmoker and I know there are alot of people in here that will back me up. It is all that semen you are getting pumped up your ass and it is starting to come out of your mouth.Your Fucked Now mikster! hehe You know what i have done in the past, ding ding

  21. greatlife15 says:

    Maybe jerz maybe…

  22. Arrowsmith says:

    I thinks this is a great idea ! I’ve always said either let the goalies be ” fair game” or keep them in the crease.

    It can only help the games goal production and make the great game more exciting.

  23. Heinzee57 says:

    Ohhhhh. I thought those were implied.


  24. BoOoSh33 says:

    you know its people like you that ruin the game of hockey. “i hated when i couldnt hit them in college, so when they pissed me off i just ripped one at their melon.” this says a couple things. one you’re easily pissed off and have very little self control. two, if goalies are pissing you off like that then apparently they are stopping you pretty frequently. which leads me to my third observation, you must have sucked at the college level, couldnt score, got frustrated by your lack of scoring and took it out on the goalies who stoned you because they were the superior athletes, and apparently you were jealous. and by shooting pucks at goalies heads and intentionally trying to injure them you became the bigger person right. way to go jackass.

    lets just say that for some horrible reason your “plan” went into effect. lets say for some reason they decided to make goalies fair game anywhere. so then you have all the top skilled goalies getting taken out, and you’re stuck watching those who shouldnt even be excelling in the minors against the NHL’s top offensive producers. brilliant! you’ve increased scoring to the point the NHL looks like the NFL, or maybe even the NBA. as a matter of fact why dont you just take goalies out of the game completley, its not like they’re important or anything.

    part of me would love it if you were forced to put on the pads and have the likes of Al McInnis take slapshots at your head. while we’re at it i’d like to see some goon like yourself run you while you try to get the hell out of the way of the McInnis slap shots. now thats entertainment! think before you speak next time dumbass. that is if you have any brain to start with.


  25. matteo says:

    First of all – you must be a goalie.

    Second of all – I am not dumb enough to stand in front of a net and have people fire pucks at me.

    Third of all – I would love for you to put the pads on and get in there so I could rifle one off of your temple.

    If goalies want to play with the puck then they can become defensemen, otherwise sit your stupid ass in the crease and stop a few pucks you friggin target.

    Goalies have the choice as to whether or not the come out to play a puck. Now they have to look at them selves and figure out where their value to the team lies…..playing pucks or stopping them. Maybe if we paste a few of you creasemonkeys you’ll stay put and the forwards can get a good forecheck going.

    I was a goal scorer by the way. A goalie stopping a shot never pissed me off….that’s part of the game. Just certain goalies rub me the wrong way. Kinda like you…..So don’t get your panties in a bunch there Susie. You just hide in your crease and nobody will hit you….wouldn’t want your makeup to get smudged. Go watch tennis fruitcake.

  26. aaron says:

    Hit the mothers. And while you’re at it, add in tag up offsides, b/c that increases dump and chase forechecking (moving the nets back would be a good accompiament, and so would no touch icing…).

    Anyone who says these changes are drastic…it would be undoing the same drastic changes that were made 10 years ago (except no touch, which just plain isn’t drastic in any conceivable way and the goalies thing).

  27. OilersBabe says:

    i agree, lay the body to whoever out there. it would prevent anyone from leaving there crease. if they did and a melay ensued, so be it..exciting old time hockey.

  28. jerzjayme says:

    “Suck my big fat fucking Frankencock until the Frankenberry juice in my Franken balls has run dry.”

    freakin hilarious

  29. matteo says:

    You are just jealous that she isn’t doing it to you anymore.

  30. devfanman4 says:

    We found one!

  31. defenestrate says:

    She’s too expensive.

  32. defenestrate says:

    Congratulations, Matteo – you made a new friend!

  33. defenestrate says:

    Not just one – all of them rolled up into one.

    Kinda like “Sybil”, but with less conversational skill at the dinner table.

  34. defenestrate says:

    I meant a masochist for being a goalie, period.

  35. LondonK says:

    I completely agree with the idea. But Bobby Clarke didn’t come up with it. Sports shows in Canada have been mentioning this for months on a serious level.

    It makes perfect sense to ban a goalie from going behind the icing line though (forget leaving the crease whatsoever) as it gives a team an unfair advantage. While it would hurt even my team (the leafs) I have to agree that it would improve the game. The Trap has forced dump-ins and it is hard to dump the puck in when the goalie just goes behind the net and stops the puck. Then not only are you interfered with trying to get through the neutral zone, but you can’t even dump the puck in because a goalie prevents that from happening, and if you touch the goalie you get a penalty.

    Stupid, I realize that you can’t make goalies fair game because of injury concern but to make them have a free pass outside the crease is a joke.

  36. matteo says:

    You know me I strive to keep up my public relations. I have always been a media darling and spotlight whore.

    My new friend is so “special” we may need a HTR telethon for him.

  37. rojoke says:

    Rule 78 basically says that you can’t sneeze on the goalie without getting a penalty. Here’s a couple of parts of the rule.

    78(c) In all cases in which an attacking player initiates other than incidental contact with a goalkeeper, whether or not the goalkeeper is inside or outside the goal crease, and whether or not a goal is scored, the offensive player will receive a penalty (minor or major, as the Referee deems appropriate).

    (l) An attacking player who, in the judgment of the Referee, initiates contact with the goalkeeper, whether inside or outside the crease, in a fashion that would otherwise warrant a penalty, will be assessed an appropriate penalty (minor or major and/or a game misconduct) and will be subject to additional sanctions as appropriate pursuant to Rule 33A – Supplementary Discipline.

    (NOTE 7) For purposes of this rule, “contact”, whether incidental or otherwise, shall mean any contact that is made between or among a goalkeeper and attacking player(s), whether by means of a stick or any part of the body.

    So basically, the way I read the rule, and the way I think most of the refs read the rule, if you touch the goalie and the goalie moves, it’s a penalty.

  38. o-d_law says:

    oh yeah and had razor blade on the stick

  39. o-d_law says:

    lmao…I tough it was before 1984.

  40. o-d_law says:

    so great idea…and why not just applied rules as it is in internationnal games. I think it’s a bit fair

  41. o-d_law says:

    good point. But trap is improve by hooking in the middle zone and interference by D-men at blue line. That’s why goolies have time to go behind the net. If rules were rightly applied, players would be more often able to pick the puck in the offensive zone.

  42. defenestrate says:

    That would be fun…..we haven’t had one since last summer.

  43. defenestrate says:

    You needed an extra sentence to figure that out?

  44. LondonK says:

    But you know it won’t happen. The NHL’s referees are too mickey mouse to be able to handle the league. They have shown that countless times. They are unable to call the game properly so take the responsibility off their shoulders and somewhat fix it. It is too bad that it would mess with the great puckhandling goalies, but it is a far easier solution than to fix the trap. Until Gary Buttman leaves the NHL the game is not going to get fixed. This guy has done nothing to improve the game and since he took power he has made the game far worse: overexpansion, erosion of talent, erosion of officiating, erosion of entertainment, erosion of everything. I honestly cannot think of one move that he has made as the commissioner that has been a really good move that has changed the NHL for the better (yes adding a franchise in places like Columbus is ok as they have fans but still)

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