NHL considering 'Ray Emery rule'

NHL considering 'Ray Emery rule'
November 13, 2013, 3:00 pm
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11.13.13: Caps week in review

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ray Emery (29) during warmup prior to game against Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.

(Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)

If the tone coming out of the NHL general managers’ meetings in Toronto on Tuesday are any indication, fights like the one between Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and Flyers netminder Ray Emery on Nov. 1 in Philadelphia will be met with severe penalties.

Like possibly 10-game suspensions.

“I think there might be an appetite for eliminating goaltender fighting and I guess we’ll discuss it more when we get down to the meetings in March,” Caps general manager George McPhee said Wednesday, referring to the annual general managers’ meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. “… It seems that people want to eliminate it, so we’ll see where that goes in March.”

Earlier this week, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters he had a conversation with Emery while his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks, were at the White House celebrating last year’s Stanley Cup. The White House visit was a few days after Emery skated the length of the ice to fight Holtby.

"I said, `Oh, Ray. It's good to see you. I've been thinking about you,'” Bettman told reporters.  “We had a nice chat. And I said, `So, just hypothetically, if there was a rule that said if you cross the red line to get into a fight with the other goaltender and you get a 10-game suspension, would you have done it?'

“He goes, `What? Are you crazy?'"

McPhee said he expressed the Capitals’ opinions regarding the fight between Emery and Holtby but said he would keep that opinion behind closed doors.

Holtby said he has nothing against goaltenders fighting and thinks a 10-game suspension sounds too severe for all goalie fights. He also said that as a fighter Emery is in “another class” and nothing good could have come from fighting him.

“Goalie fighting is part of hockey,” Holtby said. “If there are two willing combatants it happens. I think it’s more about being an instigator. If you don’t have two willing guys, that’s the problem. I think two goalies willing to fight should be treated like any other players.”