Tuesday’s Take: Chris Pronger Rule

There seems to be some buzz about Philadelphia Flyer’s Chris Pronger and the disallowed goal. The video can be seen here for your own review.

People are on two sides of the fence; it is a penalty or it is not a penalty. For those for it being called a penalty see Pronger’s actions as not playing the puck but intentionally interfering with the goalie. Those against it feel that the current rule book does not specifically state Pronger’s doings as wrong and therefore should not have been called.

The rule is as follows:

“An unsportsmanlike conduct minor penalty (Rule 75) will be interpreted and applied, effective immediately, to a situation when an offensive player positions himself facing the opposition goaltender and engages in actions such as waving his arms or stick in front of the goaltender’s face, for the purpose of improperly interfering with and/or distracting the goaltender as opposed to positioning himself to try to make a play.”

For those who think it is not a rule are getting hung up on one minor detail:

positions himself facing the opposition goaltender.

Seriously? I know Philly fans are a bit dramatic in thinking Gary Bettman and the NHL are out to get them, however you have to acknowledge that Pronger intentionally waved his hand in the goaltender’s face to interfere with him. Yes this is not “facing” the goaltender, but it is a blatant improper interference with the goalie and not resembling a screen in any way.

Please hockey fans, and Philly fans especially, quit complaining about minor things that are so obviously a penalty.


  1. Wow what a lame rule, honestly!
    Once again it is one of those calls that could have gone both ways…
    From Sean Avery’s point of view, you can see that he couldn’t see for a bit there and shoved Chris Pronger a bit.
    Now from Chris Pronger’s view I think he was indicating where to move the puck, if you watch closely he was watching the open space and not the goalie.
    I am not a Flyers fan but point being I mean it is screening, blocking the goaltenders view, personal opinion.

  2. Lame rule? Come on now, that’s not hockey. You play the puck, not messing with the goalie instead of screening.

    To say he was “pointing” is just silly. He was not, not at all.

    As for the video, yeah, I was having issues yesterday. I included a link now.

  3. I am OK with the rule as especially the part that says “facing the goalie.” Screening the goalie has long been a part of the game and to be honest you almost have to. The goalies are too good. If they can see the puck they can usually stop it. If his hand is on his stick out there it would have been a good goal. If that truly was a penalty the play should have been whistled dead the second his hand went out there. I guess the angering part is it appears this is another whistle on “intent.” He intended to block the goalies view there by making a play.

    Intent is the stupidest idea in all of hockey. If the puck goes off a players foot they always talk about did he intend to direct it in. If its in, its in. The intent to blow the whistle. Need I say more. Rules need to be black and white to be enforced.

    As a side note: Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Calgary or Philly changes playoff position because of the one point?

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