Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In Support of Enforcers in the NHL

This post is not going to be an essay regarding fighting in the NHL.  You're either for it or against it but it's here to stay in my opinion.  I do feel enforcers need an official NHL end-of-season award that, if done correctly, can be an example for the value of the position and possibly even help weed out some of the worst aspects that come with enforcers and fighting.  Plus, those of us who feel strongly about their value in the game feel they should be awarded for doing it the right way.
So I'm just going to lay out a point system that I would weigh very heavily in deciding the Enforcer of the Year Award, understanding that all of the NHL awards are voted on but the voters do use statistics.  The intangibles would be things like do they fight clean (no biting, etc), do they continue to punch when the fight is over, are they really trying to hurt someone or are just fighting because that's the job, do they turn down fights against nonenforcers, things like that.  Anything you'd like to add regarding intangibles, i.e. the code?  Obviously there needs to be a threshold of fighting penalty minutes to even be considered eligible.
  • One of the jobs of the enforcer is to rally the troops.  So I propose that if a goal is scored within five minutes, unless the period ends, of a fight that the enforcer be given two points.
  • Five points awarded for each five-minute fighting major.
  • One point deducted for each nonfighting penalty minute served, except for third man in, since I consider that part of his job.
  • Two points deducted per each minute served for nonfighting major penalties, to obviously try to weed out the real dangerous goonery.
  • Since enforcers aren't really paid to score goals but are more valuable when they can do both, I propose two points for each goal scored, one for each assist.
  • I would use the end of season plus/minus.  So add or subtract one point per.
  • Since the NHL keeps track of blocked shots, award one point for each.
  • Have I left anything out?

I'm looking for suggestions for the name of the award, since all NHL awards are named after people.  For now the name will be The Shawn Thornton Enforcer of the Year Award.

1 comment:

R.J. said...

Gotta include hits. Those are now trackable stats either on NHL.com or Yahoo Sports.

Name the award for someone who was a great fighter and goal scorer. Bob Probert is the first person I thought of since he also made an All-Star Game once.