The move comes in response to a bevy of questionable hits made during the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“We’re throwing up our hands,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “We’ve tried a wheel of justice, we’ve tried throwing darts at the wall, rock paper scissors, you name it. Nobody’s happy. This way, the league won’t catch any flack. If you don’t like a suspension to one of your players, all it means is you’re a bad fan, your fanbase is garbage and we’re probably going to move you to Winnipeg anyway.”
Bettman said any hit the league will search Twitter, message boards and other social media during games and any time a play is questioned by more than 100 fans, a suspension vote will go up on NHL.com.
“As it stands right now, though polls don’t close for another few hours, Chris Kunitz’s elbow to the head of Simon Gagne last night is a hockey play and Steve Downie’s charge on Ben Lovejoy will result in him being shot out of a cannon,” Bettman said.
A successful trial run was executed recently using fans of the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.
“As a result of our initial test, Zdeno Chara will now count as two men,” NHL Disciplinarian Colin Campbell said. “So for the remainder of the season, the Bruins will only be able to have three additional skaters and a goaltender on the ice when Chara takes a shift – otherwise they will be eligible for a two many men penalty.”
Bettman said he isn’t worried about the decision affecting the league’s standing.
“It’s perfect actually. It’s set up in a way that the major markets will always win the argument because their fanbases are bigger,” he said. “Major market teams will then win playoff series after the opposing team is depleted from suspensions , and we get boffo ratings. Brilliant.”
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