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Old 11-26-2007, 04:59 AM   #248
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Default NHLPA Instigating

NHL Players Association Executive Director Paul Kelly and his entourage have visited with seven of the league's 30 teams on their fall tour.

Issues discussed include bigger nets, smaller goalie equipment and mandatory visors, to name a few. But the one topic that interests players most right now is removal of the instigator penalty.

Kelly is asking players the question, "Do you want it removed?," and sources say the vast majority are saying yes.

At the competition committee level last year, the players voted in favour of leaving it in.

So, what's changed?

As one player put it, "guys have to be more accountable," citing hits to the head and hits from behind this season as the motivator for urgency.

Entering Wednesday's 11-game NHL schedule, there have been a whopping 155 fights this season. Instigator penalties have been handed out just 10 times, or six per cent of the fights.

Any player who accumulates three instigator penalties receives an automatic two-game suspension, and Philadelphia's Ben Eager was the lone player suspended last season.

According to the players, the instigator penalty corrodes the code.
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