The Ray Emery rule? NHL considering suspension for goalies who leave crease

Bruce Bennett

Many in the NHL have expressed displeasure with the actions of Ray Emery. A report has surfaced indicating that the league will discuss legislating against it in the future.

In the aftermath of the fight antagonized by Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ray Emery against Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, debate has ensued about how the NHL will respond to make sure an incident like it never happens again.

The league might consider implementing a 10-game suspension similar to the rule in place for skaters that leave the bench to join a fight, according to Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press. Lawless cites multiple league sources who state that goaltenders who leave their zone could face such a penalty in the future. This type of legislation could be tabled at the upcoming general managers meeting on Nov. 12 in Toronto. Legislation would require several more steps but the process could gain momentum with a favorable reception by the managers.

The incident occurred on Friday night, when Emery skated the length of the ice and engaged Holtby in a fight despite his unwillingness to participate. Emery stated that Holtby expressed that he didn't want to fight but Emery told him he didn't have a choice. Emery is an amateur boxer who had participated in several fights during his career, while Holtby had only engaged in one fight while in the WHL during the 2007-08 season.

Many around the league expressed disappointment with how the situation played out. Commissioner Gary Bettman stated that the league was left with no recourse as the rule book was devoid of a punishment to levy against Emery. This led to speculation about a rule being written in to protect against something like it happening again.

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