Flyers Notes: Emery fight could cause NHL rule change

Linesman Francois St. Laurent, right, tries to pull Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ray Emery, top, off of Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby during a melee in the third period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in Philadelphia. The Capital won 7-0. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
Linesman Francois St. Laurent, right, tries to pull Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ray Emery, top, off of Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby during a melee in the third period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in Philadelphia. The Capital won 7-0. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek) (AP)
Posted: November 07, 2013

RALEIGH, N.C. - As a direct result of Ray Emery's pummeling of Washington goalie Braden Holtby in Washington's 7-0 whipping of the Flyers last Friday, the NHL is considering a rule change that will be discussed at the general managers meeting in Toronto on Tuesday.

The NHL will discuss a 10-game suspension for goalies leaving their zone to instigate a fight, league sources told the Winnipeg Free Press. It would be similar to the player-leaving-the-bench rule to join a fight.

"It's not my job to make the rules. I just play the game," Emery said after Tuesday's morning skate in Raleigh, where the Flyers were preparing to face the Hurricanes later in the night.

If the rule was in effect and a 10-game suspension loomed, would Emery have done things differently against Washington?

"I don't know. I don't really want to talk about it that much anymore," he said. "It's just a rule thing. If they change the rules, they change the rules. It's not my job. My job is to stop pucks."

Holtby wanted no part of the fight.

"I hate what Ray Emery did," Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's dean of discipline, said Tuesday during an appearance on Sportsnet's Hockey Central. "I wouldn't like it if I were a teammate of his. I wouldn't like it if I were an opponent of his. And I think, more important, if the rest of the caretakers of our game, the general managers, don't like it, it's important for us to say when a rule is not properly addressed in the rulebook. And I don't think it is."

Emery was not suspended, but while he was in Columbus last week, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman voiced his displeasure over the incident.

Like Shanahan, Bettman blasted Emery's actions.

"There was no rule that was violated to elevate things to the level of a suspension," Bettman said. "It's something we'll continue to discuss."

Added Bettman: "I don't think anybody liked it, liked what it looked like. Fortunately it's not something that happens very often. But I'm sure it's something we'll focus on, particularly with the general managers."

Flyers winger Scott Hartnell said the NHL would be making a mistake if it suspended goalies who left their area to be involved in a fight.

"Not that it's part of the game, but when's the last time it happened before Ray did it?" Hartnell said. "Three years go? Maybe when Ray was in a fight with Marty Biron, maybe seven or eight years ago?"

Emery pounded Biron, then with Buffalo, in a 2007 bout, his last fight before Friday's.

"It's not like Ray's the cause of all this," Hartnell said. "I'm sure he was frustrated with the score, but I think it would be stupid to throw in rules and make up rules because of one game."

The fight was one of four that took place almost simultaneously in the Capitals' romp.

Hartnell claimed Holtby was not upset with what happened.

"I know Braden personally, and we laughed about it after the game," Hartnell said.

 

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