The Law Of NHL Fighting?

DC Sports Nexus ---- Friday, December 9, 2011

After watching the NHL this season and taking a 1.5 credit class on Business Law, the following is how I view fighting in the NHL.

Filing A Claim:

Should one party hold a grievance against another party for actions that come to pass during the official time frame of a National Hockey League game, the aggrieved will be allowed to seek restitution under the law of the NHL without the prerequisite of lodging a formal complaint to the league.

Contract Offering:

In order to bring forth a complaint, the accuser must skate a minimum 1 full circle around the accused. This action acts as the offer of a contract for the accused to appear in a fight that will take place within the next minute.


Should the party offering up the contract not wait for acceptance before taking action, they will be given an additional two minute minor penalty for instigation as well as a misconduct major. Should any party offer a contract in the final five minutes of the allowed acceptance period, they will also receive this penalization.

Contract Acceptance or Rejection:

The accused does not have to verbally accept the contract. Instead, should the accused remove gloves from their person, skate in a circle around the accuser, or take any action deemed hostile by the overseeing official, this becomes an implied-in-fact contract and acceptance has been met.

If the accused does not take any of those actions, the contract has not been accepted and is not valid. In this case the officials must intervene and make sure the actions required under the contract are not performed.

Third Party Contracts:

If a party for some reason is unable to fight due to the fact that they are an important part of the game and cannot sit out for an extended period of time they are legally allowed to pass the contract off to a third party of their choice. This action must occur at the same time as acceptance or else it is invalid and becomes a breach of contract (see below).


After the contract has been accepted by both parties, should the mediating official believe that the case holds no consideration, they have the right to assemble a team of referees to break up the fight before it starts. Consideration is defined by the validity of the claim, whether or not the contract is within the interest of the game, or other reasons that nobody knows.


After acceptance, if consideration is met, the officials will allow the fight to begin and at that time both parties will be given a mandatory five minute major penalty (equal punishment under the law). Additional penalization will be waived until termination of the contract, and all actions henceforth will be allowed under the law. Should the penalized be wearing a visor or face shield, they will receive additional punishment as considered by the overseeing official.


Under the rules of a contract the two parties must skate in circles around each other at least but not limited to 2 times. After that, the parties must each grab the shoulder of the other party with their left hand and begin to throw punches with their right in an attempt to injure the other party. It is acceptable within the contract to pull the other party’s jersey over their head to gain an advantage.

Breach of Contract:

Should a teammate from either of the partys intervene in the contract, the contract will be terminated and the outside interfering party will be penalized with a game misconduct penalty.

Termination & Fulfillment:

The contract becomes fulfilled when one party hits the other party so hard that the striking party is left standing and the receiving party is on the ground. The contract will legally be allowed to terminate should both players go down to the ground. At that time the officials will stop the actions of both parties and the contract will be over.

Post Contract:

After the contract has officially ended, should one player continue to undertake actions that were involved in the previous contract, they will be assessed an additional penalty for game misconduct.

1 comment:

jw said...

Very good summary. However, if a player's jersey isn't tied down, and comes off during a fight, it is an automatic game misconduct. See stories about Semin's fight with Marc Staal of the Rangers, 1/3/2009. (aka - "bongos")

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