Bench Clearing Brawl Rules 25-Years Old
Twenty-five years ago the NHL put new rules in place to curb the amount of bench-clearing brawls that were happening in the league.
An AP report published Sep 18, 1987 via The New York Times gives us the scoop:
Under the new rules, the first player leaving the bench for a fight would receive a 10-game suspension as well as a game misconduct. His coach would get a five-game suspension and his team would be fined $10,000.
There are more lenient penalties for the players who followed.
This wasn't the initial rule, just a harshening of it. Players were thrown out, given a three-game suspension and some bonus penalty minutes that meant nothing.
There was another fighting-related rule change that included an instigator provision. As a reminder, in 1987 John Ziegler was president (not 'commissioner').
In addition, clubs would be fined $25,000 if their players were involved in fights involving more than two players before or after each period of play, and the instigator of such brawls would be suspended for 10 games.
It's interesting during a time of a billion dollar-related lockout reading an article from that era as $25,000 was a big fine for a team. $100,000 was the max mentioned, and that was only if teams were caught paying players' fines. Players were fined anywhere from $500 to $1,000.