INTERPRETATION OF RULE 75 - UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT
NEW YORK/TORONTO (April 14, 2008) -- National Hockey League Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell today issued the following advisory on the interpretation of Rule 75 - Unsportsmanlike Conduct: "An unsportsmanlike conduct minor penalty (Rule 75) will be interpreted and applied, effective immediately, to a situation when an offensive player positions himself facing the opposition goaltender and engages in actions such as waving his arms or stick in front of the goaltender's face, for the purpose of improperly interfering with and/or distracting the goaltender as opposed to positioning himself to try to make a play."
So it is perfectly acceptable for the player to wave his arms and stick around, as long as his ass is to the netminder? This is just another arbitrary rule for the incompetent officials to mangle. What happens if the puck is behind the net and is shot out to the point with a guy in the crease? If he doesn't see the puck come out and turn around quick enough, he could be culpable as he moves back and forth looking for the puck.
Say what you want about sportsmanship and honour, Sean Avery played the game within the rules and the amount of press that it got triggered the league to legislate against him. If this wasn't a playoff game, if this wasn't Martin Brodeur, if this wasn't Sean Avery, this rule wouldn't have been made. The league is as childish and immature as they claim Avery to be and its pathetic.
But at the end of the day, they are the people in charge and you can't do anything about it. The best possible solution? The Rangers need to win the Stanley Cup so Avery's name is immortalized forever.