It’s not exactly a secret that the hockey world has been turned upside down these days. It’s been a whirlwind of controversy in the NHL these past two weeks. Bill Peters. Mike Babcock. And now Marc Crawford. It seemingly never ends.
In an effort to address any future potential issues while also drawing attention to the league’s current investigations involving both Peters and Crawford, the NHL will create and release a written Code of Conduct for all employees of the league.
Check out this tidbit from NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, taken from his latest 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet:
A written “Code of Conduct” is coming. Discussions are underway. Lawyers will tell you the NHL properly handled the Bill Peters investigation, but the slower pace in a frenzied world and the fact he resigned instead of being fired left a sour taste in many mouths. Clear guidelines eliminate grey area, and ease another percolating debate: Where is the line of acceptability?While everyone should recognize racial comments and physical abuse as zero-tolerance offences, verbal criticism hits all ranges, and everyone reacts differently. A dressing-down that bothers you might not bother someone else. Sometimes, the truth hurts, but we need the honesty.
There must be clarity.
There also must be specific language detailing what needs to be reported, and to whom. We’re still not sure (at least publicly) who knew what about the Peters/Aliu fiasco in the Blackhawks organization. In 2016, after Peters apologized to one particular Hurricanes player for punching him on the bench (and to the team as a whole), then-GM Ron Francis chose to deal with it internally. It never happened again, but the decision is now an enormous controversy.
Take it out of the teams’ hands.
You hear that? That’s the sound of dozens of NHL coaches pulling in their collars. Change is coming, whether hockey fans want it or not.
There's no denying that the hockey world, like the REAL world, is changing. With the decade coming to a close later this month, it seems like the perfect time to reflect on just how much the league has changed in recent years. What will the NHL look like in 2029?