MacHall's Bleacher Creature Trivia, Part Seven: NHL Rules, Refs, and Regulations

M MacDonald Hall@@DocMacHallSenior Analyst IJuly 17, 2008

Posted by Ken Armer July 23:

Computer Update:  M's computer has been going through a long rough patch.  An intervention to stop it from screwing me around took place last night amongst hard drives and other relatives, and I am now knocking on wood hoping that the peace lasts and I can finally get down to writing.  Losses included Parts 7, 8, and 9 of the Quiz along with select trivia questions.  These will be rewritten and posted ASAP.
Thank you for your patience.  M.

Due Date for answers of part seven is now tomorrow!!! Class dissmissed...

Temporary Notice:  Owing to technical difficulties, this edition of the Quiz was not published as scheduled on Friday, 11 July 2008.  It was posted Thursday, 17 July 2008 as soon as circumstances permitted.  Just like strong medicine, trivia will skip a dose tomorrow (Friday) and normal schedule will resume Monday, 21 July 2008.  Thanks to Ken Armer for posting a notice on my behalf during the quizless interim.

Summer. For the hard-core hockey nut, beautiful weather is swapped off for fast-paced sporting glory, and it doesn‘t quite seem like a fair trade. After weeks of intense Stanley Cup ups-and-downs, the months after that final game can be awfully anti-climactic.

It can seem like an unwanted four month break from ice-based madness. But really, it isn’t. Especially if you know where to look.

Welcome to Part Seven of the Quiz! Every week this summer, find new hockey trivia - and answers - here, now twice a week. Test your self and your friends, and take credit as the King or Queen of hockey knowledge. Covering various topics (and miscellany) chapter to chapter, it’s a fun and easy way to get into the game over the hot summer months. Take a journey with your fellow Bleacher Creatures and discover the stories which make up over a hundred years of ice time.

Think you can handle it? Want to prove your hockey-smarts? Grab a pen and paper, or simply type your solutions on your own Bleacher Report profile and play along. Answers for today’s questions will be listed in Monday’s edition, and links to other chapters are at the bottom of the page.

Part Seven takes a peek at the other “other side”, the laws which govern hockey and the officials who enforce them.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with them, zebras and suits tend to have the last say. Just like real life, only more zebras.

The NHL Rule Book is a thick piece of work, and has been edited, amended and rewritten almost every year since 1917. A patchwork of old and new, the modern rules and the evolution they’ve experienced reflect the growth - and sometimes regression - of the hockey entity.

Rules, refs, and regulations control hockey as best they can. In a sport where fire, aggression, and intensity are requisites, there has to be someone to keep a lid down on the powder keg. A thankless job - thanks in part to us - refereeing requires thick skin, and many think a thick head.

Armed only with a whistle and a detailed knowledge of every hockey regulation in use, the striped stiflers must make quick decisions which aren‘t always popular. A person can’t please everyone all of the time, and in hockey displeasure comes out fast and furious.

They may make the game more balanced or safe or just, but rules and officials are a constant source of contention. Fans scream at refs, disbelieve video replays, and find fault and flaw in contemporary rules. We’ve all done it, just as our ancestors did when rocks and live animals were thrown at arbitrators in the arenas of great battle. But enough about the 1950s and the Forum. On with the quiz.

1. Which NHL coach once received a Valentine’s Day card from the officiating crew which was working that night’s game?

2. Perhaps responding to growing violence, a rule was added to the Book years ago stating that a match penalty and no substitutions for five minutes would be the punishment for intentionally kicking another player. The same year, a strange rule was instituted regarding team captains. What was the unusual mandate?

3. Before hockey referees used whistles to call plays, officials had a noisemaker of a different sort. What item did refs utilise at games in the early days, and what specific reason led to an all-round replacement with the whistle?

4. What refereeing controversy from the 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs was rumoured to have caused a last-minute officiating change?

5. During the 1950s NHL arenas became safer when the use of protective glass became mandatory around the boards. Rinks would become even more fan-friendly when netting over the end glass was required. Which building started the safety trend as the first to install protective glass, and when did safety netting become mandatory?

6. During Kerry Fraser’s first NHL game between the Leafs and Canadiens, what name did the now-veteran referee call Montreal defenseman Guy Lapointe?

7. In the late 1920s more new rules were written, intended to improve the offensive side of the game. Less than halfway through the season, however, goal scoring had more than doubled leading the League to amend one of the directives they had implemented only a few months before. Which modern regulation was born from this unprecedented mid-season rewrite?

8. What is the difference between a referee and a linesman?

9. What recent post-season event caused an emergency rule amendment at the NHL level?

10. Tie-breaking rules have varied greatly over the years, each more convoluted than the last. One system remained in use for 30 years until a bizarre occurrence forced yet another tweak. What specific set of strange events caused the milestone modification?

Bonus Question: What single addition to the game is considered by most hockey scholars as the “beginning of the modern era in the NHL”?

Photo Question: Another of the most famous images in the game, this shot seemingly depicts hockey as a violent and out-of-control sport ruled by thugs. It shows a Team Canada skater with his stick raised and swinging, threatening the referee. In fact, the story behind the photo tells more about the officials than the players. Who are the protagonists in this shot, and what has driven the player into such an infamous pose?

Answers - MacHall Test Part Six: Classic Hockey Hodgepodge

* Note: These are the solutions to the Part Six of the quiz. Try your hand at the questions via the link at the bottom of the page.

Congratulations to Josh Lewis for getting the highest score for the Classic Hockey Hodgepodge edition of trivia.  With five correct answers he keeps neck-and-neck with Alan Bass on the completely unscientific MacHall Hockey Challenge leaderboard. 

If you'd like to show to rest of Bleacher Report your hockey quiz prowess, or if you just figure you can take on Josh and Alan, leave a comment or drop a note on my profile  let me know you have posted your answers.

6.1 ~ Blue and white.

6.2 ~ Philadelphia. Apparently there was also some talk of Pittsburgh, so Pennsylvania, a state which often sought new hockey franchises throughout the game’s history, would have had a different early start.

6.3 ~ The Savvis Center in St Louis. The other placard, as seen in The Hockey News, read: "I need a transBLUESion".  Boy, that's one desperate bag of bones.

6.4 ~ Denis Cyr, Denis Savard, and Denis Tremblay comprised “Les Trois Denis” line who wreaked havoc in the QMJHL with the Montreal Juniors. The three boys not only shared the same name, but they all had the same birthday (4 February, 1961) and grew up in the same Verdun, Quebec neighbourhood.

6.5 ~ Jacques Plante. He usually had a toque or scarf on the go everywhere he went; on the road, in the locker room, after practice, wherever!

6.6 ~ Fred Waghorne. Before his innovation, the puck was placed on the ice by the official while he ensured the two centremen were properly positioned. The slow and close contact often led to a banged up ref, so in 1900 Waghorne just dropped the puck between the centres and let them have at it. The style eventually became the common form of faceoff. As Waghorne himself explained, it saved the referees and left players to their own devices, “allowing them to do as they darn well pleased.”

6.7 ~ Howie Morenz. The Canadiens legend caught his skate tip between the boards and the ice, falling awkwardly and breaking his leg in several places on 28 January, 1937. Those who visited Morenz in hospital over the following weeks reported a man in turmoil, progressing from optimism to depression as he faced the reality that he wouldn’t play hockey again.

When he died suddenly on 8 March, many fans and friends felt that a broken heart must have been the cause of death. In reality, he had suffered a nervous breakdown at the idea of the charity benefit events being planned in his honour. Outside contact was restricted and any benefit talk abandoned in an attempt to set Howie’s mind at ease.

On the morning of the 8th, x-ray films revealed blood clots in the skater’s legs, and surgery was scheduled for the next day. Morenz would not last the night, sending a shock wave of grief through Montreal. The cause of death is listed as having been due to a pulmonary embolism. The legend lives on however, and there are those who will always believe, at least symbolically, that he died of a broken heart.

6.8 ~ Quite comfortable with his No.17 sweater, Howe said no when asked by the Red Wings to switch numbers after his first season. The number nine was available, but the future Mr Hockey felt he had a lucky digit in seventeen. The man with the clipboard went away only to return with a reason for switching to the fabled number: assigned with No.9, Howe would get a lower berth on train journeys.

In the days when the railway was the main form of travel for these athletes, young Gordie preferred to take a bottom bunk rather than face the awkward climb into his old upper berth, so he made the swap. The rest is history.

6.9 ~ Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference. At 5:09 of the second period in Boston, the two dropped the gloves, and Sidney recorded not only his first NHL fight, but his first NHL Gordie Howe hat-trick, having already scored a goal and assist. Pittsburgh won 5-4 in a shootout.

6.10 ~ Foster Hewitt

6.11 ~ (Photo Question) In a contract offer smacking of PR spin, Gretzky was offered a 21-year deal worth $1 million per annum. The idea was to keep #99 until the year 1999, and help spotlight the Edmonton Oilers as they entwined their future with the future Great One.

With the ramifications of such a long term weighing on his mind, young Wayne was offered advice from long-time friend Garnet “Ace” Bailey. Worried the pressure of the fans and the crowd would force him to sign a contract he wasn’t ready for, Bailey suggested Gretzky sign “Ace” on the contract at centre ice.

Wayne followed the advice, and in front of a sold-out crowd, WHA and team officials, scrawled the name “Ace” instead of his own, symbolically agreeing to the terms yet technically not tying himself down. However, after speaking with his father following the game, Gretzky eventually signed the contract for real in the locker room.

6.12 ~ (Bonus Question) He was to receive a new car every year of his contract.

Check back Friday for more trivia, plus answers to these “official” questions.

Other trivia in this series:

Part One - Hockey's "Third Season" Basics

Part Two - The Draft

Part Three - Stanley Cup Sampler

Part Four - International and Olympic Hockey

Part Five - NHL Awards and the Stanley Cup

Part Six - Classic Hockey Hodgepodge

New quiz questions (and solutions to the previous edition) will be published Mondays and Fridays through much of the Summer. Let me know you have posted answers on your profile, and I will let you know just how well you did on the quiz.

M MacDonald Hall is the Bleacher Report Calgary Flames Community Leader, and will be adding to the NHL Department over the summer. Future articles include a breakdown of Calgary Flames playoff performance in the 21st Century, roster changes and information, and Flames-specific trivia. M’s Bleacher Report archive includes an assortment of Flames/NHL articles.

M also writes on various other topics, sport and non-sport related. Enquiries regarding NHL writing or other subjects may be directed to  M's Bleacher Report profile or via email.


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