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Sport Has NHL coaches' conduct with players reached tipping point?

08:15  09 december  2019
08:15  09 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Has NHL coaches ' conduct with players reached a tipping point ? NHL coaches have been under the microscope in recent weeks amid allegations of abuse. Former Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters recently resigned over allegations of racial slurs and abuse, and other players have come out

The List of National Hockey League ( NHL ) players with 1,000 points is a list of the individual players who have scored at least 1,000 regular season points during their career in the NHL .

Former NHL star Jeremy Roenick said when he was a young player with the Chicago Blackhawks “(Coach) Mike Keenan grabbed me around the throat on the bench.”

Ryan Huska wearing a suit and tie: Bill Peters resigned as Flames coach after allegations he used racial slurs toward a player.© Sergei Belski, Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports Bill Peters resigned as Flames coach after allegations he used racial slurs toward a player.

“But I love Mike Keenan,” Roenick told USA TODAY Sports. “Mike Keenan did not scar me one bit. I owe my career to Mike Keenan.”

Keenan told USA TODAY he doesn't recall grabbing Roenick in the throat, "but I probably grabbed him by the jersey a few times."

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As of the completion of the 2017–18 regular season, 109 ice hockey players in the National Hockey League ( NHL ) have scored at least 100 points in a single NHL regular season. Collectively, these players have achieved this feat on 276 occasions, playing for 25 franchises.

The National Hockey League ( NHL ) is a professional ice hockey league composed of 31 teams, founded in 1917. Each team is entitled to one head coach who handles the directing of games and

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NHL owners are expected to discuss the possibility of a strict coaches’ code of conduct at the Board of Governors meeting in Pebble Beach, California, either Monday or Tuesday.

Roenick, added, “These are different times” and coaches, like everyone else in society, need to be held accountable for what they do or say to players. He said behavior rules need to be put into writing.

“I’m an old-school guy. I appreciate trying to motivate someone with a firm hand,” said Roenick, who played from 1988-2009. “But the world is so polarized today that we have to make sure we don’t verbally attack people and have to start taking people’s feelings into account. We have to do our part to make the world a little bit better place.”

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The NHL Players Association is gathering input from players around the NHL on how to best address the issue. Aliu has also met with the league recently and said he had "great discussions" and that "some big change" is on the way.

“There certainly is no place in the game for any physical violence or the threat of it, nor discrimination or abuse based on race, national origin, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation,” the NHLPA said in an emailed statement.  “A number of matters have been raised in this regard over the last few days, which merit consideration."

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The statistics listed include the 2018–19 NHL regular season and 2019 playoffs. Active skaters (during 2019–20 NHL season) are listed in boldface. Minimum 500 points . Wayne Gretzky, 1.921.

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Mike Babcock, recently fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs because of the team’s poor performance, has also been accused by former players of verbally abusing them. Chris Chelios said Babcock belittled Johan Franzen to the point of suffering a nervous breakdown. Franzen confirmed that story to the Swedish media. Other former players, and a member of the media, have accused Babcock of other tactics and verbal attacks that seem over the line.

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Former NHL player Stu Grimson, who played from 1988-2002, said he has not been surprised that this issue has surfaced.

“Coaching conduct that crosses the line has been part of our sport for a good long while,” said Grimson, now a lawyer. “But I would be surprised to hear that is prevalent across the league.”

Grimson doesn’t believe it is widespread, but it happens enough that he says the attention being paid to it is necessary.

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NHL players who hold the all-time record for the most points in NHL . Regular Season Playoffs. All Positions Forwards Defensemen Goalies. All Players Active Players .

This is a list of players who have scored eight or more points in a National Hockey League game. Scoring eight or more points in a single game is considered a great feat and has happened only 16 times, by 13 different players .

Allan Walsh has been an agent for 25 years and estimates, on average, he has had one client about every two seasons who has been subjected to what he says was abusive behavior by a coach.

“Now that players are coming forward, I think we are now seeing the tip of the iceberg,” Walsh said. “I think there are a lot of coaches who are not sleeping well right now.”

One problem the NHL has is that everyone’s definition of abusive behavior differs.

“I can’t explain where the line is, but I know it when I see it,” Walsh said.

Asked to provide examples of abusive behavior, Walsh said he has had a player suffering from a concussion “called out in the dressing room for being a coward.”

“He was called out by his head coach as a liar, a faker and a coward,” Walsh said.

Walsh said these episodes go unreported because players feel intimidated. “Feeling if they did speak up, it would fall on deaf ears or they would be labeled as uncoachable or a troublemaker and it would do great damage to their career,” Walsh said. “In many instances, players, even high-profile players, suffered in silence.”

Sometimes, the attempted bullying of players can be subtle. Former NHLer Tom Laidlaw recalls suffering an eye injury and wearing a visor on his helmet longer than an assistant coach cared for.

“He said, 'So you are going to change who you are as a player,'" Laidlaw recalled.

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Negative sentiment reached a tipping point afterward. The NHL left open the door for someone to The NHL has been shutting down its season in February -- a time of year when it isn't competing NHL players began participating in best-on-best international competition in the 1972 Summit Series.

NHL coaches can challenge goals based on whether the play was offside or there was goalie interference. The coach can challenge only if he hasn't used his timeout. And the challenge is not necessary in the final minute of the third period or overtime, when the league takes over all reviews.

Laidlaw, who played from 1980-90, favors a code of conduct for coaches but said drawing the line that shouldn’t be crossed won’t be easy.

“Using a racial slur or questioning someone’s sexuality or physical abuse – that’s obviously over the line,” Laidlaw said. “But where do we go from there?

Laidlaw said he has never understood coaches being mean in the name of motivating a player.

“Another reason not to do that, is that it doesn’t work,” Laidlaw said. “I’ve never seen it work.”

Grimson feels the same way.

“I’ve looked at the coaches I’ve had who tried to coach that way, it has gone in the other direction,” Grimson said. “I’ve seen a bright young hockey player who left the rink in tears three days out of seven every week because the coach was so incredibly hard on them. You aren’t going to get more out of an athlete that well.”

But Roenick and Keenan believe some players need tough coaches. Roenick said he appreciated having a coach in his face because it kept him "revved up."

Keenan said he was also very hard on other players as well, particularly Chris Pronger, Rick Tocchet and Scott Mellanby, because he believed they could be exceptional if they were pushed.

"Sometimes it was tough love, but there was love and they knew that I cared," Keenan said. "That was what was important."

Keenan has no regrets about his coaching style.

"The results speak for themselves," said Keenan, who won a Stanley Cup in 1994 with the New York Rangers. "Young players need direction. I was very firm with them about what we were going to do on the ice and how hard they practiced. At the same time, I was capable of showing that I cared "

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Has NHL coaches' conduct with players reached a tipping point?

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