Daily Poll: Is the Code Dead?

Anytime a discussion arises around enforces such as John Scott, Shawn Thornton or other infamous players known for throwing punches over scoring goals, a topic that quickly comes into play is the code. This code is an unwritten set of rules in which enforces and third line players live by when it comes to their play on the ice and fighting.

Basically the code revolves around a certain level of respect in which players live by. The problem is the code is unwritten and changes

Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

depending on who you ask. But after every game, dirty play and questionable hit  one has to wonder about this unwritten code in which players live by and whether or not that code still exists. After the Shawn Thornton incident it may be seriously time to write of the unwritten code. Yesterday there were quite a few posts around the interwebs talking about the code and how it may officially be dead; But we wanted to give you the readers a chance to voice your opinion about this infamous code.

What has led everyone to believe this code is dead? Well the final breaking point seems to be the Thornton cheap-shot from Saturday night when he went to town on Brooks Orpik because he refused to fight.

Shawn Thornton is an enforcer who believes firmly in the code and was quoted just a week earlier talking about said code and what it means to him;

“I take a lot of pride in that. I do. People could probably criticize that I’m a little too honourable, I suppose, in some instances. I’ve been a firm believer my whole life that what goes around comes around. If you’re one of those guys that suckers someone when they’re down or you go after somebody that doesn’t deserve it or isn’t the same category as you, that will come back and bite you at some point, too.”

When someone who is a strong supporter of the code itself breaks said code, you know there is an issue somewhere. But the point of today’s poll is not to debate the code, but instead debate whether this unwritten code has bitten the dust. Do you think there is still a code? The more hockey you watch this season the less you believe there is a code in which these players still live by.

Vote in the poll about whether the code is still alive or is buried 6 feet under.

Is the Code Still Alive?

View Results

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Topics: Hockey Code, Poll, Shawn Thornton

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  • Dano

    “What has led everyone to believe this code is dead? Well the final breaking point seems to be the Thornton cheap-shot from Saturday night when he went to town on Brooks Orpik because he refused to fight.”

    Actually, it was on life support and then put to ground in the last 3-4 years. The ‘ Instigator rule ‘ along with Gary Bettmans zeal to make profits is what really killed a lot of the game.

    Before the Instigator ruling, you really didnt want to run a star player. If you did, you knew to get your gloves off REAL quick and HOPE your teammates would get off the bench while the star’s team jumps theirs. Bobby Orr, Gretzky? People knew better!

    You didnt run a goalie. THAT was considered the ultimate insult to an opposing team.

    You knew you were going to get hit/checked and you knew you could hit/check back. You didnt flop around on the ice and try to ‘ sell ‘ a penalty. Such would usually bring you a beating and some rather fitting names.

    Endless something serious happened, most of those ‘ goons ‘ were LOVED for their charity work and what they did in the towns/cities they played in. They were all loved by their teams and respected by others.

    Now? They are the ‘ villains ‘ and their job is being phased out by the league.

    Proof the ‘ code ‘ is dead? Brad Marchand, PK Subban, Patric Kaletta and Matt Cooke all still have their teeth. They are protected by the league. You cannot have a ‘ code ‘ of any kind when theres a guy named Shannahan whom is absolutely inconsistent in disciplinary accountability and LOOKING to ban anyone whom goes by anything other then what his ‘ bible ‘ ( rulebook ) specifies.

    Bettman and Shanny want the league at their feet, rolling them in big bucks.. Its not about the game for either of them, its all about the money and what they can do to get the game on TV with ads/sponsors to line pockets.

    ‘ Code ‘ is being replaced by the rats. Its what the ‘ rules ‘ have brought it to. :(

    • qwicwted

      Dano, while I agree with most of what you wrote, I don’t think Kaleta and Cooke have been protected – but Thornton and Neill surely have. There has been inconsistency with accountability and because of that the cheap shots have become the norm. When the so called “goon” tries to stand up for his teammate, he is given the instigator penalty and then suspended. It will be interesting to see if Thornton gets more than Scott, when Scott didn’t really do anything. IMO Shanahan needs to be replaced by a “committee” comprised of maybe 5-7 fomer players instead of one former player having the decisionmaking power.

      • Jes

        Agree with everything qwicwted said. Same with Dano minus that Kaleta/Cooke part.
        Well said for the both of you.

        Also what’s with Thornton apologizing and being all sympathetic after the game like he didn’t mean to do what he did? It’s not like its a hit at high speeds, guy basically pulled a McSorley type move. He knew what he was doing, players like that should not be in this game. Neil and Thornton get away with a lot compared to Scott, Kaleta,, Cook and even Avery back in the day.

        And here’s to hoping Thornton doesn’t get suspended for to long and we see Scott beat the living piss out of him.

      • Dano

        “Shanahan needs to be replaced by a “committee” comprised of maybe 5-7 fomer players instead of one former player having the decisionmaking power.”

        In the last 3 years, I have seen a lot of people cry about Shannaban and Bettman.. But you have the PERFECT solution in how to get rid of Shanny and put something effective into his place! Kudos!

    • Caitlin Campbell

      The instigator rule has really done more harm then good when you take a closer look at the game today. Thanks for the comment Dano!