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The NHL rule change came after the Maple Leafs played the Bruins in 1932.

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Legendary hockey reporter Stan Fischler writes a weekly scrapbook for Known as “The Hockey Master,” Fischler shares his humor and insights with readers every Wednesday.

This week, Fischler reveals how the rules that forced goalkeepers to serve penalties were revised after a spiteful game between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Boston Garden 90 years ago.

In the NHL’s first 15 seasons, the rule stipulated that when a goaltender receives a minor penalty, he must serve two full minutes in the penalty box.

But on the night of March 15, 1932, a rowdy game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins at the Boston Garden changed that rule, allowing goalkeeper penalties to be served by teammates. was helpful.

The rule reversal was rooted in a fairly harmless skirmish in the first period before the Maple Leafs crease. I was lying down. As Weiland returned to position, Chabot sent a friendly love tap to Cooney’s skate, spreading the forward.

Referee Bill Stewart whistled Chabot to a two-minute tripping penalty. It was the first time a goaltender had to stop an infraction in Boston.

Toronto coach Dick Irvin has picked tough defenseman Red Horner to replace Chabot after he was penalized. Aside from the goalkeeper’s gear, which included Chabot’s glove, Horner slid towards the crease.

Horner’s first test was a hard drive by Weyland, but was stopped by Horner who made a skillful kick save. However, in the next Boston counterattack, Marty Barry passed Horner’s flailing stick. Not to disappoint, Irvin pulled Horner and replaced him with another defenseman, Alex “Kingfish” Levinski.

“Kingfish only lasted a dozen seconds,” says Bruins historian, Total Bruins, 1929-1939. gave the second “goalkeeper” the hook. ”

Another Maple Leaf defenseman, Frank “King” Clancy, entered. He made several saves before Stewart whistled to stop play and hand out an accidental minor.

“Now the Bruins have a 4-3 advantage,” Mikulash explained. “The free ice allowed Eddie Shore to slide effortlessly into the Leafs’ corner, where he delivered a short pass to George Owen, who threw a high shot over Clancy’s shoulder.”

In his unofficial history of the NHL, The Trajectory of the Stanley Cup, Volume 2, author Charles L. Coleman described the game as “an extraordinary contest.” In two minutes he scored four goals for Boston’s Maple to his three goals of his Leafs reaction, Coleman added: The referee sent Smythe off the bench, but Smythe refused.

“An attendant was called in and tried to give the Toronto manager a well-known butt rush. Some of the Toronto players intervened and punches were thrown.”

A Boston Globe photographer documented the scene with the caption:

A tense moment after referee Stewart called the police to eject the Toronto pilot.

Realizing that he must regain his composure, Bruins president CF Adams arrived at the board with a riot squad.

“I just pulled Stewart because he was blocking my view,” Smythe winked at Adams.

After consulting with Stewart, the Bruins owner persuaded the umpire to allow Smythe to stay for the rest of the game, as long as he maintained his politeness.

Stewart gave another 18 penalties and the Bruins won the game 6-2. Despite his aggression, Smythe escaped punishment and launched a campaign to lobby NHL owners to change the rule that goalkeepers would impose their own penalties.

“Smythe wanted to avoid repeating the fiasco that started with the goalkeeper taking a penalty,” Mikulash wrote.

It took Smythe six months to add a new statute to the rulebook. This feat was accomplished 90 years ago at his NHL semiannual conference held on October 1, 1932. The revised rule reads:

If a goalkeeper moves off the ice to serve a penalty, the manager of the club shall appoint a replacement.

Con Smyth lost the battle, but won the war.