"What happens in a game can be managed easily under our rules," Campbell insists. "Unfortunately, where the system has broken down is in the enforcement of discipline. The authority invested in the officials must be respected promptly. In the past this has not been the case, but I can assure you that it will be in the future."
In an attempt to prevent the mass brawls that turn off sophisticated fans and delay games unnecessarily, the NHL soon will change some of its penalty rules governing fights. At present, when a Schultz refuses to leave the scene of a battle or mouths at the referee, he is given only a 10-minute misconduct. While Schultz is barred for those 10 minutes, his team is not required to play short-handed. "What we must do," Campbell says, "is change the thrust of the rules to adversely affect a team when it refuses to follow them." So, next season when a Schultz refuses to go directly to the penalty box, he will be given a two-minute minor penalty, during which his team will be shorthanded, as well as a 10-minute misconduct. "Once a player starts to argue with a referee, five of his teammates will start leading him to the penalty box," Campbell predicts. "They don't mind misconducts, but they don't want to play shorthanded." Even Philadelphia's Allen agrees with Campbell's thinking. "It can only help the game," he says. Campbell also intends to get a two-minute penalty on the books for anyone clearly provoking a fight, in addition to the standard five minutes for fighting.
Scotty Morrison, the NHL's referee-in-chief, wants Campbell and the league governors to protect officials from verbal and physical abuse by stronger wording of the rules. "Too many players and team officials are saying too much publicly about the referees," Morrison says. "After one Stanley Cup game a Philadelphia player said he'd like to split open [Referee] Dave Newell's head to see what's inside. Isn't that unbelievable? Yet they get away with it. As far as I am concerned, the 10-minute misconduct and the $50 fine as a deterrent to mouthing off to an official are of little value. The players laugh at the officials, believe me. But if they get a two-minute bench penalty, then it will all end immediately. Unfortunately, the referees are accepting more and more from the players these days. The constant jabbering must stop."
Campbell sympathizes with Morrison. "We're a very conservative organization," he says. "No one has ever accused us of being an experimental group. However, you must have drastic situations confronting you in order to make changes. Football changed its rules only after there was a groundswell of public opinion. Well, hockey has had that now. We cannot foster an attitude of indiscipline any longer, because-it plants the seed for trouble. If the present state of on-ice indiscipline is maintained, we would have mob scenes every night. We don't need that."