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After watching the US-Canada Women's gold medal match, where the Canadian's had 30 seconds remaining in a power play following the end of the last period, I have to ask a question. If you know that a shootout is likely, why doesn't one team use their weakest shooter, who would suffer a penalty, to slam into the opposing team's best shooter with the hope of causing a performance-impacting injury? Of course, this would not be a respectable action, but, other than sportsmanship, what reason is there to not field this strategy? Sure the advantage gained for the shootout may be nominal, but even a tiny error in skating or handling can cause a shooter or goalie to miss.

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Because:

  • Most people have morals.
  • Anyone which was ever found to have been involved in this (the players, the coaches, the team management) would immediately receive life bans from the IIHF.
  • This would probably also be criminal assault in many jurisdictions.
  • Players don't want to start this kind of thing - they could be the next one on the end of an intentional injury.
  • Pierre de Coubertin once said something about winning.
  • So many more reasons.
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    Thanks. Those are all reasons that I agree with but do not explain why it would be a poor strategy. Getting found out would probably be unlikely-many hits are tolerated and certainly, no one would record that they chose that as a strategy, which makes the assault point a stretch (although I agree that this SHOULD count as assault). In some situations, such as the famous Canada-Soviet games, where the tension between the competing countries is high, all of them, this kind of decision may be easy to make. Bitter hatred does throw a wrench in most peoples' moral reasoning. – RougeSegwayUser Feb 22 '18 at 9:00
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    Players can also go to jail for this.. Dino Ciccarelli did (for a different kind of assault on the ice, but it's certainly possible). – dly Feb 22 '18 at 15:24

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