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Matt Cooke's hit is center stage at GM meetings

Mar 8, 2010, 10:38 AM EDT

Cooke.jpgThe NHL General Managers are meeting this week, Monday through
Wednesday,
to discuss and debate a number of issues related to the league. Some of
the topics include a possible playoff qualification round, a ‘coach’s
challenge for video review” and the tie-breaking formula. But it seems
— as it should be — that the issue getting the most attention this
week has to do head shots, and Matt Cooke’s from yesterday is up front
and center.

From TSN’s
Darren Dreger:

Monday’s meetings consist of a variety of presentations relating to
the issue of head checking, concussions and the NHL’s ongoing concussion
management program.

The NHL has invited a medical team that specializes in concussions to
speak and there will also be extensive video presentations isolating
both legal and illegal contact with the head.

Here’s the issue: currently, hits to the head by a shoulder are
considered legal, while elbow hits are not. But what about upper-forearm
hits? Are those shoulder or elbow hits? Matt Cooke certainly got his
arm up on Marc Savard, but he didn’t blatantly put the point of his
elbow into this temple.

That’s the issue that will debated and it’s expected that there will
be a new rule proposal to come out of these meetings that clarifies
exactly what is illegal about these checks.

While they’re at it, how about coming up with a standardized system
of punishment for illegal hits, so it’s not just left up to the whim of
Colin Campbell and his wheel of justice. That’s a concept.

  1. Larry McMahon - Mar 8, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    Ban Cooke for the season…at very minimum, the time lost by Savard times TWO. …or kick the jerk out of Hockey.

  2. wmw215 - Mar 8, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    There seems to be a pretense in the NHL that it is difficult to understand the difference between a clean hit and a hit to the head which will cause a head injury. Shots to the head whether with a elbow, shoulder or forearm are going to cause injuries (especially if the opponent has his head down and doesn’t see it coming).
    How about this… Intentional shots to the head (with elbows, forearms, shoulders, hockey sticks, chairs, lighting fixtures or tables) are not allowed. Hmm… couldn’t be this simple could it???

  3. Birdie17 - Mar 8, 2010 at 10:55 PM

    If Cooke does not serve any suspension for that hit, it will be open season on any NHL player regarding head shots. That hit was a blatantly dirty, blind-sided cheap shot. And Cooke’s chippy reputation should be taken into consideration. Now we’ll see if the NHL really wants to do something about player safety or not.

  4. Dave of Salem - Mar 9, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    Agree, Cooke has to be suspended.
    A player, who intentionally or maliciously, injures another player should be suspended equal to the time that the player that he injured is out, and then some. Times 2 works for me, with a one year maximum for the first suspension and out of hockey for a second offense.
    The NHL does not need these kinds of players. Hockey is a rough game and players do get injured but when it is intentional or malicious the penalty has to be severe.

  5. hockeyfan17 - Mar 9, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    We just watched the Olympics – how about that hockey? No goons, no commercials (almost), shorter intermissions, game over in a reasonable time. And a display of skill. International rules punish a player immediately for head shots (remember Tollefsen on Bartecko?). Hockey is a rough and tough sport a great hit is a great hit, but head shots need to be outlawed with a major suspension and $$$ fines. And blindsided hits should be next on order of discussion.

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