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NHL GM's propose that head shots be illegal

Mar 10, 2010, 11:21 AM EDT

Burke.jpgThe NHL general managers have decided on their proposed rule change
that will outlaw hits to the head; specifically on hits from behind.
Here’s the exact wording of the proposal, per TSN:

“A lateral, back pressure or blindside hit to an opponent where the
head is targeted and or the principal point of contact is not permitted.

A violation of the above will result in a minor or major penalty and
shall be reviewed for possible supplemental discipline.”

I still can’t believe that this wasn’t a rule before and that we’re
just now starting to see the NHL take strides to enforce these types of
hits. I guess it takes about a dozen players taken off the ice on
stretchers before we realize just how dangerous the game has become.

And no, I am not asking for the game to become some wimpy sport where
all open-ice hitting is illegal. Rest easy Joffrey Lupul. The NHL
understands that the physicality and the brutality of hockey is a major
part of the sport’s appeal. But you cannot tell me it’s a good thing for
the league when nearly every week we’re debating the legality of a
questionable hit while some player is rehabbing for weeks on end because
of a bad concussion. It’s bad for the players and it’s bad for the NHL.

On another, yet similar note, Matt Cooke will have a disciplinary
hearing at 12:30 p.m. EST with Colin Campbell. I’m not expecting a
suspension to come down because technically the hit was legal, according
to the NHL’s current and arcane rules.

  1. LaurenB - Mar 10, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    The rule makes perfect sense, though I have to wonder how effective it’s going to be because most head injuries seem accidental. Neal/Dorsett, for instance.
    Pairing a formal rule with a venue minimum glass flexibility requirement might help the rule actually reduce injuries? It could also be very unpopular with owners, GMs and sports photogs, though.
    Lol, just noticed that Jamie Lee Curtis, of all people, commented on a Huff Post… err… post about the Neal hit in November.

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