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NHLPA approves modified rule for hits to head

Mar 25, 2010, 12:50 PM EDT

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savard.jpgIt’s been an awfully bumpy road to get to this spot, but at least the NHL got somewhere when it comes to its head shot epidemic. TSN reports that the NHLPA approved the proposed modifications to the league’s rules regarding hits to the head.

The temporary rule will give league disciplinarian Colin Campbell the power to hand out supplementary discipline for head hits on unsuspecting players for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.

The institution of a permanent rule that includes an on-ice penalty — something NHL general managers recommended two weeks ago — will be discussed over the summer by the competition committee.

You may have noticed that we’ve followed this little saga for quite some time (even if one could argue that the story is far from over). Here’s a collection of links that will serve as a brief timeline of this process.

The Colin Cambell Crisis Collection - A solid anthology of the dirty/questionable/controversial hits that brought this topic to the forefront of almost every hockey debate.

Pucktales: NHL finds solution to head shots – Our humorous take on the way the league prefers to deal with problems in comic form.

Wendel Clark’s comments about players’ delusions of invincibility.

NHLPA proposes ‘band-aid solution’ to head-shot rule.

NHL tells players to buzz off over rule change. Then the league gives them more time.

So those links should give you a solid look at how quickly this situation unraveled for the league. Will this give Colin Campbell the needed authority – and flexibility – to change the league’s policies of consistent chaos to predictable, reasonable suspensions? Only time will tell, but I guess we’ll have to accept that these things won’t evolve with huge leaps. Instead, it’s obvious we’re going to have to settle for baby steps.

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