Apr 2, 2010, 3:45 PM EDT
Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke is convinced a good hug may go a long way to curbing a constant safety issue in the NHL – hitting from behind.
Burke is lobbying the league to allow what he calls a “bear hug,” where a player, usually a defenseman, is allowed to wrap his arms around the targeted player, for a fleeting moment, while he takes him into the boards.
Burke says this change would avoid the “billiard-ball” force hits that exist now where all of the force is transferred directly from the “hitter” to the “hittee.”
Well, I can’t say the idea is insane but can you imagine the slippery slope this could cause with interference/holding/obstruction? Would refs think that a defenseman was simply protecting another player instead of impeding his progress to the net?
Perhaps the league should just be cut-and-dry instead. Something tells me if the NHL had a zero tolerance policy on hits to the head – whether they come from the front, side or from an overhead parachute approach – things would be a little different. Or maybe the league needs automatic suspensions for the egregious charges by Tanner Glass and James Wisniewski (it almost seems like “charge” is to light a word for those moments … perhaps they should receive a penalty for “stampeding”?).
Still, I appreciate the spirit of the idea. The league needs its most creative minds to take this issue seriously and come up with a solution that will straddle the line between “letting them play” and “allowing them to suffer irreversible brain damage.”
- Rangers’ goaltending a concern? ‘We know what Henrik is,’ says Tortorella 2
- Discuss: Bruins find scoring touch in Game 2 win over Rangers 19
- Playoffs tonight: Spezza’s Game 3 return, Bruins-Rangers highlight your Sunday 5
- Penner blasts refs for having ‘gall to guess’ on goalie interference call 63
- Discuss: Sharks win in OT, draw series to 2-1 19
- NHL fines Sharks $100K for Torres suspension critique 44
- Toews has beef with officiating after Game 2 loss 56
- Discuss: Red Wings even up series, take down Chicago 4-1 27
- No surgery needed for Eric Staal following injury at Worlds 3
- Playoffs tonight: Detroit and San Jose look to change things up 3
- Alex ‘they wanted Game 7′ Ovechkin to address media today before heading to Worlds (110)
- Question for commenters: What’s the hardest team to support? (94)
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (91)
- Bryzgalov thinks Stalin did a good job, wishes Philadelphia wasn’t so old, and believes poor people don’t want to work (80)
- McPhee says lack of power plays ‘didn’t feel right’; Torts says Washington is ‘whining’ (70)
- Live Extra: Watch live coverage of Penguins-Senators
- PBT: Parker carves up Grizzlies as Spurs roll in Gm. 1
- PHT: Bruins crack Lundqvist, hammer Rangers
- MST: No bumping on Bump Day at Indy 500
- PST: Arsenal grabs Champions League spot
- Ferguson's managerial career ends with 5-5 draw
- Moore stays unbeaten as Rays top Orioles