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Finally? NHLPA wants to put an end to headhunting ways

Apr 22, 2012, 10:37 AM EDT

Marian Hossa Getty Images

After hearing from Raffi Torres yesterday through the NHLPA about how Torres hopes for the best for Marian Hossa and he’s still pondering an appeal, some wondered what the players’ union’s role should be in matters like this. After all, it’s one member of the union going out of their way to harm another.

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks finds out from key players’ union member and Rangers forward Brad Richards that the NHLPA would like a bigger role in handling punishment matters in an effort to help clean things up.

“We’re definitely going to want to have more of a role in the supplementary discipline process going forward in the next [collective bargaining] agreement, but when it comes to it, the league can police it all it wants but we have a responsibility to each other as hockey players to stop this head-hunting.

“And just because it’s April 15 isn’t a reason to allow players to behave that way at this time of year or for the league to be lenient when they do. Players are still at risk.”

Should the players get this worked out in the next CBA, this is a big step. The players haven’t had a hands-on attitude when it’s come to matters. After seeing teammates, friends, and fellow union members felled at the hands of other guys they could describe similarly, seeing the players take a much more active role would be a huge step towards improving the game.

After all, it’s not just the league that looks bad when players go rogue and start taking each other out, the players look reckless and cold-hearted when not giving a second thought to their fellow man.

  1. eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 22, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    All this head shot thing was started by that crudekake Jersey Devil Scott Stevens ! Thats when it all started ! He was not respected by his peers but this whole generation of players grew up on his highlight head shots ! This is his legacy and now one of his peers Shanny can put an end to it and Shanny can make it his legacy of saving the game !

  2. quonce - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    bull sh!t to that comment above. Watch a Stevens highlight reel. elbows on shoulders in, never leaves his feet and doesn’t target heads. he does crush headdown skating players, but what lesson do we learn when we are mites and midgets….skate with your head up! This isn’t Scott Stevens. And even if you still think it is, 1 you’re wrong ;-) and 2 Dale Hunter on Turgeon

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:01 PM

      Stevens was a punk he would target the head while the targeted player was engaged with his defense partner ! Maybe your vcr tapes are blurry !

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:05 PM

      Play the Paul Korea highlight fool !

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 22, 2012 at 8:24 PM

      If the crudekake wasn’t going high on you hes was going low by the time he left the game all respect was gone for him !

  3. claysbar - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Most of this stuff is the product of just flat out a younger generation. We saw it happen about 6-7 years ago with all the high sticking because these kids are coming outta juniors and college wearing full face gear and never really had to see something like Bryan Berards eye hanging outta its socket. A good idea would be to insert conduct clauses in all players contracts with the new CBA where a team can suspend a player without pay or simply nullify a contract if they have a repeat offender. Seems like anymore the only way to get someones attention is to hit them in the pockets, BIG. Sorry, but fining a guy 2500 and then docking their pay for say 5 games, to a guy making about 600k (for 4th liners) and up doesn’t really amount to much. JMO

  4. barcthespark - Apr 22, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    I would think with the (deserved) heat the NHL receives for their disciplinary decisions, they would welcome shared responsibility with the PA.

  5. tackledummy1505 - Apr 22, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    So are you telling me that Malkin is no longer going to skate by one of the Flyers today and not give them a cheap shot elbow. The same elbow that has our Rex Grossman (D) out. This is a joke, I said the same thing before and I’ll say it again, “Certain players are off limits to be suspended or watched for such cheap shots. Malkin is the dirtest player in the league today, hands down.”

  6. fullbagg - Apr 22, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    How about the soccer like diving of players? That should be what they want to end too. Check this vidoe out and watch Xanadu, I mean Zdano tell his trainer as he left the ice “I was trying to draw a 5″. Also check out his antics at the end of the video.

  7. coacheskid - Apr 22, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Fullbag. Do you currently have a concussion?

    You posted the wrong video. Chara doesnt say anything and there is nothing at then of the video

  8. raoool - Apr 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    pfft.. today’s press release.

    somehow Neal’s elbow to the back of Jagr’s head at the end of the 1st period (while Orpik is hitting from the side) is ok. I guess as long as you score more goals than concussions, it’s ok. Maybe they could just write that into the rules so we can get some clarity on this instead of having to guess at the ‘interpretation presentations’ shanny’s putting on

  9. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 22, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Two pretty simple ways to fix this system:

    First, eliminate the idea that guys can put a quarter in the ‘Headshot Jar’ and receive no other punishment. If there are going to be fines they should be for amounts players will notice. Maybe it should be on a percentage basis so guys are fined proportional to their salaries.

    Second, the process should treat every player the same. Forget history, injuries, intent, special treatment for stars, and all that stuff. If a guy throws a dirty hit he should be subject to a certain number of games no matter who he hit or how many guys he’s hit. If Duncan Keith had been suspended for 10 or 15 I guarantee people around the league would’ve taken notice. If everyone on the ice knows they’re one bad hit away from sitting for multiple games they probably won’t be so willing to throw those kinds of hits.

    That being said, guys with a history should still be subject to lengthier suspensions, but guys with no records shouldn’t be able to run around targeting a guy’s head and only sit a game or two for it. A bad hit is a bad hit and should be treated as such.

    I know that’s easier said than done but you would see a lot less dirty hits if this is how the system worked.

  10. hsnepts - Apr 22, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Remember when the NHL said they wanted to get rid of bench clearing brawls? Me too. They put in an automatic 10 game suspension and big fines for the player, coach and organization. No more bnech clearing brawls.

    Remember when the NHL said hey wanted to get rid of head shots? Me too. They put in rule 48 and started handing out measly 1-3 game suspension, or 2500$ fines. What do you know, there is still lots of head shots.

    Measure the NHL’s actual convictions based on their actions, not their words.

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