Jul 17, 2013, 6:15 PM EDT
Three years ago, the NHL tightened its rules on hits to the head in an effort to curb injuries and concussions.
According to a new study, it’s not working.
Conducted by neurosurgeon and concussion researcher Dr. Michael Cusimano of Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital, the study compared concussion rates before and after the NHL introduced rules against hits to the head in 2010.
“The rate of concussion did not decrease,” Cusimano said in an interview, as per CBC. “It in fact increased the first year and in the second year in the NHL it stayed stable.
“So we didn’t see a decline like I think everyone had hoped, including the NHL, who said brought in primarily for player safety.”
The amendment to rule 48 — illegal checks to the head — was introduced two years ago, at the start of the 2010-11 campaign..
Illegal checks to the head, defined as “a lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principle point of contact is not permitted,” will now be subject to a five-minute major penalty and automatic game misconduct, as well as possible supplemental discipline if deemed appropriate by the League.
While the aim is to prevent severe injuries, like the concussions suffered last season by players such as Florida’s David Booth and Boston’s Marc Savard, hockey remains a contact sport and [Director of Officiating Terry] Gregson made clear that just because there is contact to the head, it doesn’t automatically make for an illegal hit.
Cusimano suggests the rule isn’t working is because of how it was originally worded — and how it’s been called.
“Part of it’s the way the rule’s written. Part of it’s the way the rule is enforced. Part of it’s the penalties associated with the rule,” he explained. “And part of it is that concussions are also coming from other causes like fighting, that is still allowed.”
Another issue, it seems, is the sheer physicality of the sport.
Cusimano and his researchers said 64 per cent of NHL concussions were caused by bodychecking, while 28 per cent of concussions — and 28 per cent of suspected concussions — were caused by illegal incidents that resulted in a penalty, fine or suspension.
As for solutions, Cusimano came up with four suggestions: banning fighting, stiffer penalties for teams/players that cause concussions, changing equipment regulations and looking at different ice sizes and dimensions.
Jul 11, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT
Another interesting young forward in Tampa Bay.
Jul 11, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT
“Evander’s a Winnipeg Jet and that’s how we’re moving forward.”
Jul 11, 2014, 1:52 PM EDT
What could the Blackhawks’ defense look like without him?
Jul 11, 2014, 12:53 PM EDT
Pressure’s on for Randy Carlyle.
Jul 11, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT
“We’re not going to finish last to try and draft people first or second.”
Jul 11, 2014, 11:27 AM EDT
Drafted 22nd overall.
Jul 11, 2014, 10:24 AM EDT
Played for Steve Yzerman during the 2010 Olympics.
Jul 11, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT
“There was no room for negotiation.”
Jul 11, 2014, 9:29 AM EDT
Six-year extension for the 28-year-old center.
Jul 11, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Not that there was much left anyways.
Jul 11, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Friday’s collection of links.
Jul 10, 2014, 10:59 PM EDT
Two depth moves for San Jose.
Jul 10, 2014, 10:03 PM EDT
They also gave Rinat Valiev an entry-level contract.
Jul 10, 2014, 9:04 PM EDT
He was a hockey operations advisor for two years after ending his playing career.
Jul 10, 2014, 8:01 PM EDT
Both agreed to two-way contracts after making their NHL debuts last season.
Jul 10, 2014, 6:56 PM EDT
He has a window of opportunity to agree to terms with an NHL team.
Jul 10, 2014, 5:52 PM EDT
It gives him a chance to prove himself.
Jul 10, 2014, 5:11 PM EDT
His contract is reportedly worth up to $2.5 million with bonuses.
Jul 10, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT
He’s expected to help mentor the team’s younger players.
Jul 10, 2014, 4:04 PM EDT
It was a big weakness for Dallas last season, but the additions of Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky should change that.
- Lightning sign Brenden Morrow for one year 21
- Jackets sign Dubinsky through 2020-21 35
- AHL’s new overtime rules include 3-on-3 play 26
- Report: Avs, O’Reilly likely headed to arbitration 63
- Armstrong lays out what Blues offered KHL-bound Sobotka 15
- Blues re-sign Ott; Sobotka to KHL? 34
- Devils ink Schneider to reported seven-year, $42 million deal 62
- Big money: Toews, Kane sign eight-year, $84 million extensions 170
- Jets can’t let Kane situation fester much longer 57
- Report: Sidney Crosby will undergo wrist surgery 59
- Big money: Toews, Kane sign eight-year, $84 million extensions (170)
- Pros and cons of Subban filing for arbitration (67)
- Boyle wanted Big Apple after playing in ‘nontraditional hockey markets’ of Florida, California (63)
- Report: Avs, O’Reilly likely headed to arbitration (63)
- Devils ink Schneider to reported seven-year, $42 million deal (62)