It is about time that we see a shift in power. It has become increasingly clear that the likes of Gary Bettman and Colin Campbell do not have the best interests of the players at heart.
It has become a joke.
It is well known that the NHL is very lenient on severe hits and infractions leading to injuries, and it is about time that something is done. Double standards are set, and rules that are clearly defined are not followed.
The increasing prevalence of head shots has finally caught the attention of league officials. After seeing players going down more often then ever with serious head injuries the league has finally introduced supplemental discipline towards said hits, but did the NHL get it right.
At first glance you would assume that it’s a step in the right direction, and you would be right, but it has also become increasingly clear that their will still be a lot of leniency towards head hits.
The new rule as defined by the NHL is stated, "A lateral, back pressure or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principle point of contact is not permitted." This means that any blind side hit to the head (Matt Cooke on Savard) will be subject to suspension.
However, after watching a video on the NHL's website it has become clear that their are still legal head hits. If a player comes straight towards another player, and throws a check to the opponents head it is the fault of the player receiving the hit, not the one delivering it, and will not be subject to suspension.
It is absurd to think that a player getting hit in the head is at fault, when it is clearly the player that targets the head. In the video the NHL uses the hit delivered from Scott Stevens on Eric Lindros as an example of a legal hit to the head.
Lindros had his head down when Stevens made contact, to which the fault lays on Lindros, but if Lindros does not see Stevens coming wouldn't it be a blind side hit to the head. This grey area in the rules will allow the NHL to allow head shots to remain in the game, while still looking like they care, when it is clear that they do not.
The NHL feels that inserting such rules into the game will eliminate the physicality of the game. Which is not true at all? Leagues such as the Ontario Hockey League have rules in place that severely punish any players that deliver head hits, including in game penalties. This has not eliminated big clean hits, and the physicality is still in the game.
ANY hit to the head should be considered illegal and be dealt with in the harshest terms.
Injuries to the players will still happen unless something is done, but with the apathetic stance that the NHL has taken severe injuries will be as constant as ever.
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