2010-2011 New NHL "Head Shot" Rules. Can The Ref Make The Right Call?

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2010-2011 New NHL
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Clutterbuck (Minnesota) goes up high to hit Mike Green (Caps)

On the heels of the new video that the NHL released today, the talk is already spurring up around the league about the new rules and what they mean to the game for this season. I have just watched the video and a little of it has let me scratching my head (you can watch it here, http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl or here http://www.nhl.com/). I would love to see other people's opinions besides my own. So let's get started.

Hits to the head (A lateral or blindside hit to the opponent where the head is targeted/ and or the principal point of contact is not permitted): I'm all for calling penalties for hits to the head, I think it's dirty and it has no right in our great game of hockey. It's for cowards like Matt Cooke, and it doesn't belong in the game. Those hits they show in the video are very true up to their meaning and I agree with this. There will be no minor penalties and a major penalty will always be assessed. It always comes with a game misconduct penalty (10 minutes in the box) with the major penalty (Your looking at about 7 minutes of Powerplay time, and 17 minutes in the box). Match penalties can be assessed when the ref deems necessary (we'll get into this later). Obviously the NHL is trying to lessen the number of incident that happen this year and I'm all for it, no complaints

Legal Hits: Here comes the part where I have an issue with. I feel like the problem that is going to ensue this year with the new rules is: What constitutes a legal hit? If you watch the video, then the examples of "legal hits" that they show, almost more than half have head contact. And my problem was that last year some of them we're frowned upon by the NHL. If you watch the video, Mike Green makes a "legal hit" on a Florida Panther..yet last year when that happened Green received a 2 game suspension for the hit. The discrepancy on the NHL and the referees is going to bother be this season. I believe what we are going to see this season is a big fight over what is legal and what is not legal. 

Low Hits and Hits on Icings: Again I have a problem with this. The NHL is trying to avoid these "low hits". But that's what made hitting great back in it's hayday. Good ole' fashioned hip check. And now they are trying to discrepant this? I don't agree with it. There's nothing wrong with a low hit, it's good, it's clean, it's fun, it pumps up the crowd. Now as for hitting on icing, it's questionable. I hear both sides to the story and I haven't made up my mind yet.

So that's what I'm thinking, what about my fellow NHL community. Comments and messages are quite welcome.

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