NHL Passes New Rules To Prevent Illegal Checking

Michael DeSantisSenior Analyst ISeptember 20, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 7: Derek Morris #53 of the Phoenix Coyotes hits the ice after getting hit in the face with the puck that required ten stitches against the San Jose Sharks during a NHL game on December 7, 2007 at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo By Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images)
Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images

The National Hockey League has created some new rules that will come into effect this upcoming season, in order to try and prevent illegal head checks, and other illegal checks.

After the Matt Cooke hit on Marc Savard in the Penguins vs. Bruins game, the NHL knew they needed to set up a rule to try and prevent these illegal hits which were leading to concussions. 

Sadly, this wasn't the first time a head check has been delivered.  After watching a video, it's been shown that there has been a load of head checks, whether illegal or not.  Now, all head checks are illegal, and rightfully should be.

In order to start preventing this, several rules have been created.  These rules state that players are forbidden to make deliberate hits to the head, as well as no blind side hits.  Blind side hits are when a player checks an opponent from behind, where the opposing player can't see the other player coming. 

No minor penalties will be given on these plays.  Instead, there will be major penalties, and possible disciplinary action such as suspension.

Now, I agree with these rules.  Look at all the dreadful injuries that have befallen players due to these illegal headshots.  Players have gotten concussions, and it's about time the league passed this rule. 

However, there's more.  The NHL also passed rules for illegal low hits, or clipping.  Clipping is illegal when the player bends his body down and checks the player below the knees in an attempt to make the opponent lose balance and fall.

Another rule is that players are now forbidden to make contact with one another on icing calls.  Players will be given on-ice penalties now, as well as possible discipline.

A rule was also passed for altercations on a whistle or off the playing surface.  Players that fight off the ice or not during the game periods can be fined up to $2,500.  Players that also use profanity or illegal gestures to other players or fans will run the risk of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

I agree completely with these rules, as long as they aren't abused, and should definitely make the game better and cleaner.  Hopefully, with these rules at hand, we won't have to run the risk of horrible injuries, or unnecessary altercations.