The Weight Hit...Does The NHL Need To Rethink Their Safety Strategy?

Sean PaddisonCorrespondent IOctober 26, 2008

With the advent of younger players, a faster game, harder equipment, and harder ice, it's hard to deny the risks for players is dramatically higher than it was 15 years ago

Younger players with skill pose a significant risk to older, "old school" players whose talent set doesn't fit as well in the current NHL. Consequently you have over indulgent veterans taking advantage of these vulnerable players under the context of "fair hits".

There is no doubt the fans love a huge bone crushing, brain mashing hit at centre ice.

However how good is hockey going to be if all it's young stars are either taken out of the game completely or scared into under performing.

If shoulder pads are capable of crushing bones, then doesn't it seem to make sense that shoulder-to-face hits need to be outlawed?

We shouldn't outlaw hitting all together, just the style of the hits that seem premeditated towards injury.

The same can be said on blatant knee on knee hits, like that of Chris Neil on the Ottawa Senators.

Parent's of young players didn't toil years and spend 50 percent of their family budgets to produce a young NHL player with the intent of having some insecure veteran take them out because it's funny or convenient.

There needs to be at least SOME level of respect.

How does Gary Bettman hope to make hockey appeal to the masses, if he allows the obvious goonsmanship on the ice?

Fights on the ice are not near as much of a problem as cheap legal hits.

Slap Shot was a great movie and piece of fiction and I admit I loved it, but I certainly don't want to see that garbage hockey at the NHL level.

If you watch the replay from Doug Weights hit on Brandon Sutter, it is clear Weight bent and released his knees in accordance to where Brandon's head was, to ensure he nailed him with his shoulder right to the head.

Come on Doug, your a great player, what the heck were you thinking?