Today the NHL and Brendan Shanahan, the new Vice President of Hockey and Business Development and head disciplinarian for the league, released a video to try and assure fans that by taking out the hits that could potentially cause serious injury, does not mean they are taking hitting out of the game altogether.
Several players and fans have shown their displeasure with Shanahan's calls throughout the preseason, voicing that he was taking all hitting out of the game as players are becoming afraid to hit at all because they don't want to face a suspension if they accidentally hit an opposing players’ head.
In the video Shanahan shows us several plays that have resulted in good, clean hits simply by players adjusting the angle they go for the hit on, diminishing any risk of injury on the play.
Furthermore, at the 2:10 mark, Shanahan shows some good, big hits, that are clearly shoulder on shoulder and within the rules to prove to players and fans alike that the big hit still belongs in the game, but does not have to involve direct contact to the head. Shanahan explains some big hits are defended by the rule in which if the head is contacted in the motion of a body hit then it is not a penalty.
Sure, Brendan Shanahan has gone on a tear this preseason with his suspensions, but he is clearly sending a message and doing his job implementing these new rules by helping players get adjusted. Showing them what they are doing wrong through his videos is just another way to solidify the rules with the players.
Is his explanation of the rule, and implementation of videos to explain it, good enough for you? Do you think he will be consistent throughout the regular season and playoffs? What is your opinion on the whole matter? Sound off in the comments below.