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NFL CANADA


Does NHL need to crack down on hits to head?
Mon, March 8, 2010

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

The nauseating sight of a concussed Marc Savard being carried off the ice on a stretcher Sunday will add even more controversy to the head shot debate when NHL general managers begin their annual three-day meetings in Florida on Monday.

With head shots already at the top of the GMs’ agenda, incidents involving the Boston Bruins’ Savard and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ John Mitchell this past weekend certainly pours fuel on this heated issue.

Does the NHL need to crack down on hits to the head? Should there be changes in player equipment, removing plastic from shoulder and elbow pads? Have your say in our forum.

Issue coming to a head



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54 Comments

There is an old saying around the farm, that you don't close the gate after the horses get out , you make sure it's closed in the first place.When someone gets very seriously injured or even killed will the N.H.L. then do the right thing and take these hits to the head out of the game. It has been done at other levels. I guess the powers to be in the N.H.L. don't care about there horses as much as they say they do.
bobtutton, 2010-03-11 09:37:36

The penelty they are discussing at the GM meeting is not nearly harsh enough. In my opinion, any thit to the head (or any other act with intent to injure) should be greeted with a minimum suspension lasting for the ENTIRE duration of the vicitms recovery + an additional 10 games. As well, this would count play-off games missed AND time lost due to injury over the summer break.

For example, with the Todd Bertuzi hit, with the injury that his vicitm obtained, the suspension would be a life time ban from Hockey. With this Matt Cooke hit, he should be suspended for the rest of the season as a bare minimum.

If the league wants this to end, talking about a minor/major penelty and a small, insigificant suspension will do no good.
Derek, 2010-03-11 09:19:58

I agree that the referees need to make the calls. Major leagues (NHL, AHL, OHL…) have all adopted a two referee system so there are four independent sets of eyes on the game, so there should NEVER be a case where they can ‘I didn’t see it.’ If the camera picks it up then at least one of the officiating staff will have. As for the punishment, the ‘time’ needs to fit the ‘crime’. I believe that a way to drastically reduce the garbage hits from the games is simple. If a player through his actions from an illegal hit, punch or stick infraction causes the injured player to miss games due to that injury them the offending player should not be able to play again until the injured player can return to the ice.
Ron, 2010-03-11 08:37:40

The head shots have nothing to do with hard hitting. They should be banned and any real hockey fan would have no problem with this. After all the object of a fan is to be able to watch the game and see their favorite players perform.

Without this change it is only a matter of time before someone is killed or maimed for life and them the player who is unlucky enough to be the culprit will once again be the bad guy and the fall guy for the leagues weak leadership.

It is time for the NHL managers and leaders to stand up and put an end to this. The ruling however must be clear for all to interpret so there is no grey areas for the goons to exploit. My suggestion is a 30 games ban 1st offence 1 season ban next offence and 3rd time bye bye.
John, 2010-03-11 08:20:09

The charge is assault. It NEEDS to be laid and the perpetrator NEEDS to do jail time. If I got excited at a traffic accident and gave you a concussion eould you expect ANYTHING less. I no longer watch any men's hockey (Followed the Canadian woman's team closely). Our son and grandson have been encouraged to pursue other sports. Result, they do not play or watch hockey.
Obiwan, 2010-03-11 07:51:37

@Joe 2010-03-10 19:05:45

This issue has nothing to do with the "core fan base". This is about the long term safety of the people who actually play the game. We're not talking about a broken leg or a torn ligaments that can heal, but a serious neurological damage that can plague a person for the rest of his life.

You can never be TOO right when you promote safety within the game. If the fans have a problem with that, that's too bad.
Jon, 2010-03-11 06:34:44

perhaps (I know ideally) if the fans would boycott the NHL until it smartens up.maybe hitting the pocket book en masse would help..as for me if its garbage I don't pay to see it and evenif it's a freebee on TV I don't watch it.
mike weadick, 2010-03-11 00:30:39

In addition to this, the league could start enforcing the helmet manufacturer's chin strap fastening standards. What is the point of a helmet if it flies off before your head crashes into something?
Wally1, 2010-03-10 20:13:52

You can be TOO right on this issue. There will be a negative reaction in the game's core fan base.
Joe, 2010-03-10 19:05:45

Ok the verdict is in. Zip notta, nothing for the hit. This just shows what regard the NHL has for the players and the interest they have in protecting them. Oh Well at least Crosby's equipment was found.
DWT, 2010-03-10 17:46:56

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