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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

yes this is really hurting the future of our game... my son is a young player and we watch lots of 11,12,13 etc year old very talented kids leaving the game as it is getting way too dangerous... 11 year old kids shouldn't be getting concussions. my son has had a concussion from a elbow to the head... I have actually considered taking my son out of the game... is it worth it... this country will miss out on alot of future stars ....
jim, 2010-03-10 17:46:32

This whole thing is being made more complicated than it needs to be. If a player targets the head of an opponent, he should be penalized.

The IIHF version of this rule (which is also used by Hockey Canada for minor hockey) includes a minimum of a minor penalty plus a 10 minute misconduct for any player who targets the head of an opponent. If the contact is more serious or a player is injured, then the offender receives a major plus a game misconduct or a match penalty for deliberate attempt to injure. Also, under this rule, any player getting two checking to the head penalties in one game would be automatically ejected because two-10 minute misconducts in the same game brings an automatic game misconduct.


Bob, 2010-03-10 17:18:23

First of all as a referee, if we all called these hits as they should be within the current rules it would be a non issue. Hitting above the shoulders is a "Roughing" however, for years it applied to use of the arms striking area above the shoulders.

HC came out with the CFB and CTH rules and the rule is as only as good as the ability of the official to "see" the infraction. If they see it and call it as that and not substitute another rule it is an automatic 2 minute minor and 10 minute misconduct (player sits for 12 total). If an injury results due to the infraction (any minor penalty now a days) it is an automatic 5 minute Major and a Game Misconduct.

It would be easy to adopt, but, there is the human factor. Things look much different from above (in the stands) or off the ice surface and on TV with replay. It's a whole new ball game whem you are on the ice and there are players well over 6 feet tall in most cases between you and the infraction. That is something most if not all people who do not referee ever consider when complaining about an officials call or non-call.


Mike, 2010-03-10 16:08:18

Personally I don't think the league needs rule changes that referee's enforce. The League can dish out it's own punishments and I don't think they're doing enough. They never have. It's up to the League to punish these kinds of hits. Start suspending these guys on a regular basis. The rules and punishments are already available to the league. They just need to start using them.
cappthook, 2010-03-09 13:21:39

If (God forbid) Syd the Kid had a career ending shot to the head last week, you know that the rules would be changed. The League, controlled by a little man who never took a headshot shot in the game,will have a fatality someday, from a headshot or an icing endboard crash. Can't you just see them all at the Funeral, with a surprised look on their faces. Shame on such leaderless owners. Protect your investments people.
Jim Hickey, 2010-03-09 11:54:15

Punch the guys in the rest of the body all you want. take out the head and it's possible you will kill someone and certainly possible their career. Isn't that what happened to the guy Bertuzzi suckerpunched? On that note, you wonder why kids and/or people working in smaller leagues have outbreaks of severe violence. NHL should lead by example.
gerry, 2010-03-09 10:29:46

Go back to leather pads and all will be ok.
Bosser11, 2010-03-09 10:06:00

I agree Marc, that was the way I thought it should be dealt with a while back. Player sits until the other player is back. At the least. Until Bettman is gone, nothing will change. The guy is completely useless and has been useless for a long time.
Marc, 2010-03-09 09:37:04

Too many hockey players have their careers cut short because of head injuries.

Eric and Brett Lindros just to name two.
Probert, 2010-03-09 08:16:18

Head shots should be banned. The penality for it should be equal or more games that the other player is missing because of injuries, with no pay. So if someone does a head shot and ends someone else carreer, too bad for you no more hockey for that player. I know there is risks in playing hockey but that's something you can control.
Marc, 2010-03-09 07:52:16

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