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Horcoff welcomes new headshot rule

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:31 AM ET

The NHL implemented a new rule banning lateral, back-pressure or blindside hits to the head, which went into effect on Thursday. It's something both the league and its players association worked on together to put into play.

"It's not just the league, the players were pushing for it, too," said Oilers centre Shawn Horcoff. "But you can't just throw in a no headshot rule and just leave it at that in there. There has to be guidelines, which is tough to do.

"If a guy is coming down the middle of the ice with his head down and he gets popped, there has to be some responsibility on their part, too. But any of these hits that are from the side and a player has no idea that there is anyone around him and he gets hit in the head with a shoulder, that can't happen."

The NHL sent out a video to all the teams explaining what is now considered illegal.

"Hopefully this brings more awareness to the game and raises the level of respect out there," Horcoff added.

"A lot of times you see these hits on replay and the player that does the hitting has plenty of time to adjust and doesn't need to go right to the head. You can hit the body and still make an effective play."


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