DiMaio: Make the equipment weaker

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Well, here’s an interesting suggestion.

Debate over late hits, hits to the head and the ensuing punishments is all over the internet this morning, especially considering the fact that the NHL general managers are meeting this morning to discuss this very fact. Elliotte Friedman from CBC Sports has a rundown of a number of proposed solutions to the problem, but this one takes the proverbial cake.

Make the equipment softer.

Per Rob DiMaio:

“In the NHL, I wore the same shoulder pads I used in midget,” he said.
“I could feel the hits. These guys don’t feel anything. That gives players an extra feeling of power.”

The argument is that players are so protected nowadays that they seemingly don’t feel
the bone-jarring hits as much as they once did. Combine that with bigger and faster players and you have a NHL filled with guys who have no clue the damage they can put on opposing players.

I don’t think there’s any way the NHL will go in this direction, in fact they’re working to make the padding better and more protective.

Here’s a suggestion: Make hits to the head and illegal hits an automatic one-game suspension. Do it again and it’s 25 games.

That will keep the elbows down.

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.