The NHL general managers have decided on their proposed rule change
that will outlaw hits to the head; specifically on hits from behind.
Here’s the exact wording of the proposal, per TSN:
“A lateral, back pressure or blindside hit to an opponent where the
head is targeted and or the principal point of contact is not permitted.
A violation of the above will result in a minor or major penalty and
shall be reviewed for possible supplemental discipline.”
I still can’t believe that this wasn’t a rule before and that we’re
just now starting to see the NHL take strides to enforce these types of
hits. I guess it takes about a dozen players taken off the ice on
stretchers before we realize just how dangerous the game has become.
And no, I am not asking for the game to become some wimpy sport where
all open-ice hitting is illegal. Rest easy Joffrey Lupul. The NHL
understands that the physicality and the brutality of hockey is a major
part of the sport’s appeal. But you cannot tell me it’s a good thing for
the league when nearly every week we’re debating the legality of a
questionable hit while some player is rehabbing for weeks on end because
of a bad concussion. It’s bad for the players and it’s bad for the NHL.
On another, yet similar note, Matt Cooke will have a disciplinary
hearing at 12:30 p.m. EST with Colin Campbell. I’m not expecting a
suspension to come down because technically the hit was legal, according
to the NHL’s current and arcane rules.