As hockey fans debate another injury-causing hit that’s sure to result in a suspension, we direct you to the comments of one Duncan Keith, defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks.
“I haven’t noticed guys getting more reckless,” Keith said, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “I think if you look back and watch games from the 1990s and the ‘80s, you’d see a penalty on every single shift. I think it’s the opposite now. It’s unfortunate that there’s been a few guys taken off on stretchers, and I’d like to think that’s somewhat of a coincidence that it all happened in a week. Hopefully it stops. But it’s a fast-paced game. Injuries can happen.”
Some believe the NHL isn’t doing enough to keep bad hits out of the game, and perhaps there’s more that can be done. (ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun wonders if coaches should be held more accountable for the actions of their players.)
And Keith, of course, is no stranger to the NHL’s disciplinary process having been suspended twice for incidents, including a five-game ban for elbowing Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin in March of 2012.
But he’s not unique among players in his opinion that hockey is a fast, intense, physical game that’s played on the edge, and so incidents are going to happen.