While we’ve heard from many people speaking out about head shots around the league, we haven’t heard from many of the league’s youngest stars about what their take on the situation is across the league. Whether or not they’re being asked about it or if they’ve even given it a thought is unknown, but Tampa Bay’s Steve Stamkos is speaking up.
Bolts Report’s Erik Erlendsson caught up with Stamkos to get his thoughts on the state of the game regarding blows to the head. After reading what Stamkos has to say, we’re hoping that this isn’t the last we hear from the league’s hottest rising star when it comes to the big issues around the NHL.
“At the end of the day, in my opinion, we need to respect our opponents a little bit better. It falls on our shoulder. You know what you are doing when you hit a guy, and a lot of people say it’s a fast paced game and for an outsider, it is fast. But for us it does slow down a little bit and you do have that split-second to realize what you are doing.
“Everyone is accountable whether you are getting hit or you are the one enforcing the hit. You have to know where you are on the ice, you have to know who is out there, what the situation is and it’s just been way too many players this year.”
Stamkos went on to cite Sidney Crosby and Brad Richards as big stars that have been affected by blows to the head. He also says that it’s on the players to make sure things improve on the ice and that guys aren’t taking each other out needlessly.
By the way, Stamkos is just 21 years-old. Savvy veteran speak and intelligence from one of the league’s biggest and youngest rising stars. It’s a great and refreshing thing to hear this from Stamkos because the league does have a problem, especially when it comes to player respect in making sure no one seriously injures one another.
While it’s customary to hear from guys after they’ve been injured or after a teammate has been hurt, Stamkos offering up his smart take on this without an incident that hit close to home is fantastic. Let’s hope it’s not the last we hear from him because the league’s biggest stars need to be the leaders on matters like this.