The NHL General Managers are meeting this week, Monday through
to discuss and debate a number of issues related to the league. Some of
the topics include a possible playoff qualification round, a ‘coach’s
challenge for video review” and the tie-breaking formula. But it seems
— as it should be — that the issue getting the most attention this
week has to do head shots, and Matt Cooke’s from yesterday is up front
Monday’s meetings consist of a variety of presentations relating to
the issue of head checking, concussions and the NHL’s ongoing concussion
The NHL has invited a medical team that specializes in concussions to
speak and there will also be extensive video presentations isolating
both legal and illegal contact with the head.
Here’s the issue: currently, hits to the head by a shoulder are
considered legal, while elbow hits are not. But what about upper-forearm
hits? Are those shoulder or elbow hits? Matt Cooke certainly got his
arm up on Marc Savard, but he didn’t blatantly put the point of his
elbow into this temple.
That’s the issue that will debated and it’s expected that there will
be a new rule proposal to come out of these meetings that clarifies
exactly what is illegal about these checks.
While they’re at it, how about coming up with a standardized system
of punishment for illegal hits, so it’s not just left up to the whim of
Colin Campbell and his wheel of justice. That’s a concept.