The NHL has finally done something right this decade. Hits to the Head will now officially be punished in the league, which offers up the option of suspending players more frequently should the violent collision continue.
"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."
"We felt there is a degree of responsibility – moreso to the player receiving the hit – when a guy's coming straight at you. But it's that blindside hit that we find is so disturbing and it's tough to protect yourself in our game, with the speed," said NHL senior vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell. "When we changed this game, took the red line out, took the holding and the hooking and everything out of the a game, we increased the speed of this game tenfold. In doing that we also increased the collision force in these hits, but our managers felt that a north-south hit when a shoulder hits the head is acceptable."
This year featured a more frequent amount of the incident, but after a lengthy meeting, a step in the right direction has finally be agreed upon by the league. Brendan Shanahan commented on the decision, but stated that it was the players who wanted it the most.
"Now there's something punishable and players want to know that, what they can and cannot do," NHL executive Brendan Shanahan told THE CANADIAN PRESS. "This is not something the managers and fans have demanded or the media on their own, all you have to do is pick up a newspaper and read the quotes from players today. Players want certain types of hits gone from the game."
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