NHL, to me, means a lot of hard hits and a lot of fighting. Lately many of those hits have been too hard and out of control. The referees have finally decided to take matters into their own hands and now players will be penalized for illegal checking to the head.
Players will now be charged with a major penalty on the spot if officials believe that it was an intentional check to the head. Due to the major penalty, the player will also be automatically charged with a game misconduct penalty. If a player is charged with a game-misconduct penalty, it will automatically result in a two-game suspension.
The exact play that the refs are talking about is when the player comes from the lateral or so-called blind side and deliberately hits the player in the head. This exact play has happened well over 100 times in NHL history so why change it now?
More than 90 percent of people watch hockey games solely for the hitting. I know for a fact that’s the only reason I watch the sport. I don’t care about six people skating around a small ice rink chasing each other for the puck. The goalies are all bigger than the actual goal itself, so yeah the goals scored are cool, but nothing else about the sport is cool, to me.
I know I make up 1 percent of the population that watches the NHL but they’re losing a lot of viewers just like me. Now the hitting of the head is a little outrageous but the NFL players are handling it. Aren’t the NHL players just as tough?
NHL players knew what they were signing up for when they decided to play this sport 25 years ago. I do agree with them keeping the players as safe as possible. Considering they get checked into humongous plastic boards, get tripped and get into full-blown fist fights on the ice rink. Cracking down on the head checking is really getting their point across.
The ironic thing about the general managers getting together and proposing this rule and being so serious about it, is that this only takes care of one of the dangerous things that happens in just this one sport. The NFL is trying to get their hitting under control while the MLB is trying to get their hitting under control since everyone is on steroids. It seems to me that the athletes have taken these sports into their own hands and took over.
Can I remind you that these players are skating at rapid speeds and more than likely can’t slow themselves down on the blow of a whistle? And can I also remind you that all of these players are skating at rapid speeds in attempt to steal the puck from one another? They’ve been taught to hit these players since they started playing.
Although this rule has not yet been passed, it more than likely will be. All the general managers are sitting at home crying about how their players are getting hit and getting hurt in the process. When will the madness end?
Did you also notice that the only people complaining about these hits are the people who are taking them? Their coaches are complaining and complaining but if that was their player doing the hitting, it would be a completely different story.
Nicholas Cotsonika, NHL Yahoo sports writer, made a very good point. “What is the fine line between dirty and dangerous?” Many players are called dirty and many are called dangerous. How do you know which category you fall into as a player? No one likes to be called dirty, but now if you lay someone out, you hope that it’s just dirty, and not something worse.
This debate is going to go on forever, because let’s face it, the league can’t please everyone. “We need to tell our players what’s acceptable and what’s not going forward. We have to take this hit out of the game,” Toronto GM Brian Burke stated. Ha. Good luck with that one.