Written by: Larry “The Nucks IceMan” Johnson
Gary Bettman released a five step program, which was originally tweeted by Bob McKenzie on March 14th. The information is as follows:
- 1. Brendan Shanahan working with NHLPA to expedite equipment modifications.
- 2. Revised concussion protocol. If player is suspected to have had one, must be removed from the bench for assessment in quiet area. That assessment must be done by a medical doctor, not the team therapist, using standardized SCAT testing.
- 3. Fines and/or suspensions for clubs and coaches of players/teams that rack up high number of suspensions. No details yet.
- 4. Safety engineers to make sure all NHL arenas conform to safe standards and to come up with ideas to “soften” environment.
- 5. Special committee of Shanahan, R Blake, Yzerman, Niuewendyk to continue investigating this issue.
- In listening to and reading from the media, it does not sound like the league went far enough to protect the players from the head shots, that are causing concussions at an alarming rate. The NHL General Managers do not want a blanket rule for head shots and are OK with the hits that are directly in front or from the rear, just not the side of the head.
- Tell that to the brain, as it is tossed around in its synovial fluid against its wall. A brain trauma is not going to distinguish the direction the hit is made.
- If you watched the hockey highlights last night, the players are continuing on like there never was a rule. Dany Heatley’s elbow on Steve Ott and Bruins Brad Marchand’s hit on R.J. Umberger, are both under review as I write.
- Take a look for yourself in slo-mo on the Marchand hit and you will see the elbow to the head. So if it was deemed to be a hit to the rear of the head, that’s a hockey play?
- Or maybe it was accidental, because Umberger turned at the last second and Marchand’s elbow ran into Umberger’s head.What happen to the players respecting each other?
- This is what Commish Gary Bettman had to say – “This notion that the players have no respect for each other, and the players are going around hitting each other in the head on a regular basis, and that is what is causing concern, just isn’t accurate.
- ”Yeah right Gary, have you spoken to Sidney Crosby lately? Dave Steckel’s head hit on Crosby on New Year’s Day at the Winter Classic, was the biggest non-call in hockey this season. The leagues marquee player gets knocked out of the lineup and NO SUSPENSION for Steckel?
- Then there was the Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty, with the stanchion just about decapitating Pacioretty. But it was deemed to be a “hockey play” just an unfortunate one. Tell that to the hockey fans that witnessed it or have seen the replay a number of times.
- This incident not only riled up the fans, but some NHL corporate sponsors such as Air Canada and Via Rail, who threatened to pull their sponsorship.
- Steps two through five are indeed a start, minute as they are, but the league, GM’s and NHLPA need to get the deliberate hit out of hockey. I like what Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk had to say about that.
“If it’s truly accidental and the guy just ran into you, you know what, give the guy a break. But if it’s a deliberate hit you should not be in any game of hockey. I don’t care what anybody says, ‘We need some violence, we need this.’ Go to wrestling. Go to cage fighting. Don’t do it in the hockey game with elite players.”
“There no excuse. Zero Tolerance. You’re gone. Period. Stop.”
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Filed under: NHL