One head shot caused a concussion for Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard this year.
Another infamous head shot caused a concussion that changed Eric Lindros’s career forever.
Hopefully soon, these concussion-causing head shots will be banned from hockey permanently. The National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League’s Players Association’s (NHLPA) Competition Committee have recently proposed new rules against intentional head shots.
NHL-NHLPA Competition Committee proposes new penalties for intentional head shots.
On June 18, 2010, the NHLPA’s Competition Committee answered the call from players who believe that new steps need to be taken to prevent concussions caused by intentional shots to the head. The proposal also calls for penalties for non-blindside hits that intentionally target the puck carrier’s head.
“It’s the intentional shots we want to take out of the game. I think everyone is in agreement with that. Gratuitous head shots are going to be eliminated,” said veteran NHL player, Mathieu Schneider.
The committee proposed a five-minute major penalty, as well as a game misconduct for players who make blindside hits to the head of other players. When a game misconduct is issued, the player is ejected from the game, and fines are usually not too far behind them.
A previous rule that penalizes “lateral, back-pressure or blindside hits to opponents where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact” already exists, and new amendments would expand this. The Players Association still has to approve the proposal out of the Competition Committee before handing it to the NHL Board of Governors.
After a long-term study conducted by the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department disclosed the danger of head shots during game play, managers offered this new proposal to reduce the number of serious brain injuries and concussions that occur on the ice. There was a motion to quickly use the new blindside rule, but the Players Association rejected that because they wanted adjustments and could not train the referees on the new rules in the amount of time they had. Now that the season is over, players and managers are learning to adjust to the new rules.
“In the end, we knew that we wanted to get to the same place,” said Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s vice president for hockey and business development. “We all had the same goal. That’s why you have a committee like this — the sharing of information.”
Our brain injury lawyers in San Diego believe this proposal is great news for future generations of players. The NHL is getting popular again, and young athletes are turning to hockey as the sport they want to build a career with. Unfortunately, hockey is a hazardous sport because of the many types of personal injuries (especially brain injuries) that you can suffer.
The hope is that rules like this protect current and future of players from taking a serious blow to the head during their time in the rink.
Call us now at 1-858-551-2090 for a FREE consultation with an experienced brain injury lawyer or click here to submit your case for a FREE online review.