Head Check Rule Comes Under Fire

From the NY Times.com Slap Shot blog:

It’s just like the N.H.L. to pat itself on the back and trumpet its
great accomplishments, then turn around and stab itself in the back, or
at least shoot itself in the foot. It’s a pathology the league has
exhibited repeatedly when it comes to changes designed to improve the

No sooner did the league enthusiastically approve rules to take out
the two-line offside pass and crack down on obstruction tactics at the
end of the lockout than voices were raised by some coaches and general
managers against them. Even today, some want to bring
elements of obstruction back into the game

The same is true with hits to the head. Oh, how the league celebrated itself for the
progressive half-step of outlawing blindside or lateral head shots! But
as soon as players actually started being penalized and even (gasp!) suspended
under new Rule 48, the inevitable whining commenced how this hit or
that hit really wasn’t what the rule intended to prohibit and if this
keeps up, body contact — which the league says has never been more
prevalent nor violent — will be threatened with extinction.

The most recent protesters are the San Jose Sharks, who just couldn’t
fathom that this hit by Joe Thornton on the Blues’ David Perron (video) violated the rule. Thornton got a major and game misconduct, as the rule
calls for, and was suspended two games, which was appealed by the
Sharks. The league denied the appeal.

Sharks contended
that what Thornton did was exactly what Willie
Mitchell, then of the Canucks, did to the Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews
last year (video) an incident that was shown on the league’s video to the clubs on what is
and what is not permissible under the new rule. But that was rejected
by the league? Why? Because Thornton didn’t do exactly what
Mitchell did. On Mitchell’s hit, Toews’s head was not the principle
point of contact.

Continue reading “The Morning Skate: Head Check Rule Comes Under Fire.” >>


  1. CharlottetownHabbies says:

    Why should we care what happens to the players if the players don’t care what happens to the players?


    We need to stop thinking of them as people at this point.  All pro athletes are getting pretty close to being wrastlin’ stars, just entertainment pawns for owners profit and our pleasure.  Pretty well paid, adult pawns too…..

  2. Julie H says:

    I don’t understand why the headshot thing has become such a grey issue. In the NFL it’s pretty black and white: you try to hurt someone, you pay the price. Just because Brian Burke and Don Cherry glorify and encourage violence doesn’t mean the rest of the NHL has to sit idly by while the statistics on head injuries keep producing staggeringly ugly numbers week after week. I forget where I read it but there should be a catalog of repeat offenders and certain punishments. Three strikes and you’re out seems pretty fair to me. 

    “I know you’re wise beyond your years, but do you ever get the fear that your perfect verse is just a lie you tell yourself to help you get by?”

  3. DearyLeary says:

    Oh god, if they scale back obstruction enforcement I’m gonna puke.

  4. Ian Cobb says:

    Here is where we place in a 30 team league this week folks.

    Goals Against—–33. We are in 10th place.   Last week we were in   6th place.

    Total Points——-17. We are in 7th place.     Last week we were in   3rd place.

    Goals For———-34. We are in 19th place.   Last week we were in 15th place

  5. Ian Cobb says:

    2010 Summit Is In The Books!

    Click onto the Summit page and post your
    pictures, comments and what prize that you won at the raffle,etc.


    Read Ian Cobb’s HI/O Blog click on here for the summit page.

    Julie is putting together all of your pictures for display on the Summit page. So send them to her.

  6. Adam--76 says:


    (TSN) Montreal, November 8, 2010- The Montreal Canadiens have called a press conference set to begin

    tonight at 7PM. Watch TSN or TSN.com for further details.

  7. Malreg says:

    Stop trolling.  Habs would never have a press conference at 7 p.m, and TSN’s site is tsn.ca not tsn.com.


  8. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    nothing on their site about it.

  9. Propwash says:



    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  10. mike g says:

    It’s TSN.CA, btw….

    So if you’re gonna troll, do it properly.


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  11. JIMVINNY says:

    I tried to be a little less, um, direct, but I was just as skeptical as you.

  12. observer says:

    Halak not only now  may be the greatest goaltender in NHL history, but now he has also become one of the most outstanding goalie coaches the sport has ever developed.

  13. mike g says:

    Are you ok, man?

    Have you taken any big falls lately, head injuries, you know?

    Because if you haven’t, you should seek medical care immediately.

    And I’m not saying this as a joke, I’m really not.

    Some people may call you a troll or other names, but I’m not kidding here. I really care for humans, and when someone needs help, it’s not a joke.

    If you need to talk to someone, let your loved ones know.

    I’m sure theres about 5 or 6 people out there who trully love you, and will help you get over this.

    Let me know how it goes man, whatever you’re fighting is treatable.

    Mental illness is not a joke….


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  14. HNS says:

    Letting Halak go and keeping Price is the second biggest fu^&-up in the history of this organization. Sad and Pathetic….

  15. observer says:

    good photo on above link. view the look of frustration on the back of that players helmet as he tries to accomplish the impossible. i mean – trying to actually score a goal on that goaling great.

  16. nightmare_49 says:


       30 thoughts by Elliotte Friedman

       19. Agent Allan Walsh went public with his displeasure of Martin Havlat’s ice time on Oct. 27. Before the Festivus “airing of grievances,” Havlat averaged 15 minutes per game. Since? Almost 20.

       5. Who wants to see Jaroslav Halak versus Carey Price in the all-star game? I know it doesn’t count, but too bad it’s not in Montreal.

       Read more …  http://www.cbc.ca/sports/blogs/elliottefriedman/2010/11/debating-rule-48-plus-30-thoughts.html

  17. blu3chip says:

    Garbage thoughts by a CBC journalist and immature/childish acts by a player agent.

  18. Propwash says:

    Anyone checking the Russia vs Q game?


    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

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