Well, it's official. Starting with games being played tonight. Even though there are only about 135 games remaining in the NHL season, this SHOULD, start helping to cut down on these dangerous plays. He will also have the power to hand out suspensions in the playoffs. Here is some what the rule says it is going to outlaw:
...a lateral, back-pressure or blind-side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact...
Now, under this rule, it gives NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell to review any hit that violates this new rule. The rule was given unanimous approval by the Board of Governors, Competition Committee, and the NHLPA.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman had this to say about the new rule:
"We believe this is the right thing to do for the game and for the safety of our players. The elimination of these types of hits should significantly reduce the number of injuries, including concussions, without adversely affecting the level of physicality in the game."
With this new rule now in effect, it is going to give the NHL a clear definition on what it can and cannot suspend players for. Had this rule been in effect when Marc Savard was decked, I believe that Matt Cooke would have received a similar suspension to that of James Wisenewski.
The NHLPA released a statement stating the following:
"We are encouraged by the league's recent willingness to explore on-ice rule changes as a means of reducing player injuries and have no doubt that by working together, a safer working environment can be established for all NHLPA members,"
Do you think that this is going to cut down on the number of hits to the head?