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Are No-Hitters the Future of the NHL?

From Tony Gallagher via the Times Colonist:

Many are applauding vigorously and treating Brendan Shanahan as some sort of hockey saviour, but it represents the NHL offices in New York, which are so sensitive to media pressure in the area of game violence, simply instructing him to start making the suspensions longer. Colin Campbell would have done the same had he been given the same instructions, the only thing different really is the better explanations for the reasoning behind the individual decisions.

Nothing structural has changed really. The league still pulls all the strings and Shanahan talks to the same people Campbell did on a daily basis —only there are longer suspensions for more and different types of hits, which is fine as long as the lawyers who run the league know the risks.

With long suspensions going to players making a lot of money comes the risk that they will look at the whack in the pocket book and not only reduce illegal hits (which almost always happen unintentionally) but also legal ones as well. Every time such a player goes to hit somebody he’s going to consider whether it’s worth the risk of that guy turning the wrong way and he’ll end up suspended again as a repeat offender.

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illegal hits (which almost always happen unintentionally)

Seriously?  Illegal hits happen almost always unintentionally?  This writer just lost all his credibility right there, for those readers that have never read anything written by him before.  For those that have, they probably don’t bother reading anyway.

Posted by Kel on 09/29/11 at 07:28 PM ET

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Just think about it…after making a bad hit, do most hitters look satisfied (exactly as I planned!!!) or distraught (I can’t believe I just did that?!?!?!)

Posted by Anonymous on 09/29/11 at 10:13 PM ET

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I certainly understand some of the measures being taken in suspending players for head hits and definite boarding hits but will the NHL and Shanahan go a bit overboard as the new season progresses?  Certainly we have seen the need for stronger measures for head hits and boarding and true many head hits can be eliminated by the players deciding not to take that opportunity to level a player coming up ice with his head down but sometimes there are cases where a head shot happens purely by accident and in some of these cases you can watch the play and see this but under this new “no tolerence” system that player can get hit just as hard as the player who does the head hit purposely or seemingly has plenty of time to hold up on this type of hit.  Regardless of what Crosby has said about players having to be totally responsible for their own bodies just like they have to under NHL rules in regards to controlling their own hockey sticks this is extremely off base as imo these are noway the same.  Also with regard to boarding, certainly those of us who have played the game as well as watched the game for many years can tell you there are many cases when “boarding” is pretty much impossible to control. that said there are of course many cases where this can be controlled but all it takes is for the other team’s D-Man or Forward to turn his back at the last second either when skating with the puck or fighting along the boards for it and thus the opposing team’s player’s hit is called a boarding and all of us who have played or even not played but have watched the greatest game on the planet can tell many times the hit was not intentional nor was it a hit that could have been avoided and now it seems under the NHL’s new system these players can easily be nailed for 3,5,10 game suspensions regardless!  It is starting to look like slowly or maybe not so slowly the league is trying to take most hitting out of the game and i believe most fans such as myself who have watched this game for many years will eventually not watch/follow the game anywhere near the way we do now! What i am afraid of its the NHL will continue to go further and further until the players will be afraid to make any hits for fear of being suspended and losing a big chunk of their $$!  The physical part of this game is a huge part of the game just like the fast skating and goal scoring and great defensive plays, without this imo the game will eventually falter and sometime down the road we will not have an NHL to watch and enjoy and to keep being avid fans for our teams like we do now.  Is the Crosby situation a big part of all these measures?? Imo it is, when one of the top 2 or 3 players gets a severe concussion and misses as long as he has so far and comes out with the statements he has the league has to take notice…but what’s strange about all this is the fact that the 2 hits that put Crosby out were not dirty hits at least by most standards which the NHL had made clear by their official statements and not suspending the players involved.  Now it looks like they may want to take fighting out of the game as well and this imo is also a big mistake, once again i say that hockey, at least North American hockey has had fighting in it since the beginning, it is part of the game and as long as normally it does not go overboard such as bench clearing brawls which we do not see very much anymore it is part of this awesome game that i hope will stay awesome but i for one am starting to worry about the future of the game i love. So please Mr Shanahan and the NHL i ask that you act within reason and take into account what the fans and players imo still want and thats the great game we have watched and loved and cheered for for years, please do not turn the NHL into European game, a game where there is hardly any hitting and no fighting because if you do your product will eventually fail or at the least will have nowhere the fan base you once had and many teams will fail. So as a fan i ask that you realize that injuries have and will continue to be part of the game of hockey just as it is in football and even basketball and baseball as your game and our game is a the fastest game on the planet, imo its the most exciting game on the planet, the physical aspect of the game is also a big part of why the NHL is not only the most exciting game but also the greatest game on the planet!  So please remember that before you destroy your product and our favorite game by taking much of the physical aspect of the game out of the game!  Go Caps!!!

Posted by Mike from Maryland on 09/30/11 at 10:28 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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