Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 12/22/13 at 01:08 AM ET
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman likes to suggest that one percent of the fifty thousand or so hits that take place during the course of a full 82-game season are in any way willfully dangerous and/or "questionable," but the New York Post's Larry Brooks believes that the high incidences of player-injuring hits, suspensions that appear to have little to no behavior-modifying effects and no real consensus as to where the players, coaches, GM's, teams and the league go from here require a second "Shanahan Summit" to review the effects of the second lockout's worth of "crackdown" rule changes:
[In] the wake of a cavalcade of frightening incidents and increasing awareness of the ramifications of the kill-shots that have become an NHL staple, the critical questions are, a) whether and to what degree the rules changes have contributed to the increased danger these remarkable athletes face whenever they’re on the ice; and b), if so, what can the league do to reduce the peril?
Bobby Orr submits the red line should be reinstituted. By all means, reserve a seat at the table for No. 4, who, despite his post-career life as a player agent, operates without an agenda beyond advocating what’s best for the game (and the young people who play it).
That’s the critical component of what would be required of the participants in the summit — no agenda. The joint player-management competition committee that was borne out of the ’04-05 lockout and was meant to be a regulatory body has failed in its duty, as it too often has broken down into just another us-against-them forum.
Players are going to continue to get bigger and faster. Collisions are going to continue to occur at greater force and create greater destruction. No, this is not figure skating, to coin a phrase, but neither is this a fight to the death.
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About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org