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Is it Time To Do More To Protect Defensemen?

I think everyone would agree on eliminating head shots from the game is a good idea.  We need to protect our players from hits to the head that can result in concussions or even more serious injury that can affect player’s careers or even the ability to lead a normal life.  These headshots are now in the process of being eliminated at all levels of our game.
While this is good news, I watch the game and still worry that we are not doing enough to protect defensemen.

Two areas are concerning: touch icing and goalies being unable to play the puck outside of the trapezoid that put defensemen at risk. 

We have seen a number of serious injuries occurring from players getting tangled or checked at full speed on potential icing calls.  Defensemen are often take very hard hits, but so do forwards chasing them.  Before the next serious injury, it is time to evaluate alternatives to the current icing rule that were tried in the Development Camp.  The rule I favor is to let the players race to the face-off dot and allow the linesmen the discretion to make the call.  Something needs to be done before a serious injury occurs that wrecks a players career or even worse.  Even Don Cherry agrees that something needs to be done.

The second opportunity to reduce potential injuries to defensemen is to allow the goalie to play the puck and remove the current trapezoid area.  This would help reduce some of the pounding that defensemen are receiving.

I am all for a tough, physical style of hockey, but I’m not interested in a star defensemen being hurt for long periods.

KK readers, what do you think?  Should the league consider change either of these rules?

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: rule+changes


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