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Regier Thinks Full Ban On Head Hits Is Coming

From Eric Duhatschek of The Globe and Mail,

One day – and he’s not sure when that day will come – but Buffalo Sabres general manager Darcy Regier believes the NHL will eventually penalize all hits to the head.

It is the logical outcome, Regier says, of a path the league started down exactly a year ago, when NHL general managers unexpectedly passed a rule mid-season in order to ban blindside hits to the head.

A number of Regier’s colleagues, including Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford, also believe the league will eventually need to make all head hits illegal. Others, such as Toronto Maple Leafs boss Brian Burke, fear such a shift might too radically undermine the fabric of the game.


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Moq's avatar

Good on Regier stating the inevitability of banning shots to the head. The sooner the better.

Personally, I have a hard time seeing the advantage of allowing hits to the head. The majority of hits are to the body, so the removal of head shots won’t reduce physicality in any measurable way except a potential reduction in concussions (hopefully). Hence the fabric of the game isn’t softened. You could fear an increase in embellishments, but it’s insignificant compare to player health.

Spectators may have to forego the occasional unconscious player on the ice or someone wobbling to the bench after a should to the face (and the annoying cliche of “keeping your head up” will be used less frequently), but is it really a great loss to hockey? Do people watch a great game, and downgrade it because no one was hurt? I hope that isn’t the case.

You protect the hockey product by protecting the players, even from themselves. Players will still get hurt, whether it’s sprains, broken bones or concussions, but everything feasible measure to reduce injuries should be implemented. Especially when it doesn’t hurt the game.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 03/12/11 at 11:08 AM ET

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About The Sabres Observer

Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003.  He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene.  Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.

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Email: dd@kuklaskorner.com Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]