I'm surprised at this.
I'm not, really...
I agree with them that the illegal hits to the head need to be dealt with harsher; but you are never going to eliminate concussions in sports. Athletes are bigger, faster and stronger. They need to look at things like going to olympic size ice surfaces to give these larger men more room. They are looking into equipment, some of these guys look like linebackers out there and the newer equipment has zero give to it. Little things like making these guys strap thier helmets on tighter. How many times have you seen a slow motion replay of a hit and see the guys helmet popping off?
Take the physicality out of the sport and hockey will suffer even more at the gate, especially in the States....
I agree, but you don't have to take the physicality out of the game if you ban headshots. You just force the players to play by the rules as they were intended. I hate that they started to call obstruction penalties. Just call what's already in the darn book and the game would be fine.
They'll eventually have to ban headshots because one will happen, the player will sue the league and he'll win. Just like they had to finally put up netting. Everyone knew it was the right thing to do but it took somone dying to get them to make the change.
Players are already getting suspensions for head shots that are reviewed and deemed illegal or "excessive" hits... I'm not sure how much more they can do in a physical sport? Especially now that they are saying that the punishments will be more severe especially for repeat offenders.
Shots to the head are going to happen and are an accepted risk when playing sports. You will never be able to totally eliminate these hits, especially when you have players who are 6'7" playing against players who are 5'8"....
I just dont want to see them get to the point where they are over reacting to every hit in the league... Like the inside pitch in baseball...lol
I agree that concussions are becoming more of a problem and thats coming with the more research that is being done in this area and the increased education that comes with it. There's no such thing as just "getting your bell rung" anymore....
I just think there are more proactive ways to curb them than just focussing on the punishment afterwards....
A few ways to help this would be to A) Lessen the size of the pads on the elbows and shoulders and B) loosen up the bolts on the boards.
The pad sizes are just rediculous now, might as well be football players out there. Otherwise, need to come up with full-face helmets and some type of horse collar around the neck.
The boards should give more. We're not trying to keep racecars out of the seats, we're just defining the playing field. The old boards in the Coliseum not only had several inches of "give", but they made a crowd pleasing rattle. Today's, (when and if there's a decent check) just give a dead "thud" sound.
Drop a row of seats and lets the boards move. Retro "soft-wall" technology.
I remember how the glass would shake like crazy for several seconds after a hard, but clean Steve Fletcher check into the boards....you could see the top of the glass just swaying in the wake of hits like that. Like you said, the boards did have some more flexibility back then.
The other thing, if they banned blows to the head, then they wouldn't have to tighten up the boarding and charging rules and such which will end up doing far more to take the physicality out of the game. Guys will be afraid to hit someone because of potential penalties. We've already seen that over the last 15 years or so.
Don't know if or how much of a difference this makes, but the current boards have "backs" to them. The anchor points to the old boards were open towards the seating area and the old boards did seem to have more give to them.
Do the current boards have insulation in them?
It could be worse ...