The National Hockey League will consider making changes to the rules regarding hits to the head at the upcoming GM meetings in Toronto.
“It’s opened up a bit of a hornet’s nest once again with these type of hits,” said Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos during Saturday’s Headlines segment.
The never had a rule against hits to the head until the 2010-11 season.
“This really started when you go back to 2009 when Mike Richards, then with the Philadelphia Flyers, hit David Booth,” said Kypreos.
Richards was not suspended, and neither was Matt Cooke after the Penguins forward gave Boston’s Marc Savard a concussion a few months later.
“All this terminalogy started after,” explained Kypreos. “They introduced the word ‘blindside’ and then later on they got rid of the ‘blindside’ and they focused on principal point of contact.
“So I don’t think anything has really changed between then and now. It’s still about guys not being able to hit the head first.”
The NHL will have to tread carefully from here if they are to expand the current rules to make more hits illegal, like the one from Kadri.
“If you introduce now that you can’t hit anybody from the blindside, you are going to take a big part out of the game,” cautioned Kypreos.
“The one thing Nick is 100 per cent right about is that there is a split,” said Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. “To get a rule changed, to get ‘blindside’ brought back in, I don’t know if there is enough of a consensus to do that.
“But I think there are some general managers, Jim Benning for obvious reasons there, [as well as] Ray Shero and Jim Rutherford have been guys who have been on record in the past as saying, ‘We have to do more to protect the head.’ “