Sidney Crosby likes the NHL’s recent rules changes on player safety

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby. (Billy Hurst/AP)

Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby is more familiar with head injuries than he’d probably like.

An unfortunate victim of many concussions during his illustrious career, Crosby’s hockey life was in legitimate danger.

Thankfully, however, Crosby has managed to return to full health, even winning a pair of Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.

There’s a lot of factors you can point to in trying to explain why he’s seemed to bounce back so seamlessly after a mid-career crisis, but one the 31-year-old Crosby credits has been the stricter rules in favour of player safety.

Speaking on the debut episode of Penguins-run podcast A Great Day for Hockey Talk, Crosby summed up how rules regarding safety, and head shots, specifically, have changed over time, for the better.

“I think it’s just clearly outlining what’s allowed and what’s not, enforcing it consistently and everyone being aware of what those lines are,” Crosby told host Paul Steigerwald of how to enforce the safety rules put into place.

“You talk about hits to the head and that was just, as a player, you felt responsible. If you went to the middle of the ice and you got hit in the head that was your fault because you were in the middle of the ice. You were in a bad spot, you put yourself in that position, head down, and that was accepted. That’s just what we knew.

“With the rule changes now that’s not the way we see it. We’ve had to adapt and I think those are good rule changes.”

It’s a step in the right direction for Crosby, but hockey is a fast, sometimes random game and accidents will happen. That’s why, while he likes what the league is doing, he wants to see even further action taken to try to prevent head shots.

“I’d love to see them be reviewed. I’d love to see a hit to the head be reviewed,” said Crosby. “You look at our playoff series, there’s two that’s happened in game and it happened so fast how do you expect somebody [to know]? We can’t tell on the bench, how’s a ref gonna be able to tell in real-time whether there’s a hit to the head there.”

The NHL is flush with young stars across the league. The last thing Crosby wants is to see something similar happen to them like what happened to him.

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