The National Hockey League’s modified rule on blindside hits to the head has received approval. The NHL Players’ Association released a statement Thursday supporting the temporary rule that will give league disciplinarian Colin Campbell the ability to punish players for hits to the head of unsuspecting players. The rule will be in effect for the rest of the regular season and 2010 playoffs.
Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Matt Cooke was not penalized for his hit to the head of Bruins center Marc Savard earlier this month. Only days later, NHL GMs unanimously proposed a the new rule that calls for mandatory punishment for such hits.
Full Text of Release:
STATEMENT FROM NHLPA EXECUTIVE BOARD
Toronto (March 25, 2010): Statement from NHLPA Executive Board regarding the League’s blindside hits to the head proposal: “We fully support our Competition Committee Members’ endorsement of the League’s proposal to implement supplemental discipline this season for blindside hits to the head.
Our agreement applies to the remainder of the 2009-10 NHL Regular Season, as well as the 2010 Playoffs. This temporary implementation will ensure that the joint NHLPA/NHL Competition Committee will have time to develop and consider a proper and full-time rule, one that includes an on-ice penalty component, this summer. We are encouraged by the League’s recent willingness to explore on-ice rule changes as a means of reducing Player injuries and have no doubt that by working together, a safer working environment can be established for all NHLPA Members.”