Over the past week or so there have been cheap hits, bad hits, and dirty hits. The NHL Playoffs have become a who next tournament, and no matter what the NHL does they can’t win. The league has created this mess, and they are not willing or able to fix the problem.
In light of the probable Matt Cooke suspension, and Brent Seabrook already being suspended; let’s try and figure this out for the NHL. There may only be one way for the NHL to regain control of their game, and that may be a hard-line on suspensions. If you make contact with a player’s head,or any other kind of dirty/illegal hit and receive a penalty you are suspended for no less than 5 games. The suspensions would escalate for subsequent hits.
Suspension Table for Illegal Hits (Includes fine, determined by the NHL)
- 1st. time: No less than 5 games
- 2nd time: No less than 10 games
- 3rd time: No less than 20 games
- 4th time: Done for the season ( Does not matter how long between hits)
Granted this would take some input by the NHLPA and the players are likely to accept it without putting up some kind of a fight, but it’s because of their reckless play and the NHL’s front offices inability to manage the situation that we need something like this. In real life if you get into a car accident and cause an injury you are held responsible, the same thing should be taken into account in the NHL.
I am completely agents sitting players for the duration of the injury they caused, because it would allow teams to manipulate the situation, but if a player has a knee injury or head injury or any injury it should add 3 games to the already slotted suspension length.
The only thing players understand is money. It’s become clear that players no long care about their NHLPA members and those players have no regard for safety. It has also become clear that the NHL has no clue what they are doing. But, there is a problem, and it’s up to the league to fix it. No matter what they are going to anger someone, but it won’t be worse than the mess they have created.