The NHL’S Concussion Problem
Yes the NHL has a concussion problem. When players-not just the stars are dropping like flies we have a problem. I love the NHL but fear the fix will hurt if not ruin the game. I see the league taking the tough, physical play being penalized more and more and it bothers me. However I have a solution although the league will never go along with it. 1st off let’s acknowledge that like the NFL you can put all the rules in you want and it can’t save everyone from themselves or risk of injury. The NHL like the NFL is for tough men and injuries will happen. 1 of the reasons they get paid so well is the risks they take and I am fine with that. The last 2 star players, Sid Crosby of Pittsburgh and Claude Giroux of Philadelphia both got concussed by their own guys. Giroux had the back of his head smashed into while getting up off the ice by a teammate who clipped him in the back of his melon. Crosby while skating smashed into accidently Chris Kunitz a teammate. No matter how many rules you put in that’s the breaks of the game. Here is the other part. You can’t hit someone in the head and that’s fine. You can’t hit someone from behind along the boards. Ok. But if player A checks player B along the boards hard and legal guess what the head will follow the body and the head is going into the glass. Nothing you can do about that and calling a penalty is bogus and lame. Take out the physical play and you have ice skating and frankly I am not interested in that. Womans hockey doesn’t allow checking at all and it is boring as sin and unwatchable for this fan.
However I do have the answer or part of the solution and no way will owners go for it. take out some of the highest priced seats and make the ice surface bigger thus opening up more skating room and free ice. What I don’t want is Olympic size rinks. Yes I love Olympic hockey for the skill and speed but there is no hitting virtually so the game isn’t as good as it can be. You don’t have to make the rinks that big but by taking away a few rows of seats that will increase the playing surface. Now you think the owners are going to eliminate some of the highest priced seats. NO WAY. So while professing concern and putting in more and more rules that haven’t helped the real answer is increase ice size but no chance will that happen. I beg the lords of the rink don’t take away the hard hits but let’s fix or help the problem and you can further do this with my idea. The game gets faster,the physicality or what’s left of it remains and players will have more room to skate thus not getting pinched on the boards as much. It may not be the perfect fix but it’s better then anything the league has come up with!