Monday, June 6, 2011

I took this photo last season on Robson St. near the Central library after a Canucks game, but the date on the camera was wrong.

I hate this stuff, the hit to Bruins' forward Nathan Horton. It takes the fun out of watching a game when I  know some guy is probably going to have to suffer the effects of a concussion.

Even though the NHL now has a ban on blindside hits to the head of unsuspecting players, I doubt Rome will be suspended for long.

Horton -- no relation to Tim Horton -- is from Ontario, a town called Dunnville.


The NHL gave Rome a four game suspension.  He's now out of the Stanley Cup finals, and so is Horton who has a severe concussion.  In deciding on the length of the suspension, Mike Murphy of the NHL said they took into consideration the lateness of the hit on Horton and the severity of his injury.

The suspension is an indication that the NHL is starting to take head injuries more seriously.  Even Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a big hockey fan, spoke out a few months ago about the need to curb head injuries in the NHL.   Concussions can leave a person with daily headaches for years, and can make them more prone to later life brain deterioration such as dementia.

I understand the critics though who say the suspension of Rome is too severe.  They argue that if the NHL was going to get tough, it is unfair to suddenly begin in the finals. Rome himself previously suffered a concussion, and there was not even a penalty.

1 comment:

vancouver mark said...

I agree that the hit was one second late and so violated the new rules, but feel strongly that the suspension is too long. Remember that this sort of hit is exactly what players like Scott Stevens used to not only get away with, but were actually celebrated for (by some), just a year or two ago.
Aaron Rome has been suspended for more games for this infraction (four) than were assigned in all of the other Stanley Cup final suspensions combined (three). Only three players have ever been suspended in the Finals, each for only a single game, including one who slashed another player deliberately in the face and caused significant damage.

In other words, according to the NHL's new logic, Rome's hit deserved more punishment than was ever meted out to all other players in all the Stanley Cup finals, for any and all infractions, ever, all combined together. This is a phenomenally HUGE change to the game, and sets a precedent that will presumably have to be enforced.

And why suddenly force such a significant cultural change onto the players NOW, in the middle of the finals?? Aaron Rome himself was brutally hit from behind into the boards in the previous round, the Shark who did it got a major and a game misconduct, but no suspension. Daniel Sedin was targeted for a vicious illegal hit, no suspension.

When the players, and the fans, have no idea what to expect from the officials the game suffers. If they were going to so drastically change the rule enforcement this way they should have started with the opening game in the opening round, and applied such suspensions consistently, right through the playoffs.