On TSN’s Insider Trading segment, Darren Dreger said when general managers meet in Florida at the Board of Governors meeting they’ll discuss changing the language of rule 48 on illegal hits to the head.
Rule 48.1 currently defines illegal hits to the head as “A hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head was the main point of contact and such contact to the head was avoidable is not permitted.”
Dreger says the GMs will focus on the language of the phrase, with some – including Panthers GM Dale Tallon – wanting penalization for any hits to the head.
“That’s the big focus in the language is avoidable vs unavoidable. Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon as an example supports a penalty for any head contact, and there’s reason for that, there’s been a number of Panthers who have been hit by this including Sasha Barkov [and] Justin Abdelkader from the Detroit Red Wings.
Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen also supports the elimination of the blindside because of the Brad Malone hit on Nick Foligno. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff also pushing in this direction because he lost Bryan Little for the remainder of the season. It will be interesting to see if there’s any traction on this but there will be a fair bit of discussion.”
While the language may be tricky to decide, eliminating blindside hits and penalizing players makes the game safer. Too many players suffer serious long-term injuries because of stupid hits, so changing the rule and policing the hits more seems like no-brainer.