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Punish head shots, not clean hits

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The Hockey News
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Punish head shots, not clean hits

Hockey News
By:

Andrew Miller, Kingston, Ont.

The line between blindside hits and blindside head shots seems to be a very grey area in the NHL.

If a player delivers a deliberate elbow or shoulder to the head of their opponent's blind side, they should be penalized and possibly suspended depending on the severity of the hit. There is no doubt head shots are dangerous and need to be eliminated from the game.

However, there is nothing wrong with a blind side hit if it's clean.

If the league starts dishing out suspensions and fines for these "blindside hits," the league is going to run into a whole other batch of problems. We will start seeing hot dogs skating through open ice with their head down because they know they are safe.

Scott Stevens is a player who thrived on open ice hits and many of them were considered to be "blindside."

Younger players learn quickly that you need to keep your head up in the NHL. If you leave yourself exposed, you are likely going to get rocked.

I hate seeing players get hurt as much as anyone else, but you can't penalize, suspend or fine for hitting someone on their blindside if their is no intent to injure.

Players should be responsible enough to know what's coming and, if not, it might be time to learn a hard lesson.

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Punish head shots, not clean hits