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Should there be head shots in the NHL.

  • Yes,its part of the game.

    Votes: 2 33.3%
  • No,its not right when players get hit in head.

    Votes: 4 66.7%

  • Total voters
    6
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Discussion Starter #1
After the defastating(but clean)blow Wednesday night that sent Jason Williams off the ice on a stretcher - the third such type of hit in the young NHL season-a big debate has been going on. Should head-shots be allowed??

A bunch of people say its part of the game,its what happens when you don't keep your head up, and of course that you can't take it out of the game or the NHL is gonna be a "no touch league!"

But wait here. Do we want players running around getting hit in the head by other player? Bobby Orr doesn't think so!

"I don't want to see hitting taken out of the game, I love hitting in hockey," Orr told TSN during an interview, "but if someone puts his shoulder into a player's face, if he puts anything -- an arm, an elbow, a glove -- I think that player should get a penalty. Definitely, it should be a penalty. We are having players getting knocked unconscious before they even hit the ice and carried off on stretchers. How can that be legal? When did hitting someone in the head with your shoulder or any part of your body become part of the rules? Anything above the neck, it's wrong.

"Hey, I got hit a lot when I played and I didn't get hit in the head with checks," said Orr, the legendary defenceman who is now the head of his own player representation firm. "Players didn't always hit like that. To me, that's not part of bodychecking. I mean, don't you have to be responsible for your actions? If you hit a guy in the face with your stick by accident, you're going to get a penalty. Two minutes, four minutes, five minutes, something. If you go to bodycheck a guy and you hit him in the face or head, and injure him, that's legal? That's fair? That's not a penalty? I'm sorry, I don't think that is right. It should be a penalty."

"I just think in today's game, with the crackdown on hooking and holding and interference, we have to call penalties for hitting people in the head," Orr said. "Think about it, you can't touch a guy anywhere with your stick without getting a penalty, you can't make a little tug or get in a guy's way, but you can hit him in the face and knock him unconscious and there's no penalty for it. There's something wrong there."

In the OhL you get a penalty for making contact with the head, incidental or otherwise with the shoulder or any other part of the body.

This looks like a big debate that will continue as the season progreses. What do you think??:dunno:
 

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Great thread Havlat.

I think that headshots should be taken out of the game as much as possible. Players are worth too much money now-a-days too be getting knocked around like Williams was last night.

I don't think you need to go as far as the OHL goes but it's time to get a rule in that this can happen and not be a penalty!
 

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Did Williams not sustain the head injury from hitting the ice, face first? When I saw the hit, it looked like he got him in the upper body, not the head?

But no, there should not be hits to the HEAD!!!
 

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I think they need to look at the shoulder pads in a similar light to what they did with the plastic capped elbow pads. There isn't a need to have kevlar shoulder pads and using the older cloth covered pads I believe would reduce the damage done by the pad. The hits would still be big hits but the brick wall effect would be reduced.

Just look at today's player as compared to player even 15 years ago. These shoulder pads have no give, the boards have no give, the head injuries are increasing but the number of big hits really isn't. I've been watching a lot of old games on Google video and you see the big hits in these playoff games (Shane Churla running Craig McTavish from behind comes to mind) without the player injuries and the players (even the big guys) look so very small.

Also there are fewer hip checks today with all the new rules regulating against shots to the knee even with your butt. The old hip checks often caught players at full speed and either sent them hard into the boards or head over heels into the ice (quite a few face first that I've seen on these old game tapes) without the concussion or the stretcher coming out to pick these guys up.

Let's go with less equipment before we accept less physical play.
 

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Another aspect to this problem. What do you do with a player the size of Zdeno Chara? Every time he hits a smaller player it would be considered a head shot to some degree. Do you regulate a talented but larger player out of the game or force them to become a finesse player rather than a physical force?
 

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Chara is a clean hitter. Size won't matter if you hit clean. The Williams hit was clean as well.
That hit was one of those "Keep your head up boys" Type of hit. If this is the type of hit that Orr is complaining about, then he's complaining about nothing.

Viscious hits from behind when players are facing the boards should be eliminated and blatant elbows to the head as well. I'm all for devastatingly hard clean body checks, though.
 

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Krazed Kourse said:
Chara is a clean hitter. Size won't matter if you hit clean. The Williams hit was clean as well.
That hit was one of those "Keep your head up boys" Type of hit. If this is the type of hit that Orr is complaining about, then he's complaining about nothing.

Viscious hits from behind when players are facing the boards should be eliminated and blatant elbows to the head as well. I'm all for devastatingly hard clean body checks, though.
Thanks Krazed!! :thumbsup:

Couldn't have said it better!!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When players are going at full speed it is pretty hard for defencemen to aim exactly for th head. Also if the NHL make it a penalty how will the ref. know if the player deliberatly hit the other guy in he head?:dunno:
 

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I don't like headshots, and would like them removed from the game.

A good point raised by Havlat though. I had a discussion on this a few years back.

"Can a 'clean' hit sometimes be an attempt to injure?" is what it was.

Guys like Scott Stevens and suchs were mostly the subject. I know Phaneuf hits and hits hard, but the players he nails are usually able to get right up.

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
 

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Rids said:
Another aspect to this problem. What do you do with a player the size of Zdeno Chara? Every time he hits a smaller player it would be considered a head shot to some degree. Do you regulate a talented but larger player out of the game or force them to become a finesse player rather than a physical force?
Rids, you took the words right outta my mouth.
While not the same height as Chara, I have the same problem. The only way for me NOT to contact someone's helmet is to stoop low or back into 'em (butt check). Speed of the game guarantees that will not always happen. A blanket rule penalizing ALL head contact/shots would amount to height discrimination.
Deliberate intent to injure is another matter and should be called as just that. It might be tough to call except for when the hitter's skates leave the ice or if the incident involves a raised elbow / fist / stick.
 

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BE-LEAF-ABLE said:
Guys like Scott Stevens and suchs were mostly the subject.
Scott Stevens was a specialist at finding players with their heads down while stickhandling, and just rocked them.
You have your head down, you can't complain that someone was head hunting. Unless that is, you were nowhere near a puck. It's a *contact* game, after all.

It's a much faster game than it was in Bobby Orr's era. Players are much larger and powerful. Meaning, players will get hit alot harder.

How can a clean hit be an attempt to injure? Thats just finishing your check. You're supposed to do that. A late hit is an attempt to injure. Jumping off your skates to hit, is an attempt to injure. A hard hit into the boards when a player isn't facing you, is an attempt to injure. I just don't see how a textbook bodycheck, could even be considered deliberately trying to injure another player.

As for Scott Stevens, he's the best hitter the game has ever seen. Best *clean* hitter, that is.
 

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Krazed Kourse said:
How can a clean hit be an attempt to injure?


When the player throwing the hit knows he's going to take a player out for good. He doesn't have to hold back, but Stevens knew when a head was going to get a piece of his shoulder pads, and he always seemingly tried to take advantage of it.

As for Scott Stevens, he's the best hitter the game has ever seen. Best *clean* hitter, that is.
Sure. And he surely knew what he was doing out there when he got Shane Willis a few years back.

The man knows when he'll take them out or not. Why else did he happen to step up his "clean" hits in the playoffs?
 

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The Shane Willis hit was perfectly clean. He was looking at his shoelaces when Stevens got him. Keep your head up, they teach it in minor hockey so why are we amazed when an NHL gets hit with his head down? They should know this by now, head up when you have the puck.

Stevens wore some of the smallest shoulder pads for a big man available. Put a photo of Stevens beside say Kevin Hatcher and you'll see it. Stevens also didn't wear the new kevlar pads that the next generation wears (see a photo of Mark Staal).
 

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Look how big Stevens was without gear:

http://www.hhof.com/graphfea/SCJ_34f.jpg

With gear:

http://www.nj.com/cgi-bin/prxy/photogalleries/nph-cache.cgi/cache=3000;/njo/images/4960/devs_01a.JPG

http://www.nj.com/cgi-bin/nph-cachecam.cgi?url=photo.live.advance.net/njo/images/4957/devs_09.JPG&ct=10800

And a quote:
Scott Stevens: "I really had trouble playing after that, to be honest. I was upset. I've done that many times in the playoffs and in my career. It's a physical game, but I didn't want to see him get hurt. I was definitely thinking about his career. I don't want to be anybody who ends somebody else's career. I felt real bad about it and I still do. (Stevens' comments after Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in which he checked Eric Lindros, who had to be helped from the ice)"
 

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Some thing does need to be done because 1 day a player will be killed albeit been an accident im all for the big hits and fighting but if something can be done about a DELIBERATE hit to the head something should be done about it such as 2+2 2+10 or maybe a 5+game
 

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BE-LEAF-ABLE said:
The man knows when he'll take them out or not. Why else did he happen to step up his "clean" hits in the playoffs?
With Stevens, you either love him, or you hate him. There are no in between's with this guy.

Same when discussing whether he's a clean hitter or not.

Personally, if bone crushing hits like the ones dished out by Scott Stevens were to be removed from the nhl, I think it'd be a tragedy for the sport. I'm more worried about hard hits from behind, and wild stick work.
 

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Bombers_foreva said:
Some thing does need to be done because 1 day a player will be killed albeit been an accident im all for the big hits and fighting but if something can be done about a DELIBERATE hit to the head something should be done about it such as 2+2 2+10 or maybe a 5+game
When a case can be made that the contact with the head was intentional there are already suspensions and penalties for it. Elbow to the head is a 5 minute major and a game. There is an intent to injure rule in there as well. These things are in the book. Why make the rule book larger when the refs don't know how to use the current one?

The long standing joke in lacrosse is that the rule book for pro wrestling is bigger than the rule book for lacrosse. And by the way lacrosse sits somewhere around 104 on the list of most dangerous sports to play right underneath bowling and above figure skating.
 
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