The title says it all. This article will be no more than a comprehensive list of NHL (and some other players owned by NHL teams) players set to participate in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
I am certain that an opinion piece of this nature will upset each team’s fans but these head shots have got to stop. Of course, we are all hockey fans and love the big hit, some live for it but there needs to be a line drawn with the increasing speed to the game. These hits need to stop or else hockey becomes a survival of the fittest in which young players stand little chance of establishing a career due to playing scared due to footage from the last gruesome head shot.
While the League’s general managers mull over a rule change, I would like to propose a rule change of my own. Repeat dirty hits will lead to a permanent suspension from the League. The OHL instilled a similar rule when they banned Michael Liambas, a notoriously dirty player, from playing in their League following a career ending hit against Ben Fanelli. This instance marked just another time Liambas made a questionable hit, you cam see another one on first overall pick John Tavares here. The NHL made a similar move with former NHL pugilist Ryan Hollweg, essentially calling any hit remotely borderline until he played his way out of the league.
The moral of my rant will be that these types of players simply do not deserve a paycheck in the National Hockey League. A League where the rest of the world comes to play and play for the sport’s greatest trophies. What kind of message does it send when careers start to end due to these injuries? Do we need Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin seriously injured before we start to see lifetime bans?
My nominees for a lifetime ban…