Blog Entry

Morning Skate: Concussions again issue for GMs

Posted on: March 14, 2011 2:38 am
Edited on: March 14, 2011 8:31 am

The image of Pittsburgh Penguins agitator Matt Cooke’s brutal hit on Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard was still fresh in the minds in the league’s general managers when they met in Florida last March.

What resulted was Rule 48, language that banned blindside hits like the one Savard took days earlier and made violators subject to supplemental discipline. The rule was soon adopted by the competition committee and enforcement began days before the start of the playoffs.

It did nothing to protect Sidney Crosby or Max Pacioretty -- two players injured in incidents not covered by Rule 48 or any other guideline that put the players who injured them in peril of a fine or suspension. 

Crosby, out of the Penguins' lineup since Jan. 5 with concussion-like symptoms, took a shoulder to the head without the puck by David Steckel, who was then a member of the Washington Capitals.Montreal’s Pacioretty suffered a severe concussion and a broken bone in his neck when Boston’s Zdeno Chara sent him off a divider between the benches.

Pacioretty’s collision with the turnbuckle last week certainly was the scarier to watch of the two, but could either lead to more changes to the NHL rulebook when the three-day GM meetings begin today?

Line Changes

"If you listen to the media and read the papers north of the border, there's tremendous pressure to at least revisit it (the subject of reducing head injuries in the game)," Sabres general manager Darcy Regier told The Buffalo News. "I think we're going to have to do that."

The number of man games lost blindside hits dropped, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters at the All-Star game in January. But he said types of concussions through “accidental” collisions are on the rise.

"The ideal number of concussions would be zero," Bettman said. "Our objective would be to come as close as possible to get that result without changing the fundamentals of our game. We are doing whatever possible to limit the amount of concussions."

One option is to make any type of hit to a player’s head illegal, even if it’s accidental. While that wouldn’t pertain to Chara’s collision with Pacioretty, Montreal GM Pierre Gauthier might have a few ideas.

Washington 4, Chicago 3 (OT)
Pittsburgh 5, Edmonton 1
Los Angeles 3, Dallas 2 
Buffalo 6, Ottawa 4 
Phoenix 5, Anaheim, 2 playoff tracker 

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 9:51 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: March 14, 2011 3:24 pm

Morning Skate: Concussions again issue for GMs

Did anyone catch Coach's Corner on Hockey Night in Canada, or the game of the week on the NHL Netwrok on Saturday? Don Cherry showed a picture of that stanchion between the bences being angled like a teepee. Could be a reasonable solution, to start. That being said, nice job on Cherry's part calling out Quebec politicians and Air Canada for "grandstanding."

Since: Apr 19, 2008
Posted on: March 14, 2011 11:35 am

Morning Skate: Concussions again issue for GMs

You both are morons. 

Since: Apr 19, 2008
Posted on: March 14, 2011 11:27 am

Morning Skate: Concussions again issue for GMs

You both are morons. 

Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: March 14, 2011 10:52 am

Morning Skate: Concussions again issue for GMs

cmon Caps the league doesnt punish you for height just when you play at all....and I mean at all aggressive. If Bettman had it his way this would be a no check league. I probably shouldnt give him any ideas

Since: Mar 16, 2010
Posted on: March 14, 2011 10:42 am

Morning Skate: Concussions again issue for GMs

Steckels collision with Crosby was just that...a collision.  If Steckel wasn't 6'5", lets say he was 6'00", no concussion happens.  Are you going to start punishing players for being tall?  That would be ridiculous.     

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or