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No ban on NHL head hits

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The Penguins, supporters of a ban on all hits to the head in the NHL, do not have enough support among the league's general managers to come away from meetings here with such a recommendation. Instead, when the GM meetings wrap up Wednesday, there could well be consensus for a rule that goes beyond Rule 48 -- instititued a year ago to penalize blindside and lateral head hits. "There's not support on a widespread basis for a blanket head-hit rule, but we are going to look to see if we can come up with a rule in addition to Rule 48 that focuses on dangerous hits, hits when a player is vulnerable or engaged with another player and a third player comes in, or where there's excessive force," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said today. "We're going to see if we can get something more precise than a blanket head-hit rule, in part because we see how concussions are being caused." Studies presented here have shown that most of the concussions sustained by NHL players this season have come from something other than hits to the head. The focus also will shift to tougher enforcement of penalties such as boarding and charging in an effort to make the game safer.

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