Head Contact

Didn’t see games 5 or 7, but saw the replay of the Trouba elbow to Crosby and news reports indicated that Petterson’s helmet being ripped off by Lafreniere led to a NYR game-tying goal. I know many people feel that it’s just hockey, but that’s two instances where head contact directly impacted the outcome of games.

How does one petition the NHL to set rules against head contact? I’m thinking of something along the lines of the following:

Any contact by a player (the instigator) with another player’s head or helmet shall be reviewed by the league, even if no penalty is called at the time. An automatic, minimum 2-game suspension shall be imposed, unless the contact is determined to be unavoidable in the course of play. Specific provisions would be:

  • Any contact by an instigator to the head during play when the player’s head is above the level of the standing playing height of the player‘s shoulders shall be deemed avoidable unless the review shows clear evidence that contact was unavoidable.
  • Cross-checking or other contact to the back of a player’s head during play shall double the suspensions.
  • Contact by an arm, elbow, shoulder, hand or other body part or by any piece of equipment during a stoppage shall double the suspensions. This applies to both the instigator and the other player in the event of a situation where both players make head contact with the other player.
  • Intent of the instigator shall not be a factor nor be inferred.
  • The first game of the suspension shall be the instigator’s next scheduled game.
  • The second game shall be the next game following the first suspension where the instigator plays the team of the other player.
  • The suspension shall follow both players in the event of trades.
  • In the event of retirement, injury, or unavailability for any reason of the instigator, the suspensions shall be served by the captain of the instigator’s team, or alternate captain if the captain is the instigator.
  • The team of the instigator shall not be allowed to replace the suspended player on their roster for that game.
  • If the instigator has a prior suspension for head contact, an additional 2-games suspension will be imposed for each prior suspension.

Too draconian?

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