"I had thought that he had adjusted his game to fit in with the new rules."
Somehow, last year, he adjusted his game to cut out 90% of the slashing, two-handers across the spine, trips, and other assorted niceties that the crafty, effective defensemen of the past used to their advantage in the bad old days. I was very impressed with his ability to change his long-standing habits.
For some reason, the NHL has not seen fit to severely penalize the head-hunters, who cause most of the real, long-lasting damage to other players. Of course, sometimes the head gets involved in a hit, unavoidably, and that's just part of the game. There are certain players, I think we know who most of them are, who go out of their way to put their hard-padded shoulders and elbows into the heads of their opponents, often resulting in concussion.
One of the few consistent voices I've heard calling for an escalating schedule of punishments for such repeat-offenders, has been that of Brett Hull. He's often full of beans, like when he said Datsyuk was gone from Detroit for good the week before he signed his long-term extension, but I think he's right about this one. One game for the first one, depending on severity. Five games for the next, maybe twenty for the third. Really make it hurt, both the offender and his team. It would stop happening overnight, imho, aside from the odd accidents here and there.
Posted on Jun 3, 2007, 9:46 PM from IP address 220.127.116.11