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The Way It Is…and Should Be
- Updated: March 3, 2013
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images
Today the NHL announced a four game suspension to Flyers forward Harry Zolnierczyk for a hit on Ottawa Senator Mike Lundin.
The hit was borderline as Zolnierczyk slightly left his feet at the last second to nail Lundin, who left the game with a concussion. Some Flyers fans are surprised with the length of the suspension but, in general, most fans are pissed. Here’s the thing, in professional sports these days, it’s just the way it is when dealing with concussions or potential concussions. A game after a borderline hit that Zolnierczyk delivered to Mathieu Perreault of the Washington Capitals was reviewed by the league, but went undisciplined, he went out a crushed Lundin in similar spot on the ice. We knew Zolnierczyk wasn’t getting away with this one.
Head trauma is nothing to scoff at, the message has to get through to the players who making the hits. Some fans are suggesting that the NHL or other professional sports leagues are going soft (by taking out big hits). But when you see former players committing suicide in relation with the head trauma they suffered playing the game, then what else do you expect to happen? Players get suspended, players have to be more careful when hitting another player. The physicality isn’t going anywhere but the unnecessary head shots must be eliminated or at least cut down significantly.
I’m not always in agreement with Brendan Shanahan’s rulings but I can respect what the league is trying to accomplish. I didn’t like that the league didn’t look into Daniel Alfredsson’s hit late in yesterdays game and that’s where the league needs to improve.
Imagine if this system was in place while Eric Lindros was still playing? Maybe his career could have lasted longer, maybe we’re talking about him still playing at 40 years old.
The timing of the suspension was odd as it was announced while the Flyers Wives Fight For Lives Carnival was going on, the NHL could have waited another day…just my two pennies.