In this NHL, Brendan Shanahan got it right. I don’t like “this” NHL.
When Justin Abdelkader flew across the ice on Saturday night to tattoo Anaheim’s Tony Lydman, I jump out of my seat and cheered what I thought was a good hit. There was no penalty called by a referee standing 5 feet away and at full speed it looked like Abdelkader was on his skates when he contacted Lydman. Initially I thought this was just a great hit on a guy who had his head down.
Not so in 2013. There are many reason’s this hit is so big, the “hitee” was injured on the play, upon review Abdelkader left his feet and we are in the process of yet another pussification in sports.
The NHL, like the NFL, are concerned about hits to the head. The NFL is being sued by many of its retired players and the NHL is sure to follow as more and more is known about head trauma and its long term effects.
Don’t blame Bettman, Shanahan or the NHL, this is about exposure to liability. All of the past players who are suing their respective leagues are the cause (particularly the NFL) . These leagues are simply limiting their exposure to future liability. Even though I find it hard to believe these guys didn’t know what they signed up for when they decided to play in the NFL. This is the world we livin in folks, lawsuits and “feel” good policies are the order of the day. Gone are the days when we could sit back and cheer a nasty hit or a great fight, nope, that isn’t allowed because there will be financial implications; besides, what message are we sending our kids? Oh, Please!
While I don’t like it, I think Shanahan made the right called based on the absolute wussification we are seeing in all walks of life, head hits or near head hits simply won’t be tolerated because NOBODY wants to get sued or be called a “barbaric” league.
We are so evolved.