Notice to players: Clean hits are a valid and necessary part of the game.
Yes, even if they’re huge, high-speed collisions, hits are still part of the game. We’re not going to have to worry about a Board of Governors or a task force taking hitting out of the game, the players are doing this themselves.
There have been a few examples, but the evidence I’ll use happened in the game between Toronto and the Islanders on December 8. Ryan Hollweg threw what may have been his first big, clean hit in the past three years, only to be met by Islanders “tough guy” Nate Thompson 20 feet up the ice.
Hollweg was given no choice but to drop the mitts. And for what?
To make it worse, the officials didn’t assess an extra minor to Thompson for instigating, so not only was Hollweg lost for five minutes after a great hit, but the team wasn’t given an advantage.
This is just one example of what has become an annoying, nightly occurrence. And just to be clear, I’m not against fighting in the league – I’m for it when it’s necessary.
Jerry Filice, Burlington, Ont.