Josh Barr, Flin Flon, Man.
I cannot believe some of the criticism towards players making clean backchecking hits. This new rule of blindside hits eliminates hits to the head, not hits to players who aren’t paying attention.
How fair is it that a guy like Mike Richards, who is known for his aggressive backchecking, has to change the way he plays hockey for fear of being suspended for a clean hit to a player who doesn’t feel the need to pay attention to his surroundings.
Half of Scott Stevens open ice hits we’re to the heads of players (using his shoulder of course) and he was never at fault. It was always “keep your head up, kid,” but now things change? Why?
If a player’s shoulder comes in contact with the player’s head, take a good hard look at whether the player deliberately targeted the head by lunging or jumping into it. Half of these hits are on players reaching for a puck.
Doug Weight destroyed Brandon Sutter because he reached out to play a puck, which gives up a good 10 inches of his height. That would put him at Weight’s shoulder level. So how is Weight at fault? Do you think he can take that into account in the half-second he gets for reaction time?
Accidents happen and a lot of the times with hits like these, it’s the player getting hit, not delivering the hit.
I hope Eric Lindros doesn’t read this.