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NHL's boarding rules: What's going on here?

There's been a great deal of chatter and confusion following Alex Ovechkin's ejection from yesterday's win over the Blackhawks. The Caps winger was issued a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Chicago's Brian Campbell, who reportedly could be out for the rest of the season with a broken clavicle and ribs.

After the hit, which Ovechkin and Coach Bruce Boudreau later characterized as a two-minute minor, NBC analyst Mike Milbury sounded off. "Nobody knows what's a penalty and what's not a penalty," he complained. "We've got to get it right so these guys know what's in the rulebook and what's not in the rulebook, what's a penalty and what's not."

Dan Steinberg's post this morning explores the NHL's admittedly subjective interpretation of its rulebook, specifically when it comes to boarding. The most telling portion of the rule: "There is an enormous amount of judgment involved in the application of this rule by the Referees."

The boarding penalty was Ovechkin's second of the season, but according to the league's rulebook, he would avoid an automatic suspension because 41 games had passed since the first violation (Nov. 25). So that's that.

Except now comes this curious tweet from TSN's Darren Dreger: "NHL is defining "boarding" now and in light of the severity of B.Campbell's injury, Ovechkin may face suspension."

Dreger's colleague, Bob McKenzie, chimes in: "I will be surprised if Ovechkin is not suspended for a couple of games. Campbell's injury is the big factor now."

It brings up an interesting debate about whether the NHL should make supplementary discipline decisions based on the aftereffects of an illegal hit. Does that leave room for even more subjectivity? Does it help emphasize the focus on safety, or are too many factors (preexisting injuries, the size of the players, etc.) involved?


Meanwhile, Tarik reports that Ovechkin isn't at the Caps' (optional) practice today in South Florida. More to come.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 15, 2010; 11:59 AM ET
 
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Next: Awaiting a decision on Alex Ovechkin

Comments

I think they go it totally wrong. I feel bad for Campbell, but OV should not be suspended...this will be my third Panthers-Caps game this year and it looks like OV will miss every one in Ft Lauderdale....interesting..

Posted by: OVIHtrick8 | March 15, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I definitely thought it was a penalty but don't know the rule well enough to decide severity. I can't help though but remember Pronger pitch-forking Green into the boards in Anaheim and don't feel this hit was any worse. Pronger received no penalty or suspension and the rules were the same then as now. I don't feel therefore Ovechkin should be suspended (under current rules, same as Cooke) but feel the rules should be amended for next year to make the penalty on this hit (and Pronger's more severe).

You can't change the rules in the middle of the game.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 15, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Certainly no. otherwise if random low skill 5th liner Z gets injured by superstar player A, then that 5th liner would be "injured" on the play to take out the top talent longer. Call me unsportsmanlike, but that's how I would play it. I'm not above diving if it isn't caught. I think I'm week to week from just thinking about this, so Toews needs to be suspended now.

-to keep the flames down, this is sarcasm, but I thnkthe infraction and not the result should determine the punishment. I don't even like when they check for blood on a high stick. It is the same infraction whether the target is a bleeder or not. t least it should be.

Posted by: lornemyoung | March 15, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"Should injury play a role in the NHL's decision to suspend a player?"

If they're going to do that, and Ovi is suspended, they need to retroactively suspend Matt Cooke too.

Posted by: callingallcars | March 15, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

It's been 41 games, not 41 days. Just a quick edit on that - if you go half a season between 'type' penalites then the first is expunged.

Who thought they'd read "expunged" in the blog today?

They won't suspend him.

Posted by: saintex | March 15, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Cooke and Downie get away with clear attempts to injure but we're worried about this shove and a toe pick. What is the NHL watching? Boarding yes. Suspension? No.

Posted by: cappies | March 15, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Cooke wasn't called for a penalty, right? The NHL is really confused about how to deal with outcomes instead of intent. The drawing blood double minor on a high stick falls into the same categorical problem - it shouldn't really matter the outcome, it should matter on the intent. If something like yesterday's call - boarding - is a penalty then it shouldn't really matter whether the downed player gets hurt or not, it's simply a penalty. If you play it the "who got hurt" way then you can really only call boarding if the guy goes down and not when he doesn't. So, all the plays very similar to what happened yesterday, and that are overlooked, should have been called.

If the NHL is looking to change the rule then they can't change it to meet this situation and then retroactively punish players.

Posted by: saintex | March 15, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@saintex: whoops, thanks! I knew that, promise!

Posted by: Lindsay_Applebaum | March 15, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh puh-leeze. If Campbell hadn't caught his skate in a rut he never would have crashed into the boards like he did. A push from the icing line doesn't cause an NHL skater to hit the boards out of control.

Posted by: retiredjeff1 | March 15, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Hear is my take, and I know others will differ. If the situation is accidental, unintentional, unfortunate (all words used to characterize the situation) the resultant injury should not be taken in consideration when a decision to suspend or not suspend is being considered. If an injury occurs because of a hit like the one Brashear took from McSorley, or Morris of Colorado took from Bertuzzi, yes the suspension should equal the time away. Again though, that is subjective.

Anyhow, Ovi's situation was no different than the Brouwer hit on Semin, or the Orpik hit on Stamkos, both happened yesterday as well, except for the fact that Semin and Stamkos got up. Downie's play on Crosby was rediculously dangerous yesterday but only resulted in a 2 minute minor because Crosby skated away. If Crosby would not have gotten up it would have been longer. To be quite honest I am shocked there is not more buzz on TSN about the Downie hit because it was probably the dirtiest play I have seen in years. It could be put in the category of the Bertuzzi hit on Morris because Downie put his leg right between Crosby's and torqued him to the ice. Very ugly.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 15, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Exactly. Semin who went down feet first into the boards yesterday from a similar play should have just stayed down until the penalty was called. Your going to see allot more soccer style plays in the NHL. Fall down hold your knee and wait for the penalty to be called.

Posted by: cappies | March 15, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

It seems the only consistent thing in the NHL rulings is that they are inconsistent. If Matt Cooke's hit on Mark Savard, resulting in a class 2 concussion, didn't get a suspension because that rule was just being formulated (it would be illegal next year but not now) then how can Ovi be suspended if the NHL is just now defining boarding? It's ridiculous. If they want to be consistent and if they're going to suspend Ovi, then retroactively go after Cooke AND Mike Richards.

Posted by: holliden | March 15, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

They won't suspend him more that 3 games, because we play the Pens in 4 games and the league won't keep him out of their favorite match-up!

Suspended or not, the Caps can win games with or without Ovie...this is a solid team! Let some guys get more ice time, it could be great for the upcoming cup run. You know if Ovie has to sit, he is going to come out with twice the energy! Who cares if Ovie wins individual trophies, the ones we want are team based!

Posted by: NatyBG | March 15, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree with callingallcars. If you're going to base it on the length of injury, then retroactively suspend Cooke and what about Briere's hit on Booth. (Could be wrong on who delivered it.)

What about suspending those two?

I know Booth is already back, but that's not my point.

Posted by: jwash4472 | March 15, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Does the NHL have any idea what it is doing anymore? How can the hits on David Booth and Marc Savard that resulted in severe concussions not have resulted in suspensions? Its interesting how the rules constantly seem to shift about. From what I heard yesterday, if there are head injuries, then a play has to be reviewed. Now Campbell doesn't have head injuries, but it will be reviewed anyway? At some point people will be injured in hockey and that is unfortunate, but I am a firm believer that the rules have to be first applied to keep the players safe.

Posted by: firehorse | March 15, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the decision to suspend should be based on injury, but if it is deemed to be a suspendable infraction I think it is appropriate to use it as one of the criteria in setting the length of the suspension.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 15, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@lindsey, I figured you did - that's why it was an edit and nothing more. Great work, by the way - to the whole gang.

Ovi hearing is ongoing right now - started at noon EDT.

Posted by: saintex | March 15, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Just to be clear there are only 4 penalties that can result in a double-minor and they are high sticking, head butting, butt ending, and spearing. It would be nice if guys like P. McGuire & M. Millbury knew the rules of the game. They repeatedly stated that Ovechkin's boarding call should have been a double minor. Reality is it should have been a minor.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26544

Posted by: daddy_axe | March 15, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"Should injury play a role in the NHL's decision to suspend a player?"

If they're going to do that, and Ovi is suspended, they need to retroactively suspend Matt Cooke too.

+1,000,000

Posted by: BigRed8 | March 15, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Great job, NHL. Making the rules as we go along? Really? It's embarrassing you people still have a league with the way you keep screwing teams and their fans over for your own enjoyment and profit. So now, we'll be enjoying more people exaggerating their injuries, to draw a penalty and referees hiding behind the skirt that is Colin Campbell. How embarrassing for you!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 15, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

More fodder for conspiracy theories. Colin Campbell is a former Penguin so how convenient Matt Cooke is not suspended and who forgets last year Malkin's suspension being overturned by Campbell as well during the playoffs. If they punish Ovie this will PROVE that referees, media and the league are biased and want to influence the outcome against the Caps and in favor of the Penguins and /or Hawks. They're trying to break Ovie's spirit like they tried in Vancouver.

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | March 15, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Too many people named Campbell in this story!

Okay, aren't the Caps playing the Panthers next. Is Colin Campbell's son on that team? (I'm pretty sure the injured Campbell from the Blackhawks isn't related!) Anyway, this is another case when Campbell should not make a ruling.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | March 15, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

one or two games sounds fair to me, I think they can live with that...

Posted by: joek443 | March 15, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

If Craig Adams and Matt Cooke didn't get suspended, then Ovi shouldn't be.
http://washingtoncapitalsblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/does-this-look-familiar.html

Posted by: washingtoncapsblog | March 15, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Just to be clear there are only 4 penalties that can result in a double-minor and they are high sticking, head butting, butt ending, and spearing. It would be nice if guys like P. McGuire & M. Millbury knew the rules of the game. They repeatedly stated that Ovechkin's boarding call should have been a double minor. Reality is it should have been a minor.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26544

Posted by: daddy_axe | March 15, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Larry Murphy once got a TRIPLE-MINOR for crosschecking. Back in the late 80s at Boston Gardens. I think he got a triple minor and major for crosschecking and then fighting Nevin Marwkart who had just boarded him heavily. It was good to see a calm Murphy snap like that. Years of being abused and having a big target on his jersey finally cracked him open. Scott Stevens was looking on in shocked amazement, lol

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

There is a difference between reason and rationalization. The vagueness of the rule facilitates rationalization, the anti-logical process of covering ones behind.

It's more than obvious that Colin Campbell is incompetent. If he suspends Ovie, but not Matt Cooke who purposefully extended his elbow to make contact with the head of an opponent, this seals the deal, case closed.

As for the NHL front office, it’s a hack shop. Too bad for the NHL. They have a nice set of young start, but a front office of incompetents who are slowly but surely ruining a great game and a great league.

Posted by: BlueIguana | March 15, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the decision to suspend should be based on injury
-------------------------

Bertuzzi's was. Even though his infraction was fairly egregious, there were many other instances in the recent past of players getting blindsided by punches or stickwork that didn't result in the severity of Bertuzzi's suspension.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Like Tom, I have been remembering Pronger slinging Green into the boards so as to cause injury. But maybe it has to be a combination of boarding w/injury. Who knows??

Posted by: Bartolo1 | March 15, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Green was facing Pronger. That was a solid, hard check.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

this was worse that didnt result in a suspension - our own Scott Walker on ex teammate Aaron Ward
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLnEDFaDEdA

btw, Walker was not suspended at all and this happened in last yr's playoffs.

Here Brian McGrattan suckers Sean Avery (boo hoo right) and this wasn't a suspension.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g337qq0Wzvc

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

yeah the Green hit by Pronger was clean. Nothing wrong with that.

Similar I think to Calle getting injured in Boston. When big guys hit little guys at top speed, bad things usually happen.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

wow thanks for that link. I hope that link makes it's way onto any blog mentioning Ovie getting suspended.

http://washingtoncapitalsblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/does-this-look-familiar.html

Posted by: cappies | March 15, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, the game misconduct is defined, in the NHL rulebook as:

42.5 Game Misconduct Penalty - When a major penalty is imposed under this rule for a foul resulting in an injury to the face or head of an opponent, a game misconduct shall be imposed."

So, we know that didn't happen. Unfortunately, Campbell was hurt but it still doesn't fall under 42.5, or in fact, the major version, which is intent to injure. There was clearly no intent.

Posted by: saintex | March 15, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

when players fight each other, isn't that intent to injure? When someone hits a player low, that could also be construed as intent to injure. Knees aren't meant to be hit like that.

that intent to injure stuff is so subjective and inconsistently interpreted.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Booth is back but he was hit by Richards on October and returned on the 31st of January. Booth's injury was severe. Reports well into November indicated he could not read without getting sick. Richards got zero punishment. He just delivered the same kind of hit in January, I cannot recall the game, but no minors or suspension either. So, just because a player isn't nabbed it doesn't NOT make him a repeat offender. Ovi can't do anything without it being under the microscope. It comes with fame.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 15, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

this was from a couple of nights ago. He could've potentially broken Chris Neil's jaw but it resulted in a 2 min minor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK5WMgFzljc&feature=player_embedded#at=61

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Richards didn't get suspended because the league had already established the precedent to not suspend for those hits. You can find dozens and dozens of youtube videos with the same hit in which a suspension was not given out.


That is supposed to change next year...We'll see about that..

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Basically the league should throw out all of the section 6 "Physical Fouls" rules and start over. What they have now is completely inconsistent and vague.

The boarding rule is based entirely on severity of impact with the boards. Intent is irrelevant, as is severity of contact by the offending player. For charging, the penalty is based on the severity of the contact by the offending player, with a match penalty for intent to injure. Severity of injury is irrelevant, except for injuries to the head. The elbowing rule is similar to charging. In all cases, no criteria at all are specified for suspensions under Rule 29.

At a minimum, the league should do what fanohock suggests and make intent to injure a factor in suspensions. There shouldn't be strict liability (i.e., liability without intent to injure or severe contact by the offending player) for penalties. The only way strict liability could be justified is if there are some acts that are so inherently dangerous that even unintentional, mild contact should not be permitted. I'm not sure that such a situation exists.

Posted by: zmega | March 15, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

cstanton, you're totally right on that one. I don't think there are loads of players in the league that play the game with intent to hurt anyone - I honestly think they have way too much respect for each other. There are clearly players that hold contracts to be pests and fighters but I think the number of intent to injure players is very low - I don't think teammates would put up with it.

That said, the contact in this instance - near the icing line - was a bit beyond what most interpret as a boarding area. I don't think we can look at the video, which is what the refs did yesterday, and say there was intent from that distance to hurt someone. But, even if we assume there intent was there, it still doesn't fall under either the major or misconduct defintion. And, by that position, it shouldn't have been assessed. The Cooke hit, which wasn't deemed illegal, is the same way and a suspension wasn't going to happen. Same with the Booth hit.

If they want to fix those issues then they need to deal with the rules they publish. I happening to think a boarding call, minor, would have been okay but anything beyond that was crazy. I also think that headhunting should probably be outlawed also - shoulder or elbow contact to the head.

Who knows. The NHL is so confused it'd be funny if it weren't hurting the league so much.

Posted by: saintex | March 15, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

TSN reporting Ovechkin to face disciplinary hearing?...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | March 15, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

NHL needs to implement a video ref like they have in Rugby Union. The on field ref wears a mic where he can be over ruled by the video ref. This happens in just seconds between each play and there is no delay. Not only do the right calls get made but even the home audience can hear the refs discussions and over rulings.

Posted by: cappies | March 15, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Mike Richards hit on David Booth looks totally clean. I wouldn't even call it an interference penalty. He hit him with the shoulder. And he made contact with most of Booth's shoulder. Just a great hard hit. Its ridiculous to even call for a suspension in that case. And to Richards' credit, he answered Booth's challenge to fight him the next time Booth was in the lineup. Mike Richards is a solid core true blue kind of player. Plays the game hard. Takes hits without complaining and dishes them out. He's not a dirty player and that wasn't a dirty hit. There was no elbow involved, he hit him in open ice. The only argument you can make is that its a blindside hit but thats not illegal in the NHL.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

@Real_ESPNLeBrun Ovechkin hearing right now, Bettman in Phoenix tomorrow, Thursday rematch in Boston with Pittsburgh... nice week it's shaping up to be :) 42 minutes ago

Posted by: joek443 | March 15, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Cstanton, you're crazy if you think those types of hits should be allowed in hockey.

Yes, it was perfectly legal at the time, but that doesn't make it a scumbag play on Richard's part.

I am all for keeping the physicality in the game, but those type of hits are completely unnecessary, and it's sad that it took a Grade III concussion for the NHL to finally do something about it.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Cstanton, you're crazy if you think those types of hits should be allowed in hockey.

Yes, it was perfectly legal at the time, but that doesn't make it a scumbag play on Richard's part.

I am all for keeping the physicality in the game, but those type of hits are completely unnecessary, and it's sad that it took a Grade III concussion for the NHL to finally do something about it.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

lets see, those kinds of hits have ALWAYS been allowed in the NHL. Thats 100 yrs of hockey. Now suddenly we want to outlaw them? Why? As long as elbows aren't involved and the hit isn't extremely late, its a clean open ice hit.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Here are my two cents because I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.


I think as a boarding call, this is crazy. Roughing, yes. But boarding? So next time if Ovie hits someone really hard at center ice and they slide all the way down and hit the boards, is that boarding? Good grief, you mean a shove in the back when the guy is even with the goal is boarding? Than, there better be at least 20 boarding penalties handed out per game.

What is lacking with the NHL is clear communication and leadership. Make up your minds and be consistent about the rules.

Last point, if suspensions are going to be handed out in the NHL by default if someone gets injured, then this is a dead sport and I am done watching. People get paralyzed in the NFL, Dale Sr. died at Daytona. Sport is dangerous, that is part of why we watch and love it. If the NHL leadership can't stomach danger and injuries, then resign.

Posted by: jackstraaw | March 15, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

and I may be crazy but that has nothing to do with my argument to keep those types of hits legal

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

The league should also issue public explanations for their decisions on suspensions. The explanations should tie in to the wording of the rules and explain the decision in terms of prior precedents. Their decisions should be able to stand up in the light of day.

Posted by: zmega | March 15, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

because this is BUSINESS and injured players cost MONEY... that's why

Posted by: joek443 | March 15, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

speaking of open ice hits, did you ever see Scott Stevens lay players out at the blueline time and time again? His hits have resulted in concussions, broken collarbones and other career ending injures. So do we want to outlaw all open ice hits on the blueline just because the player getting hit has his head down or is looking another way?

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

because this is BUSINESS and injured players cost MONEY... that's why

Posted by: joek443 | March 15, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

thats probably the only viable argument on why those types of hits should be illegal. But I'll say this, I think the NFL went down that road with their QBs and frankly it has sucked some of the life out of the game.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I think shoots to the head would be easy to outlaw. No different than high sticking - you have to control your stick, that's all there is to that rule. If its high and it hits me in the face, accidentally or not, you're to the box. Players can be responsible for hitting another player in the head - be it shoulder or elbow.

Posted by: saintex | March 15, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

@RPhil--

"Scumbag" plays is a little naive don't you think? Don't players target other players who have injuries? I mean that's why McPhee is so tight-lipped about revealing specifics about injuries. Because hockey players will gain any advantage they can. Technically, any player who decides to finish a legal check on another player specific to his injured area is a "Scumbag"

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

of shots...

Posted by: saintex | March 15, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The NHL is such a rinky-dink sports league when it comes to officiating and enforcement. Many decisions seem arbitrary, inconsistent, and trigger intense second-guessing. The fact that the league's best player constantly gets embroiled in these situations, and unfairly, too, is a joke. 2/3 of yesterday's NBC broadcast was filled with confused commentary about whether Ovechkin's actions were legal, and no one had any idea.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | March 15, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Players can be responsible for hitting another player in the head - be it shoulder or elbow.

Posted by: saintex | March 15, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

so if Sean Avery is chargind down on Zdeno Chara, how is Chara supposed to use his body to knock Avery down? Is he supposed to crouch down a foot or two to avoid Avery's head? That gives smaller players an edge they shouldn't and don't ordinarily have.
I mean why are we reinventing the entire wheel after 10 or 11 decades of hockey? Just because players are faster and bigger now and we know more about concussions? Then why not just outlaw any hit where a player can land on his head? ALL HIPCHECKS for example

see what i mean about a slippery slope?

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1: A LOT of Stevens famous hits, especially the BIG ONE on Kariya that knocked him out are now deemed interference calls. Make no mistake about it when Stevens was on the ice players had to keep their head up whether they had the puck or not. Under the new rules Stevens would have had to change his game.

Also, why change the rule have 100 years of hockey...the equipment. What Lou Lamoriello was intervewed on NHL Home Ice back in November he was asked about the head contact penalties. His response was something I had never thought of...first do you remember what shoulder pads looked like even 10 years ago? I remember seeing Shanahan in the box after a fight and laughing at the little shoulder pads. Lou said, players have always lead with their shoulders because that is the proper way to deliver hit, the difference is because of the changes in the game the pads have changed and the shoulder pads are almost like armor. So now they guys are getting hit with "clean" hits with equipment that is meant to absorb the force of a puck without being felt. Anyhow, the rules should change because the equipment has changed.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 15, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

lets see, those kinds of hits have ALWAYS been allowed in the NHL. Thats 100 yrs of hockey. Now suddenly we want to outlaw them? Why? As long as elbows aren't involved and the hit isn't extremely late, its a clean open ice hit.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:10 PM |

Because the game has gotten much faster, the players are much stronger, the equipment is much harder, etc...


Honestly, that last point is probably one of the bigger reasons. Go to the HHOF and look at Howe's old shoulder pads. Then go to Kettler and look at Laich's pads. I would be willing to bet that if they reverted back to much softer shoulder pads, injuries when not occur as frequently to the head.

But, as long as the game keeps getting faster, the players keep getting stronger...I mean headshots are an issue that needs to addressed. It can be removed from the game without having to sacrifice any physicality. I'm not seeing any slippery slope here.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

My biggest problem with this is yes Ovie deserved a penalty of some sort but when i keep looking at the reply Ovie pushed him and just seemed like Ovie weight comparison and strength to Campbell caught him of guard into the boards. it is unforanute he got hurt but how maany times we see this play and outcome is different. RUle is a rule but if they suspend him for hurting campbell kind of weak. to me eventough its legal these blind side hits to the head that happen to Booth and Savard are way worse then boarding call. Savard seasons may be over and Booth came back awhile ago but no suspensions for Cooke or Richards. Despite the rule in place NHL cant just single out Ovie

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | March 15, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

My biggest problem with this is yes Ovie deserved a penalty of some sort but when i keep looking at the reply Ovie pushed him and just seemed like Ovie weight comparison and strength to Campbell caught him of guard into the boards. it is unforanute he got hurt but how maany times we see this play and outcome is different. RUle is a rule but if they suspend him for hurting campbell kind of weak. to me eventough its legal these blind side hits to the head that happen to Booth and Savard are way worse then boarding call. Savard seasons may be over and Booth came back awhile ago but no suspensions for Cooke or Richards. Despite the rule in place NHL cant just single out Ovie

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | March 15, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

and is McPhee cutting up clips like we are to show the league or is he just crossing his hands and pursing his lips so as not to rock the boat? I hear a lot more from other GMs to protect their players. Paul Holmgren came right out after the Richards hit to explain why it shouldn't be a suspension and he gave examples. McPhee just usually says "we'll abide by the league's decision"

that b__ch needs to work a bit harder for his money

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

2 Cents:

That play should have been no more than a 2 minutes minor if anything at all. The biggest factor in Campbell going down hard is that his blade got caught in a rut.

I've also seen people say the hit was unnecessary. How do we define an unnecessary hit? All hits have some impact on the game or on individual players. There is a reason there are hits after players have released a shot or a pass, especially in the defensive zone. Ovie's hit (more like a shove) was designed to let Campbell know that when he has the puck, he will need to make decisions quickly because Ovie is on his a$$ all game.

These "unnecessary" hits serve a purpose which become clear when Campbell caughs up the puck in the defensive zone later in the game because he thinks Ovie will be on him earlier than usual.

The difference between Ovie's hit and Cooke and Richards is that they are aiming for the head of a vulnerable player, these hits shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence.

Of cource Colin and the NHL will overreact just as the refs did seeing that Campbell is hurt seriously and will probably suspend Ovie which I would completely disagree with. One thing is certain, and I can't believe I'm saying this, Mike Milbury was so right when he said we don't knwo what a penalty is anymore.

Posted by: Moose33 | March 15, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

So I just watched the lapierre hit next to OV's...They were very similar except for the fact that I don't think OV's hit was late, and Lapierre's hit seemed like it had intent to board while OV seemed to want to finish his check...I did my best to try to not be biased, but of course I am an OV fan.

Posted by: capscoach | March 15, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

cstanton, good point on size of players but don't we have the same issue with "high sticking"? If Chara gets his stick up and it cuts Martin St. Louis, he doesn't get off because Martin is a shortie (although on of my favorites). What I meant by a shot to the head isn't Chara contacting Avery's head.

Posted by: saintex | March 15, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Personally I think if the NHL suspends Ovi then McPhail should pick up Boynton off of waivers just to tick the Blackhawks off even more

Posted by: hart2014 | March 15, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Fanock - the only hit that Stevens made that I consider a clear penalty was the hit on Kariya because it was so late so we're not in disagreement there.

But all the other hits from Flatley to Lindros to Derrick Smith to Keith Acton to Duane Sutter to Kozlov to Daneyko etc would all have been considered illegal hits if we put it in the context of today's discussion. They all involved open ice collisions that made shoulder to shoulder/face/head contact. Or in Daneyko's case it was a hipcheck that sent Daneyko flying head over heels and he landed on his face.

Do we really want to take that out of the game? If so, count me out. If I wanted to watch that kind of hockey I'd opt for watching something European. I'm sick and tired of the NHL looking more and more diluted every day. I respect the concussion argument but to simply water down this sport in the effort to ever avoid another concussion is not a precedent I want the NHL to set.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Also, why change the rule have 100 years of hockey...the equipment. What Lou Lamoriello was intervewed on NHL Home Ice back in November he was asked about the head contact penalties. His response was something I had never thought of...first do you remember what shoulder pads looked like even 10 years ago? I remember seeing Shanahan in the box after a fight and laughing at the little shoulder pads. Lou said, players have always lead with their shoulders because that is the proper way to deliver hit, the difference is because of the changes in the game the pads have changed and the shoulder pads are almost like armor. So now they guys are getting hit with "clean" hits with equipment that is meant to absorb the force of a puck without being felt. Anyhow, the rules should change because the equipment has changed.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 15, 2010 1:21 PM |

Damn...I know we butt-heads sometimes, but we posted these equipment rants at the same time, saying the same thing. That's a bit creepy...

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

saintex--
the highsticking argument is easier to defend because a player doesn't need to have his stick up past his own midsection. But when you hit someone your arms come up and you make contact with your upper body usually. So a 6ft9 player is going to have a hard time keeping his arms or shoulders away from a player a foot shorter.

Now if a player happens to stumble and fall into another player's stick, I don't see that as a penalty. That doesn't fall into the rule where a player has to always be responsible for his own stick. That usually applies to things like a follow-thru after shooting the puck.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Bertuzzi's intent was to injure Steve Moore..If one player should have been kicked out of nhl it should have been him!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMvOd3qde6k

Posted by: sporttraveler | March 15, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I would like to throw out an analogy that I read the other day. If a person runs a red light it's a traffic infraction. If you run the same red light and strike another car killing the occupant it's vehicular manslaughter.

Posted by: jkirtley1087 | March 15, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Another factor is that we know a lot more about the consequences of concussions now, and given the size/speed of the players, there are more concussions. Some concussions may be unavoidable, but there is no reason to allow intentional head shots. The current rule that makes hits to the head OK if delivered with the shoulder but not OK if delivered with the elbow is ridiculous. Sure, a player like Charra is going to have to take extra precautions. But he isn't one of the main offenders anyway.

I think the difficulty in defining "intent to injure" is also overblown. If there is contact to the head or knee, the hitter saw where he was going, and there was no last second movement to realign the two players, the hit was intended to injure.

Posted by: zmega | March 15, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Taking injuries into account in suspensions doesn't make any sense if they are trying to take out 'dangerous' plays. If a gets hit from behind head first into the boards but happens to hit at an angle that doesn't result in a severe injury, that doesn't make the hit any 'safer' than if he had been injured.

I have no idea if there will be a suspension here or not. Boarding was a good call on the play but it was more of a typical 'boarding' than a hit from behind or intent to injure 'boarding'. This was much more like when guys are both racing for a puck and one of them takes the other down before they get to the boards. On plays like that it's almost never a suspension and just call boarding or interference if anything. But this was a late shove instead of an early one so that makes things a bit different. And because of the way Campbell was turning at the time it's not a safe play. Little chance of head or neck injuries, but a pretty good chance of shoulder or other injuries. You can really never tell how the NHL is going to react. Their theme lately has been getting rid of head shots, but they let Cooke walk on a clear headshot that resulted in an injury. Because Ovechkin has been called for dangerous hits before, I think they probably will give him 2-3 games because he has a past history and Campbell was injured. If Campbell wasn't injured I don't think they'd give him any games. Which doesn't really make any sense, but that's how it is.

Posted by: Stu_c | March 15, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Taking injuries into account in suspensions doesn't make any sense if they are trying to take out 'dangerous' plays. If a gets hit from behind head first into the boards but happens to hit at an angle that doesn't result in a severe injury, that doesn't make the hit any 'safer' than if he had been injured.

I have no idea if there will be a suspension here or not. Boarding was a good call on the play but it was more of a typical 'boarding' than a hit from behind or intent to injure 'boarding'. This was much more like when guys are both racing for a puck and one of them takes the other down before they get to the boards. On plays like that it's almost never a suspension and just call boarding or interference if anything. But this was a late shove instead of an early one so that makes things a bit different. And because of the way Campbell was turning at the time it's not a safe play. Little chance of head or neck injuries, but a pretty good chance of shoulder or other injuries. You can really never tell how the NHL is going to react. Their theme lately has been getting rid of head shots, but they let Cooke walk on a clear headshot that resulted in an injury. Because Ovechkin has been called for dangerous hits before, I think they probably will give him 2-3 games because he has a past history and Campbell was injured. If Campbell wasn't injured I don't think they'd give him any games. Which doesn't really make any sense, but that's how it is.

Posted by: Stu_c | March 15, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

the equip thing makes some sense I suppose. But frankly, there's nothing more entertaining than seeing a hardfought playoff game where bodies are flying around and players are getting lined up in open ice. It creates atmosphere. Tension. Rivalries. Its good for the game. The pendulum is swinging too far the other way now. Like I said, any kind of elbowing or kneeing hit needs to be addressed. But I still think you should be allowed to hit anyone anywhere with your shoulder as long as its not an interference type thing.

I thought Ovy's hit on Gleason was far worse and defended way too much for my own liking by Caps fans. Even Boudreau had a hard time defending it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I would like to throw out an analogy that I read the other day. If a person runs a red light it's a traffic infraction. If you run the same red light and strike another car killing the occupant it's vehicular manslaughter.

Posted by: jkirtley1087 | March 15, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

thats a great analogy but it doesn't apply to hockey. If I jumped someone on the street and beat the snot out of him, I think I'm getting way more than a 2, a 5, and a 10.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Of course the injury should play a role in the determination of a suspension. It can't be made the sole criterion of the determination, but it should factor into the discussion, no doubt.

The league should punish the hit first, then consider intent and history. After these are weighed, then injury should be factored into the decision.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 15, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Lapierre's hit on Nichol was worse by far. He crosschecked him in the back late and directly face first into the boards. Frankly, I've seen that kind of play go uncalled and unsuspended even recently.

Lets face it, Ovy got booted because of the end result, not because of intent to injure. If Campbell had bounced up, we wouldn't be tearing into this right now.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@Cstanton

The article I read about it did up the numbers...head injuries have undoubtedly been rising, despite the claims that the NHL'r is safer.

The equipment on the shoulder pads need to be changed. If they did that, they could keep the play in the game, without it causing so many injuries.

The point you brought up fits it perfectly...if the game is the same as it has been, why are there more head injuries all of a sudden? It's definetely not because it just happens more.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

John thats probably the best way to go I think. Just the way you said it. Unfortunately, what usually happens is the initial basis for suspension ends up being the injury instead of the actual hit.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The way things stand today, if a player inadvertently brushes by an opposing player near the boards, and the opposing player happens to fall awkwardly into the boards injuring his head, a major penalty plus game misconduct and fine are mandatory. But if another player intentionally shoulder-checks a player in the head and the checked player suffers a concussion, there is no penalty. This is insanity.

If even Milbury recognizes the insanity of the situation, that's a ridiculously bad situation.

Posted by: zmega | March 15, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I never considered the shoulder pad argument. Well, then lets police that like we police goalie pads.

of course then we'll end up with more shoulder injuries, lol


just found this clip of two old capitals - dino and tinordi. Poor Dino sure took a lot of abuse. Tinordi knows he has his helmet off and still tries to take off his head

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq8QpGD5QI0&feature=related

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

In this situation, though, Ovi would meet some of the other criteria for issuing the suspension. He has the history (he's already been suspended this year, and he's already received a major boarding penalty), and the hit was illegal. I don't think anyone would argue intent on this one, though.

The injury would then factor into the severity of the punishment. Bump it from, say, one game to three games.

-----

John thats probably the best way to go I think. Just the way you said it. Unfortunately, what usually happens is the initial basis for suspension ends up being the injury instead of the actual hit.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 15, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

The article actually addressed the idea that there would be more shoulder injuries. Not necessarily, as the new equipment doesn't really add much protection.

Goalie pads need to be policed as well..definetely. No more muffin men please.

Dino was one of my favorite Capital, but man...he was a stick-waving mad man sometimes. I loved his play and the fact he just didn't care. I'll score 50 goals and get right in your face.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

real quick going back to the Richards hit, that wasn't a hit to the head as far as I can tell. It was shoulder to shoulder and then over the natural arc of the hit Richards' shoulder may have grazed Booth's head. So I hope no one's making the argument that a shoulder to shoulder open ice hit should be penalized no matter what the resultant injury is. Maybe Booth's concussion was caused by his head snapping back more than any part of Richards actually making contact with the head.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

If the equipment issue gets addressed, I feel that the headshot issue will work itself out. Change the equipment, and nothing else needs to be changed.

in my opinion.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 15, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Look at this hit on Domi by Stevens. Would this be considered a head shot since Stevens' shoulder does graze Domi's chin at the end of the hit?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63daGQiKQrc&feature=related

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 15, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

stuff like this is why I really only ever watch hockey during the Olympics...

Posted by: graywolf323 | March 15, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

players need to respect other players...OK... But players need to learn how to defend themselves as well. No way would you see a guy clear a puck in a corner in the 80s and then turn their back on an enclosing player (campbell does see Ovie. Watch the video he looks back twice at him.) What ever happened to getting close to the boards and taking absorbing the hit. I was taught that when I was 10.

Posted by: cappies | March 15, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

boston's Savard is out for the rest of the regular season and Pittsburgs Cooke didn't get any suspension. Neither did the player that cold cocked Florida's player earlier in the season. Ovi shouldn't be suspended at all. It as a physical play and players know that they can get injured on any play while on the ice.

Player beware when on the ice!

Posted by: JMinVA | March 15, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

You know this is really very discriminatory.

Let me get this straight:

* A player does not get a suspension for hitting the head resulting in injury
* A player can get a suspension for a push into the boards resulting in injury

This is foul, it stinks, it reeks of discrimination.

If the NHL suspends this player they should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by: BlueDeuce | March 15, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

i think injury should carry weight in the decision...however...i think the nhl puts too much weight on this in determining a suspension and not enough weight on deliberate intent.

ive seen way too many deliberate and heineous cross checks, elbows to the face, slew foots and other rediculous attempts to injure and no suspension because the guy wasnt hurt bad enough. yet other times people get suspended because of a dangerous play with no melicious intent where a guy does get injured. to mee thats sending the wrong message to everyone...not just the players but the fans and kids playing youth hockey...

its ok cross check, elbow or otherwise swing yoru stick like a baseball bat at someones head as long as you dont injure him too badly...

i have trouble understanding how Green gets his 5min major, game misconduct and suspension from what looks like the intent of a legal open ice, see him coming and drop a should to shoulder hit...i thought it was questionable that even his shoulder was in the guys face...just b/c the guy goes low and greens elbow is inadvertantly up near the guys face he gets the book thrown at him. wasnt green hurt more from the hit he took from behind than the dude he apparently elbowed.

and how is that any more against the rules than some of these blind sided head shots with obvious intent...

milbury has it right when he says he doesnt even know what is or is not a penalty anymore...i get people asking me all the time whats the rule on this and that and i tell them i dont even know anymore...things that look like penalties dont get called and things the dont do...

take the russia canada game in the olympics...i thought semins hit at the end on boyle (was it?) though as everyone says "unnecessary at that point in the game" was as clean as they come...and i think somone on this blog said "is what canadians call finishing your check"...and what boyle did in retaliation was rediculously heinous...he slew foots him and simultanously rakes the shaft of his stick int semins face...and all the announcers can say is semins hit was dirty cause it was "unneccessary at the time" and that boyle did what he was supposed to do and semin got what he deserved...

nice message to send to the public!!!

and this whole unnecessary thing...this is freagin hockey adn the game is played for 60 freagin mins!!!

Posted by: deadskin | March 15, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

it's too bad it wasn't Crosby who got hit. Not only would he have broken a bunch of bones, but he would surely have been crying all the way to the bench.

Don't forget: Crosby is soft.

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | March 15, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me that it will come down to whether the deciders like Sidney Crosby more than Ovechkin. Suspended or not, there are those Hart voters looking for an excuse to bypass OV.

Posted by: rjma1 | March 15, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Unless it can be proved that a player is deliberately intending to injure another player, this should not enforceable. Physical contact sports are by their nature rough and dangerous. Players take that risk when they suit up and go out on the ice, the football field, or wherever. Saying this doesn't mitigate the trauma that Campbell is feeling. But I don't see reason to suspend Ovie over this incident.

L.T. certainly didn't intend to end Joe Theismann's career in 1985 but was L.T. suspended after he hit Theismann? Nor should he have been.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | March 15, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Cambell (sic.) fell cause he was stopping to not hit the boards . OV hit him from behind forcing Campbell skates to dig and go head first into the boards ...OMG have any of u ppl (sic.) EVER skated ...... KICK THE BUM OUT!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 15, 2010 1:19 PM


OMG r u 12?

FYI, I have skated....for many years. And I can tell you that even in a "non-checking" league, random $*** happens sometimes. And sometimes that random stuff looks dirtier than it is...of course, sometimes it can also be dirtier than it looks.

In that respect, I think the NHL is no different.

Bottom line is that it was a push, not a "hit". It sucks that Campbell got hurt. But as one of my fellow posters astutely pointed out: This is hockey. What do you expect?

BTW, aren't you the one who kept saying that without "more toughness" the Caps would "never win the Cup..."???

How do ya like us now? Still think we're not tough enough?

I didn't think so.

Go back to Pensblog...troll.

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 15, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@DreamOutLoud

I'm a die hard caps fan, and enjoy bashing on Crosby as much as the next guy, but there is really no reason to bring him into this thread UNLESS it is concerning a similar play that he was involved in. (i.e. Downie's hit on him yesterday). Your comments just feed the penguins fans who come and clog up the boards. Really not the kind of attitude we need here

Posted by: chatton | March 15, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Injury should not play an affect on the outcome of hits, or penalties. It goes with the same counter arguement to why players should be suspended for the length of time the other player is injured. Whats to stop 3rd or 4rth line guys from faking injury to play up the suspensions? I'm not saying Campbell is, though his team was before they knew the extent of his injury.

Suspensions should be dished out on a) intent to injure, b) dangerous hits focused on the head c) detriment to the game and the nhl. The last one is a bit subjective, but if the guys running this league want to see it continue to improve in the USA they need to look after their image.

Posted by: breaklance | March 15, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

i think injury should absolutely come into play with regard to major penalties but not minors. i think ovie's penalty was a minor penalty and the subsequent injury should have no impact on his suspension. however, if there is attempt to harm another player, i think the offending player should serve a suspension that at least equals the amount of time the inured player is out - even if that means the whole season. ovie's hit was hard and mostly from behind but he got a lot of the side and shoulder as well. if he were a dirty player, he'd be in the box all the time. he is a hard nosed player and i don't want to see him play any other way. who in the world wouldn't want him on their team?

Posted by: papple | March 15, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Linking supplementary discipline to severity of injury is just as murky as the random method they use now. What if a player takes a clear illegal hit but is not injured, no suspension ever? Also, to link penalty to injury the teams would have to be made accountable for a detailed injury report. Remember Hunter's 21 game suspension. Mr. B himself made that decision and said that the length of punishment was partly due to the severity of Turgeon's seperated shoulder. The Isle's said he would be out for at least the next round of playoffs. Surprise, surprise 3 games later he was back in the lineup, but did Mr. B take any games off the penalty because the Isles lied about how badly he was hurt? Every solution has many shades of gray and the league needs to shine as much light on those as possible and then define its disciplinary policy.

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 15, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil,
you are absolutely right about the pads. i've been saying for years that the nfl needs to make helmets out of soft, energy absorbing material not titanium. this takes away the weapon and would ameliorate the problem almost single handedly.

Posted by: papple | March 15, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

feels like they are so scared of OV, that a boarding from OV is equal to what Downee or Cooke did.
Actually, I'm scared too. OV can kill with that kind of boarding next time. So, i don't want this next time to happen. Can anybody tell OV to be more responsible, please?

Posted by: Michael01a | March 15, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Somebody slap me! I agree with something Mike Milbury said!
Injury shouldn't figure in, for several reasons. It's not really quantifiable right away, it depends on the exact angle of the hit and player, and it also would assume that if a player isn't injured it wasn't a dangerous play. We've already got incompetent refs making bad judgment calls, let's not add any more subjectivity to the mix.

Posted by: farmgirl19C | March 15, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

This is a joke.

Best advice to the Caps:

Win the Cup. Watch Bettman have to give it to Ovechkin as Captain. Parade it around and on TV for the Toronto officials to see it.

Posted by: leopard09 | March 15, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

So a push on the numbers, three feet from the boards, when the puck wasn't even at the opposing players feet isn't a dirty play? You guys need to take off your cap colored glasses just like your coach. Hopefully the Hawks see you again this year. This guy needs his head taken off.

Posted by: centurionusa | March 16, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who have never played organized hockey...

A check from behind alone is the most dangerous penalty in the sport. Combine a CFB in the area of boarding -- where Campbell was -- and you have a recipe for paralysis and death. Contrary to this article, boarding is an objective rule that is just as well known -- on all levels of the sport -- as any other.

If you see numbers, you can't hit. If the person is 4 to 5 feet away from the boards, you can't hit. You combine both CFB and Boarding penalties, and guess what? Suspension.

Checking From Behind and Boarding alone are both MUCH more dangerous than any open ice shoulder hit, even when to the helmet. This is why CFB and Boarding are both serious penalties and open ice hits are not.

Posted by: dc-chi-guy | March 16, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

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