I wrote a blog a little while back on violence in the NHL, so I thought I would hash it over again from another angle. I have heard media go over this topic over and over again; what it comes down to is the lack of respect the players have for each other. The issue that bothers me in particular is this hitting from behind, not the accidents. It’s the stick-in-the-back hits, or the times that players could slow down, but speed up instead. I know hitting is part of the game; I am not bashing that. What really makes me mad is this complete lack of respect for the rules and others players' health.
The next thing, since I am talking about hitting, is head shots. I really do not like these head shots players are taking at each other. I can understand that players make mistakes. Those I am not worried about. The ones I am talking about are the one the where players jump right before they hit the player, for further impact. I just don’t get why they have to add further to the hit. Making a hit to the chest is just as much as a statement as a hit to the head. Really, the NHL has to do something about the hits to the head. Concussion Syndrome has really ruined too many players' careers.
The next issue on my mind, since I am already on a roll, is this knee-on-knee business. Maybe someone can explain this to me. What exactly goes through a player's mind when he sticks out his knee to stop another player? I am sorry, but I think this a hideous thing to do. Not only can he ruin one player's career, he can also hurt his own. There has to be some kind of penalty added to it. I really feel this is a thoughtless act. I have seen way to many torn ligaments to players who never come back. Mr. Bruin after Orr Cam comes to mind.
What it comes down to is that the league has to get together with the players and start discussions on getting more respect for each other. The players have to start thinking before doing. This is common sense, not brain surgery. I am not against hitting. What I am against is bonehead plays. A player should know better.
These issues come up way too much. The players have to start being respectful to each other. If they don’t stop this nonsense, we are going to get a lot more unnecessary injuries and more suspensions. Also we are going to get the media who don't normally cover sports attacking the game.