Dear Puck Bandits:
How can the NHL slow the game down to reduce concussions? Is that even the best way to do it?
Since the lockout, the NHL is branded as a speed league and a contact sport. At this point, there is no going back on either. All “Minnesota Fats” Bettman and NHL owners are interested in is the “Color of Money”.
Let’s package the artistry of basketball and the ferocity of the NFL! Train your kids to hit harder, skate faster, shoot quicker. And never, ever let on that you’re injured or some other player may steal your payday. The NHL way is to grit your bloody teeth, skate hard, and never let up (unless you’re Coach Cunney’s team).
Now read this.
At 1:27 of the NHL video, there’s an actual hit. Otherwise, plenty of speed, but little intensity. These guys would all end up in the hospital if they played the Stanley Cup champ Bruins.
Sure, player size has increased since then, but I think the real culprit to the concussions is how players are educated and conditioned (BMI and weight especially) these days compared to the past. And with all that green floating around, why shouldn’t they act like MMArtists?
Long term: teach Junior when they’re young to be smart on their skates and show them there are repercussions for overaggressive play. Ten years later, these kids will make concussions a thing of the past.
The short term solution has been lobbied by many, but is the least popular to the NHL brain trust: enlarge the rink size, preferably to international dimensions. It’s a no-brainer really, but read the last paragraph here.
This narrow-minded thinking only benefits the owners. Sooner or later, the NHL will have to choose between skill and physicality, but we all know how that ends:
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