On March 8, Boston Bruin Zdeno Chara who is 6’5 255 pounds, nailed Montreal Canadian Max Pacioretty in the head, and Pacorietty flew along the boards. His head went flying into the glass between the Canadians and Bruins’ benches. Pacioretty lay on the ice motionless for two gut-wrenching minutes and was carted off. At a nearby hospital, doctors found that he broke his neck. The hit has sparked an argument at the recent GM meetings for new rules to implement player safety. At those meetings, the NHL, surprisingly, decided not to ban all headshots in the NHL. Bad idea.

The main reason this is an awful decision is because of the players. It is terrible when any player gets seriously injured. As seen in other sports, concussions can cause long lasting problems. In the NFL, retired players are developing some long-term injuries. Dave Duerson, a former Chicago Bear safety on the 1985 Super Bowl champion team, recently committed suicide so doctors could study his brain to learn more about a disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). It is a disease that is common in people who have multiple concussions, and it’s incurable. Symptoms include confusion, clumsiness, and speech problems. This condition is also common in the NHL with the presence of headshots.

This decision to allow headshots may have a very negative effect on the future of the NHL. If players keep getting hurt, parents won’t want their children to play hockey. There are already signs of this happening. A report said that after Sidney Crosby (Crosby is the center for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and is thought to be best current player) got a major concussion, his father tried to convince him to retire because of his concussion problems. Checking is a popular part of the game, and some players are professionals because of their checking abilities, but the league needs to ban all life threatening hits. The NHL needs players to play in the years to come if they want to be successful.

No one wants to see his or her favorite player get hurt. With this new rule, or lack there of, fans won’t want to come to games. I can’t imagine how scared fans were to see Pacioretty motionless at the Bruin, Canadian game. The NHL has bad enough attendance as it is, and they don’t want to see it get any worse.

Players in the NFL are upset, and there is the possibility of no season next year. The NHL could very likely encounter similar problems with their players if they go through with the decision. Although maybe not as serious as the NFL, it is possible that players could protest in some way with the league for their safety.

The NHL has a reputation for roughness, but that roughness isn’t what makes the sport great. There is no excuse for putting your players in danger. In the absence of a new rule, there won’t be as many new players, less attendance, and players will be at harm. It seems to me like the GMs have had one too many headshots themselves. They obviously can’t think straight. The NHL gets less popular daily, and the situation will only get worse.



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