The Hitting Zone

The NHL just makes it up as they go along, why can't we?

NHL Affirms Garage League Status With McGinn Ruling

Look, it’s not like anyone expected the NHL to do anything with Jamie McGinn.  There is no surprise anywhere this afternoon that Colin Campbell handed down zero additional sanction on the Sharks left winger for his blatant and dangerous board of Canucks defender Aaron Rome.  It continues to be very obvious that the NHL has no interest in ensuring player safety.  They have no clue that there is a flat-out lack of respect between players on the ice regarding it.

By rule the NHL did exactly what the book says.  It gave McGinn the 5 minute Major Penalty and the Game Misconduct which amounted to just over 8 minutes and 30 seconds of game time missed.  It’s also very obvious that, mentally players feel that is a suitable trade off for dangerous hits as there is has been no let up in the delivery of such blows around the league.  I’m not here to argue the rule book which is what so many apologists want to do.  I’m here to say, over and over until it is rectified, that the sport will not be able to exist under these conditions forever.  Eventually too many players will be skating around with post-concussion symptoms.  The quality of the on ice product will decline.  The league doesn’t care.  They are focused 100% on the money they can make today.

Look at it again.  McGinn goes a long long way and sees nothing but Rome’s numbers.  After he is assessed his penalty and ejection he clearly feels that he didn’t do anything wrong. That’s the problem in a nutshell.  Players think that this kind of hit is perfectly ok.  There is no bell going off in anyone’s head as they fly in to deliver a hit like that, that says hey, nothing but numbers here, hit the brakes.  It comes down to a zero respect factor between the skaters.  It is incumbent on the NHL and NHLPA to develop that respect along with the individual organizations.

By saying nothing more to see here the NHL is validating the current thinking on ice.  They are validating the zero respect between players as acceptable and part of the game.  It won’t be a part of the game when there are not enough healthy high skill players to draw crowds anymore.  The NHL continues to be asleep at the wheel.  Long term they are playing with fire with the game I love. I won’t be quiet about it.

Written by ozman51

May 21, 2011 at 4:56 PM

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