Is The NHL Right To Institute Blindside Rule Without PA Approval?

March 24th, 2010 No Comments

Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter

TSN is reporting that the NHL is looking at instituting the blindside rule without the National Hockey League Players’ Association’s approval and it says here they should be applauded for it.

The NHL has been under a ton of scrutiny for not instituting the blindside rule immediately, the fact that they are now trying to speed up the process is an indication that the NHL is tired of screwing around with safety issues and may, in fact, be willing to risk backlash from the NHLPA if necessary.

It’s beyond me why any player or anyone within the Players Association would want to put up any opposition to bringing the rule in right away, after all, the NHL only has the players’ best interests in mind, which should always be the priority and often has not been the case.

The NHL Board of Governors has already voted unanimously to implement the rule change immediately and, if faced with opposition from the NHLPA, look to be ready to move ahead without the PA’s approval.

I would be remiss if I didn’t state the obvious that if the NHL had instituted stiffer penalties for offending players in the first place that we wouldn’t be in this position, but, at this point, it’s water under the bridge.

If the NHLPA was to oppose the new rule it would show a total disregard for the players and, in effect, show its ignorance to what is clearly becoming a major safety issues for players.

Traditionalists will argue that the NHL has never changed rules this far in the season, but again, for the betterment of the game and the safety of the players you have to think everyone (the NHL, PA and the players) should be willing to look the other way.

On the flipside, if the NHL neglects to fast track this rule and another player gets rocked unsuspectingly by a predatory hit then all hell will break lose, which, in turn, will only perpetuate the NHL’s poor reputation for dealing with safety issues in an untimely manner and puts NHL players at risk of injury with no rules in place for appropriate punishment.

Let’s not forget last year’s playoffs when New York Rangers pest unceremoniously stood in front of New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur waiving his stick in an unsportsmanlike manner. The NHL reacted swiftly to ensure that crap would not happen again, they should do the same in this case.

In the end I am sure the NHLPA will approve the new rules, after all, it’s just the right thing to do. Let’s hope for everyone’s sake this matter doesn’t drag on, it’s just not worth another injury.

Until next time,


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