Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Don Cherry's position on head shots makes no sense

What a state the NHL is in: it's marque player Sidney Crosby is unable to play in the All-Star game because of a concussion and Marc Savard has suffered yet another concussion and his career is jeopardy.

Yet many "hockey people" see no need to adjust the rules to protect the stars. Don Cherry who generally is the spokesperson for the traditionalists is strongly opposed to a total ban on head shots. However he went at great lengths to call out Matt Cooke for his cheap shot to the head of Marc Savard. In Cherry's world there are acceptable and unacceptable hits to the head. But if it ends the career of a star player how can that be acceptable?

Cherry talks about the good old days when players respected each other and would avoid injuring an opponent. Well it wasn't that long ago. Wayne Gretzky recently commented that when he played players had much more respect for each other. Something happened over the last 10 to 15 years that to change that attitude. Cherry insists it's the instigator rule. I'm not convinced. Cherry also believes it is wrong to ban head shots and instead players need to be taught to respect each other. That's sounds wonderful - much like mom and apple pie. Isn't the best way to teach such respect is to penalize anyone who shows a lack of discretion?

I do understand where Cherry is coming from. He and others are concerned that a total ban would greatly reduce physical play from the game. Cherry feels it's only contact from the side that needs to be eliminated, not hitting when players are facing one another. After all if you got your head down, you're stupid.

So I guess Eric Lindros and Brett Lindros were stupid and deserved to have their hockey careers shortened.

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