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David Booth + Head Shot = NHL Headache


This season it seems you can’t say “Head Shot” without thinking back to October when Panthers’ LW David Booth took a nasty shot to the head by Philadelphia Flyers’ defenseman Mike Richards.  Richards gave a legal, but dirty, shoulder to the head check on an unsuspecting Booth. He missed 45 games recovering from his grade three concussion. Then the hit was legal. Then Richards got away without a penalty and without a suspension. That was then, this is now.

Thursday morning the NHL finally put through a ruling that protected its players from blind-sided hits to the head. Fans rejoiced, players andhockey brass breathed a sigh of relief, and the NHL came away feeling victorious. How short lived that was. Tonight, with 11 games going on there was bound to be at least one challenger to that ruling. There was. In Montreal Jaroslav Spacek took his shoulder to David Booth’s head, in an open ice hit early in the second period. No call was made on the ice…Wait, what?  The NHL stated today that the rule would go in-force tonight, so why wasn’t there anything done when a questionable check occurred on a player fans equate with the problem of dirty head shots?  Why?  Because it was a North-South hit, not an East-West hit. Wait, what? We have no word from the NHL yet as to what they will be doing post game to remedy this situation, but their actions will speak louder than their words.  If the NHL says they are going to protect their players by outlawing these kind of hits, they better be prepared to put their money where their mouth is.

David Booth was taken to the hospital for pre-cautionary measures. At present moment he is alert and coherent. If he suffered a concussion it would be a grade one concussion. For more information on types of concussions click here.

Still confused about what is covered and what is not? Check out the video the NHL put together for fans, officials, players, and coaches for some clarification.

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