How the NHL Should Really Deal With Head Shots
If you follow hockey you already know the NHL delivered a heavy suspension to the Pittsburgh Penguins Matt Cooke for his latest in a series of nefarious hits he's dished out the last couple of years.
Cooke is notorious in Boston for one thing, changing Marc Savard's career forever. As a Bruins fan I'm not sending Cooke a Christmas card. He's the captain on a douche canoe, but this doubly stings, because Marc Savard used to be my neighbor. He was one of many great people in my pocket of Charlestown and everyone who ever ran into him only had nice things to say. So this latest incident with Cooke has stung me a bit more than I anticipated.
Cooke's suspension is pretty big given the NHL's recent reputation of not taking head shots seriously and doling out anywhere from 2-5 game suspensions so this IS big. But is it big enough?
Savard is currently sitting at home suffering from another concussion. He is now on the verge of being forced to call it quits long before he should. If we've seen Marc Savard's last game it will be on Matt Cooke for ending another player's career with a deliberate and cheap hit.
Here's how the NHL needs to deal with these egregious events. If a player intentionally injures another player and that player's career ends as a result of that injury, regardless of timing, said player should be automatically suspended for an entire season plus the playoffs. I'm sure some of you think that's excessive, but keep in mind if Savard cannot play hockey ever again then a one year league ban is minor. The NHL needs to implement an immediate suspension with the option to increase policy.
Do you think players would think twice about making a career of being a scumbag? Of course there will always be a couple of idiots, but most players would straighten up quick if the inability to play plus the loss of salary was so large.