Head hits became an epidemic last season in the NHL, and the league's competition committee has taken a big step toward making them a thing of the past--hopefully.
The committee passed a recommendation to the NHL Board of Governors that hits to the head result in a five-minute major penalty for next season.
NHL executive and former Red Wing Brendan Shanahan was a member of the committee and said that supplemental discipline, a.k.a suspension, will also be taken into consideration.
"In the end, we knew that we all wanted to get to the same place," said Shanahan, the NHL’s vice president of hockey and business development. "We all had the same goal. That’s why you have a committee like this—the sharing of information."
The penalty has been a long time coming, but it's far too late in the eyes of guys like Marc Savard and David Booth. Players have been advocating a penalty for a long time, but the NHL GMs basically turned a blind eye until the series of events that took place this season.
It's disappointing that someone has to get hurt for things to get done, especially with something such as head hits, which seems like a no-brainer penalty. You've got a league where hooking and holding are called whenever somebody gives you a dirty look, yet guys are getting railed from behind every night without consequence. It's not officially a rule yet, but the Board of Governors really needs to make this official, and fast. There's no need to be putting player's careers in danger over this stuff.