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Quick Hits: The No Contact Edition

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IN THIS PHOTO: Blaine, MN., Wednesday, 1/9/2001. (left to right) Chinese women’s Olympic hockey team assistant captain Zhahg Jing, captain Liu Hongmei and the entire team’s practice jersey’s have an unusual stop sign with the word respect on them. Nike

In Red Wings Land

Smooth-skating, gritty Red Wings’ pick Donovan Sebrango to vie for World Junior spot - MLive

“I think I’m a bit of an old-school defenseman with a little bit of new school,” Sebrango said. “I think I’m a pretty tough, gritty kind of guy, but I think I add offense, so I got a little bit of the old-age hockey in me and a kind of new-era offensive defenseman.”

There’s not a lot in the post about him vying for this spot at the selection camp, but he’s one of 15 defenseman invited and based solely on draft pedigree, he’s likely in the bottom third of the running going in. I do like the headline writer getting to work in both “smooth” and “gritty” in the descriptors.

Around the NHL

No bodychecking will be allowed in upcoming OHL season - Sportsnet

Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s minister of sport, confirmed the decision on Friday afternoon.

She said that removing purposeful physical contact from the game was a necessary step to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

I’m at a weird place with this because I feel like I’m in the minority of people who wouldn’t mind seeing a competitive men’s league adopt a no bodychecking policy to see if the smart physical contact that has developed in the women’s game would translate. I don’t think no bodychecking means no physicality. I just think it forces people not to go chasing dangerous hits and completely eliminates the subjectivity of what’s a “late hit.” You still see players at the highest level eliminate each other along the boards and get into each other’s way to separate players from the puck. I think it can open up the game to more creativity by limiting the effectiveness of guys who have made their careers essentially being meat tenderizers.

But holy cow is the reasoning behind this change kind of pants-on-head stupid. These players are still going to be breathing on each other and even making physical contact for extended periods in close quarters. This is not going to prevent the spread of Covid if a player comes onto the ice while infectious.