If you haven't seen it yet, here is Rule 48 in its entirety. The real meat here is this excerpt:
A lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principle point of contact is not permitted.
As we've all learned over the last couple of days, determining if contact to the head was in fact made is extremely difficult for referees to do at the speed in which the game is played. With consequences such as game misconducts on the line, it's imperative that referees get it right more than they get it wrong. For this reason, some have argued that officials should use video replay to determine if a check to the head was actually delivered or not. Let it be known, I am adamantly against the use of replay when it comes to calling penalties, even this one. Such a thing would slow down the game, and create a hostile environment for officials should a call not go the home team's way.
Therefore I'm suggesting a revision to Rule 48 in the same manner used for Rule 61 - Slashing. Few people know that contact need not be made for a slashing penalty to have occured:
Slashing is the act of a player swinging his stick at an opponent, whether contact is made or not.
An example of a non-contact slashing penalty would be a player wildly swinging there stick at an opponent and missing. Whistle, two minutes, slashing. Such a wording, I feel, would prove useful for calling head shot. Were Rule 48 reworded this way:
A lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted as the point of impact, whether contact to the head is made or not, is not permitted.
The contact or not clause in the slashing penalty is there to serve as a deterrent to errant stick use and make players more conscious of what they are doing with their lumber. I feel such a clause in the head shot rule would serve the same purpose and force players to think twice about laying a big check on a player if they might contact the head directly. Everybody loves a good check, but some of them have to go if it means increased player safety and career longevity.
What do you think of my proposal? (Yeah the wording might be off, but let's talk about the spirit of the rule change and not the grammar selection.)
Links after the jump
Who gets the call up if Armstrong is out a while?
Bangin Panger has found the preliminary draft of this new, controversial rule
Expect one of the ice girls to receive a 3 game suspension for this
DGB talks us down memory lane and looks at other players who got on their coaches wrong side
Eye for an eye really as Giguere was interfered with on his lone goal against (It was 100% goalie interference by the way. Hell yeah!)
11 - Colton Orr on a 20 goal pace
LD brings us the scary tell of a beer run gone wrong
VLM with some musings after the game