The NHL’s Mixed Message: Player Safety

For the preseason the NHL is trying out hybrid icing. I for one am still unsure about this “rule”, and it is still unclear how the players feel about using it for this regular season. NHL: New York Islanders at Nashville Predators. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

 The change is a part of the NHL working toward a safer game for its players. However, player safety and rules don’t always mean the same thing. The NHL has an image problem in some people’s eyes. It allows fighting, but don’t take off your helmet before you fight. It now allows players to swing their stick at each other, and depending on who you check it doesn’t matter if your hit them in the head. But, icing needs to be changed?

In one breath the leagues says our player’s safety is number one, but when it comes down to it they pick and choose. Changing the icing rule will make for a safer game. Keeping a helmet on may or may not make for a safer game. Players are more likely to break their hands if the helmets stay on. The league has made a rule about wearing visors, and they are changing goaltenders padding.  But, it’s the mixed messages that are causing confusion and anger.

 Frankly rules are rules. It shouldn’t matter what name is on the back of the jersey. It shouldn’t matter how many fans buy your stuff. The NHL has a double standard with their players, and that my friends are not safe. Change all the rules you want. Change the point system, change the sizes of players shoulder pads, change everything, but make the call. If safety is number one, the NHL has a lot of convincing to do.

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Patrick Helper is the Editor of Predlines.com and can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @helper_sports. For the latest updates in Predator news, follow @PredlinesNSH 

Topics: Nhl Player Safety, Nhl Rules

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