FanPost

Interference Takes on a Whole New Meaning

The Nino Niederreiter call of 2 minutes for interference on Alex Burros, WHO HAD JUST PLAYED THE PUCK, made it even more of a joke. It was a hard check. It was also a LEGAL check. Burrows had just dumped the puck, elbows were down, not striding into the player, and the head was not the main target of the check. The top of Nino's shoulder just happened to catch Burrows under the chin. The further results of that hard check were unfortunate.

The knee-jerk aftermath of the play was a bogus 2 minute penalty for of all things, interference. And I believe that interference was the call because the referee felt he should react to Burrows being sprawled to the ice, but couldn't find fault with what he wanted to find fault with - the contact to the head.

Quite simply, I'm quite tired of seeing calls similar to the Nino Niederreiter in the NHL. Making a call based on Concussion awareness, I get it. Shots to the head are bad, I get it. We're trying to make the game safer, I get that too.

But...

According to NHL.com, Rule 48 - Illegal Check to the Head - states: "A hit resulting in contact with an opponent's head where the head is targeted and the principle point of contact is not permitted. However, in determining whether such a hit should have been permitted, the circumstances of the hit, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit or the head contact on an otherwise legal body check was avoidable, can be considered."

I believe this rule to be well written, and clearly demonstrates that not all hits to the head are illegal, and lists specific criteria in which a hit to the head is legal. and as unfortunate as it is, hits to the head do take place in the LEGAL playing of the game. I get and support the NHL, along with other sports, attempts to get "head shots" out of the game and make the game safer for players, but unintended contact to the head, although unfortunate, is still a part of the game.

The opinions posted here are not those of Hockey Wilderness

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