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Video: Aaron Rome Hit on Nathan Horton Results in Hospital Trip

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome laid a vicious hit on Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton Monday night that knocked Horton out cold. Rome blindsided Horton with a hit to the head — the exact sort of hit the NHL is trying to eliminate — and Horton ended up immobilized and taken to a hospital. Here’s a video of the Aaron Rome hit:

The series has been extraordinarily physical and the hatred between the teams has been evident, but there is no need for blindside head shots. Nathan Horton has been a valuable scorer for the Bruins, and missing him for any length of time will hurt the team. A suspension is in order for Rome, but sadly that won’t even be a fair punishment if Horton has to miss games. What’s worse is that Vancouver’s coach won’t acknowledge this was an obvious head shot. That insults all of us, even as biased as he may be.

Raffi Torres Hit on Brent Seabrook Will Result in a Long Suspension (Video)

Vancouver Canucks winger Raffi Torres had just returned from a four-game suspension for hitting Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle when he got into more trouble for another hit. Midway through the second period of Game 3 between the Canucks and Blackhawks, Torres blindsided Brent Seabrook with an elbow to the head. Here’s a video of the hit:

Torres is a repeat offender, who led with his elbow, straight to the head of Brent Seabrook. The NHL is trying to crack down on head shots ever since Matt Cooke leveled Marc Savard last year. We may be anticipating a Stanley Cup run for the Canucks, but after that hit they’ll probably be doing most of it without Torres.

Honestly Raffi Torres, you return from a four-game suspension for a hit only to do that? I don’t have anything to say except if Mike Scioscia were your coach, he’d probably give you the look of disbelief:

UPDATE: Torres will not be suspended for the hit.

NHL Wised Up with New Headshots Rule

Thursday, NHL owners voted unanimously to implement a new “head shot” rule which will remain in effect for the remainder of regular season games and for post season play. The NHL Player’s Association gave their blessing for the rule as they believe it will help keep players safe.  The NHLPA supported the new rule in their statement:

“We are encouraged by the league’s recent willingness to explore on-ice rule changes as a means of reducing player injuries and have no doubt that by working together, a safer working environment can be established for all NHLPA members.”

The new rule states that “lateral, back-pressure or blindside hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact” are not allowed. This new rule is a response from the NHL to the hit Boston Bruin’s Marc Savard took from Pittsburgh Penguin Matt Cooke that went unpunished but ended Savard’s season (pictured above). The hits have been getting more violent as the playoffs near, so this couldn’t have come at a better time.

I’m happy to see this happen. I’m happy to see the NHL taking action to protect players against possible brain damage or other career ending injuries. I’m happy that this is just the beginning and that they are working on a permanent rule for next season.  Even though hockey has and hopefully always will be an aggressive and pretty violent sport, I’m sure that these guys are happy that their chances of ending their career with most of their brain intact have improved.

Sources:
NHLPA supports new NHL initiative on head hits [Sports Network]