The Stanley Cup Playoffs has witnessed an alarming trend to vicious open ice hits in the head. So far eight players have been suspended for “dangerous hits”. Despite the league’s efforts all season to reduce the risk of concussions, each playoff series was had one or more serious head-hunting incident. However, it seems the NHL’s message is not getting through to players if last night’s hit on Marian Hossa by Raffi Torres is any example. No penalty was called on Torres during the game, despite the obvious violation of several rules, but he has now received an indefinite suspension pending a review if the incident by the NHL’s disciplinary committee.
Because of the potential for serious harm, and the low probability of the issuance of penalties by referees to stem the tide, players have decided to arm themselves prior to taking the ice. In an ironic twist, the hockey rule book is silent on the carrying of concealed weapons during games. While the use of the stick itself as a weapon is clearly stated, knives, clubs, nunchuks and hand guns appear to be okay with league officials. A spokesman for beleaguered Pittsburgh Penguin captain Sidney Crosby has confirmed that the star skater will be carrying protection when they take the ice in a must win game against rival Philadelphia tonight.
“Sid know first-hand the consequences of a concussion and he’s not about to risk another,” said agent Todd Rushton. “He’s not saying he’ll use it, but it’s important for any head-hunter out there to know tonight’s not the night to mess with Sid the Kid!”
In a counter measure to contain any potential escalated violence, referees and linesmen will be issued with TASERs before they drop the puck for at least the remained of the first round.