The NHL passed down word today that Niklas Kronwall won’t be suspended or face any other form of supplemental discipline for that hit last night on Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle. With that decision, the League demonstrates its complete lack of seriousness about addressing the issue of head contact in the game today.
Incredibly, the League claims Kronwall hit Coyle with “full body contact,” something the video replay does not bear out. Kronwall’s initial point of contact is Coyle’s head, followed by additional contact with the side of his chest. And that shouldn’t be okay any more, given what we now know about the cumulative effects of head contact.
Now, compared to the Joffrey Lupul hit on Victor Hedman last night, this is relatively small potatoes. But the only way the NHL is meaningfully going to cut down on head contact and the risk of head injury is to take seriously even these kinds of hits.
Coyle apparently was not injured on the play, but that’s just the roll of the dice that particular time.
Better yet to not roll the dice at all, or at least do it much less frequently.