Kronwall Should Have Been Suspended

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.

Filed under: 2012-2013



  1. Crater from SoCal says:

    Disagree. Principal point of contact does not mean the initial point of contact. It means where the brute force of the hit is communicated. In this case the league found it was the shoulder on shoulder. The thing you’re missing is that the NHL does not want to take hitting out of the game, and as long as there is hitting there will be some contact with the head and there will be concussions and there will be injuries. The league wants to take the targeting and dangerous intentional hits out of the game. Kronner didn’t target, if anything he turns to make it a full contact hit rather than pinpointed, and it was a hockey hit, to separate Coyle from the puck. Was not blind side, Coyle could have easily seen him coming. The day they take big hits out of the game is the day they should just decide every game with the shootout, because they’re changing hockey. The fact that Kronwall got a high sticking call, not charging, not anything related to the hit itself shows that even the refs didn’t see it as a bad hit as they’ve been directed to call.

    • Matt Saler says:

      There is plenty of room for big hits that do not involve the head. Just hit a guy in his chest or actually shoulder to shoulder. Direct contact to the head does not have to be an intrinsic part of the game.

      Working on reducing that could actually bring back the hip check, which wouldn’t be a bad thing.

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