Starting tonight, blind-side head shots, as first proposed by the general managers earlier this month, will be subject to discipline. The NHLPA approved the rule this morning.
“We fully support our Competition Committee members’ endorsement of the league’s proposal to implement supplemental discipline this season for blind-side hits to the head,” read an NHLPA statement. “Our agreement applies to the remainder of the 2009-10 NHL regular season, as well as the 2010 playoffs. This temporary implementation will ensure that the joint NHLPA/NHL Competition Committee will have time to develop and consider a proper and full-time rule, one that includes an on-ice penalty component, this summer. 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.”
Such hits will not be subject to on-ice penalties.