NHL

Dreger: Leafs' Burke has idea to curb hitting from behind

{eot}
Darren Dreger
4/1/2010 8:47:06 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke is convinced a good hug may go a long way to curbing a constant safety issue in the NHL - hitting from behind.

Burke is lobbying the league to allow what he calls a "bear hug," where a player, usually a defenseman, is allowed to wrap his arms around the targeted player, for a fleeting moment, while he takes him into the boards.

Burke says this change would avoid the "billiard-ball" force hits that exist now where all of the force is transferred directly from the "hitter" to the "hittee."

The Leafs General Manager cites Lightning defenceman Matt Lashoff's hit Wednesday night on Pittsburgh's Ruslan Fedotenko as a timely example. 

According to Burke, once Lashoff committed to the hit, he didn't have time to turn out of it.  However, had he been able to hold on to Fedotenko, even for a split second, the threat of injury would have been greatly reduced.

Burke has pitched this idea before and the league admits it may be time to take another look at it.

Although there are no definite plans, sources say NHL hockey operations will ask general managers if it's time to have a research and development camp.

The last such camp was held in Toronto in June of 2005, focusing on bigger nets and the elimination of the red-line. Bigger nets didn't fly, but the red-line rule did.

If the managers see merit in a similar camp, at least one GM wants to discuss bringing the red-line back into play.

Burke doesn't believe that will happen, however he says removing the red-line has resulted in a reduction in skill as some teams simply bank the puck off the glass and out of their zone, hoping a play develops before the offensive blueline.

Burke would like to see the ringette line - located at the top of the faceoff circle - brought into play, forcing teams in transition to advance the puck past this line before a stretch pass can be made.

A hybrid form of icing, whereby the forward beats the defenseman to the hash marks, eliminating icing, is also something Burke intends to push for.

Brian Burke (Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story

2014-15 NHL Preview

From The Hockey Insider

TSN's Bob McKenzie sets up the start of training camp, going one-on-one with the GMs from all seven Canadian teams.


WATCH: Bryan Murray - Ottawa Senators

WATCH: Dave Nonis - Toronto Maple Leafs

WATCH: Kevin Cheveldayoff - Winnipeg Jets

WATCH: Marc Bergevin - Montreal Canadiens

WATCH: Brad Treliving - Calgary Flames

WATCH: Craig MacTavish - Edmonton Oilers

WATCH: Jim Benning - Vancouver Canucks


TSN.ca previews what to expect out of the NHL's 30 teams as we count down to puck drop. Check daily for team previews and updates on each Canadian franchise leading up to Oct. 8.


Latest Preview: Buffalo Sabres






TSN TweetBox
© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television