NHL

Your! Call: What needs to be done to decrease illegal hits?

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Ryan Horne, TSN.ca
12/18/2013 1:54:15 PM
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There's a disturbing trend happening this year in the National Hockey League - players are getting suspended for dangerous hits at an alarming level.
 
Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals could be getting punished by the NHL Department of Player Safety after his hit Brayden Schenn on Tuesday night. Wilson has a hearing scheduled with the NHL for Thursday at Noon et.
 
If NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan suspends him, that will make 10 suspensions in 11 days and 20 over two-and-a-half months of hockey so far this season. Not to mention the seven suspensions that were handed out in the pre-season.
 
To make matters worse, it seems more players are getting carted off on stretchers this year than ever before.
 
Players are just not getting the idea of what is legal and illegal. Or they just don't care.
 
So what needs to be done for players to get the message and stop these sort of hits?
 
They could make the suspensions harsher. Instead of giving David Clarkson and Dion Phaneuf just two games for their respected incidents, how about sitting them down for five or more contests? 
 
Maybe the answer is to go after their wallets. To many NHL players, charging $2,000, $5,000 or even $10,000 is a drop in the bucket. If the league increased fines dramatically (say, six figures?), players would probably be outraged but they might also think twice about hitting a defenceless player from behind.
 
Rules changes could be another option. Modifying the laws of fighting and hitting could work. But players don't seem to be getting the idea as it stands, so any minor tweaks or changes could be irrelevant.
 
Then there's the thought of sidelining an offender for however long it takes for the victim to get cleared by doctors for game action. 
 
Now it's also possible that little can be done to prevent said injuries and suspensions. Maybe the players have gotten too big, strong and fast to prevent this type of thing from happening.
 
All that considered, what do you think needs to be done to prevent the rapid rate of dangerous hits in the NHL?
 
As always, it's Your! Call.
Wilson hits Schenn (Photo: Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Len Redkoles/Getty Images)
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