zdeno chara

Penalty Boxes in Parliament But Not the NHL

First, I'm quite happy that Speaker Peter Milliken has ruled that Bev Oda breached parliamentary privilege rules in her handling of the Kairos funding. Her behaviour, and lack of contrition is deeply troubling. This ruling will send the case to a "parliamentary committee" for further discussion. We'll see how transparent that process is. I'm not holding my breath, but it's nice to see the "Harper Government" knocked down a peg. Second, what's up with the NHL? Seriously, I thought Sidney Crosby's concussion from the hits by David Steckel and Victor Hedman was going to knock some sense into the NHL, but apparently not. Now we have word that the NHL will not hand down a suspension to, nor will they fine Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara for his hit against Canadiens Max Pacioretty, which left the Habs player with a severe concussion and a cracked vertebra.

Regardless of whether anyone actually presses criminal charges in these types of incidents, the fact is that hits to the head, from behind cannot be defended against, and can lead to lifelong injuries. In the recent medical report on former NHL player Bob Probert, it was revealed that he had suffered from a serious degenerative brain disease. And Probert didn't even lose many fights.

I really don't understand this. The evidence clearly suggests that these types of serious concussions can ruin not just a hockey season, but their very ability to enjoy life. Forget about salary caps, or keeping prospective owners from moving teams without the league's approval, what the NHL needs to do is protect the players by sending a clear and unambiguous message: zero tolerance for hits to the head.