I like Doug Weight, I really do. He's never played the game to end somebody's career, and while he plays hard - the result of which is sometimes an injury - he's never really played to hurt anybody either. Weight didn't have a lot of choice there, or at least that's what I told myself, and so did a lot of other guys. But really, he did. He could have not destroyed Sutter. Most head shots are avoidable.
In the last several weeks, it seems like there's been way too many incidents of head shots. I know one of the other Oilers webalawgosphere types has crunched the numbers and there's not been a lot more this year, so this is probably one of those OMG BAN GUNS type posts, but...
The last couple of years saw some major injuries to quality players. The Oilers had no enforcer since Georges Laraque was given his walking papers. Common wisdom held the two were related. This year they have Steve MacIntyre, who has yet to back down from anything and has delivered several devastating hits himself. Yet...
Three games ago, Dennis Grebeshkov was the recipient of a dangerous hit in the corner courtesy of Tuomo Ruutu. You'd think a 'canes player would know better, especially given his coach's rant after Weight did Sutter in, but there you go. Grebs is now on IR and it's definitely a concussion. Some might look at the hit and say oh, it wasn't that bad, he might be back. But brains are funny things. Sometimes you're Phineas Gage, and other times you're Glass Joe. Chances are, Grebeshkov will be fine in a few weeks. Chances are, his play will be unimpeded. But sometimes crap happens; there's a chance his career is done. Finis. Should have gone to college like Gibby; ask Paul Comrie about the value of an education to back your hockey.
Two games ago, Raffi Torres popped Ladislav Smid in the face. I didn't see that game, but I saw the replay and it was vicious, just the sort of play we cheered when Raffi was one of the good guys. Smid's day to day, but it was a blow to the head. Apparently he rode the bike and was fine and he sat out vs Pittsburgh as a precaution and now he'll get a few more days of rest, but again - you just don't know. Gage or Joe? Who knows?
Last game, Matt Cooke delivered an elbow pad directly to Tom Gilbert's phiz and, if that wasn't enough, less than five seconds later tried to end Gagner's career. Gilbert's visor is supposed to protect him from pucks and errant high sticks, not some dude's high tech armour. Theo Peckham delivered a beating to Cooke that was only interrupted by the refs, took a shot to the face while he was restrained, and wound up with 17PIM while Cooke, who'd dropped his gloves and got in that shot, got 2. Cooke's antics in the penalty box, which were the very definition of unsportsmanlike conduct, were seen by everybody but the referees, as was the blatant elbow. Peckham's a rookie and so doesn't get any slack, but Cooke is... well, not exactly Doug Weight.
Three games in a row, two concussions and another guy lucky to not have the second of his NHL career.
The NHL is cracking down on shots to the head? Like fun they are. If Sean Avery really cared about the game, he wouldn't attack Bettman for his lack of marketing skills, or Jarome Iginla because he's not a loudmouthed braggart from the future. He'd attack Bettman because he won't protect his most valuable asset, and he'd attack the NHLPA for refusing to hold Bettman accountable.