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GMs propose 'lateral, back or blindside hits' penalties

Wednesday, 03.10.2010 / 12:02 PM / NHL Insider

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GMs propose 'lateral, back or blindside hits' penalties
At the conclusion of annual meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., National Hockey League general managers have proposed a rule change to address hits to the head in league games.

The following language was agreed to unanimously by the group:

"A lateral, back pressure or blindside hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact is not permitted.

A violation of the above will result in a minor or major penalty and shall be reviewed for possible supplemental discipline."

The recommendation goes next to the NHL and NHLPA competition committee. If approved by that group, the proposal then will be presented to the NHL Board of Governors for final approval.

There were two other recommendations made by the group.

The first tiebreaker at season's end will changed to regulation and overtime wins, not overall wins as is currently the case. Any rule change won't go into effect until the 2010-2011 season at the earliest.

The NHL will request that the American Hockey League to go to a four-man officiating system in 40 per cent of AHL games, beginning next season. The AHL now uses three-man system for all games. The final decision belongs to the AHL but the NHL is prepared to support it, especially financially.

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We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp