|NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the rule change on Thursday.
NEW YORK (March 25, 2010) -- Beginning with tonight's games, the National Hockey League will implement a new rule prohibiting “a lateral, back-pressure or blind-side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact.” Rule Explanation
| NHLPA/NHL Competition Committee member Jeff Halpern (from 3/24)
Under the new rule, the NHL Hockey Operations Department is empowered to review any such hit for the purpose of Supplementary Discipline.
“We believe this is the right thing to do for the game and for the safety of our players,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said after receiving unanimous approval from the Board of Governors as well as the endorsement of the NHL/NHLPA Competition Committee and the NHLPA Executive Board. “The elimination of these types of hits should significantly reduce the number of injuries, including concussions, without adversely affecting the level of physicality in the game."