LOS ANGELES (June 24, 2010) -- The National Hockey League Board of Governors today approved a rule change that provides for a major penalty and a game misconduct for a “lateral or blindside hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principle point of contact.” The rule change was proposed by the League’s 30 Club General Managers and was approved by the Competition Committee before being forwarded to the Board for ratification.
Rule 48, “Illegal Check to the Head,” also empowers a referee, at his discretion, to assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the penalized player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent with an illegal check to the head.
Any player who incurs a total of two game misconducts under this rule, in either the regular season or playoffs, will be suspended automatically for his team’s next game. For each subsequent game misconduct penalty, the automatic suspension will be increased by one game. v If deemed appropriate, supplementary discipline also can be applied.