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Bettman: NHL will look at issue of head shots

NHL.com @NHL
Commissioner Gary Bettman said the NHL isn't interested in a quick fix to the growing problem of hits to the head, but promised Wednesday the League will take a serious look at the issue during the general managers' meeting in March.

"This issue for us is what can we do about what is otherwise a legal check resulting in a shoulder going into a head," he said during a news conference in Edmonton prior to the Canucks-Oilers game. "We have studied it very carefully and extensively. We want to get it right. We average 40 hits a game. That's somewhere in excess of 50,000 a year. It's an essential element to our game.

"We want to get those hits that make us uncomfortable out of the game. But we want to do this in a very judicious, professional way."

Bettman said finding the right solution will require patience.

"We need to take the time and create a very precise standard, something that's easily understood and something the players know what to expect," he said. "Something that the officials know what to call and if necessary (Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations) Colin Campbell knows how he's going to discipline.

"We're looking for precision. Not over-legislation. We will have ample time in March and hopefully we can come to some sort of consensus."

The commissioner also repeated his support for a new rink to be built in Edmonton's downtown.

"I think it's very important to this franchise," he said. "This is the second-oldest arena in this League, and if this team is going to be successful long term, they need an arena. There's no question about it. With the lease expiring in 2014, people need to focus on the need for a new arena."





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