Darcy Regier was pretty frank today when asked after practice about the burgeoning head-shot controversy in the NHL. League GMs made progress this week at their meetings in Florida and it looks like rules will be in place next season banning most head contact. But that means status quo the rest of the this year. Matt Cooke did not get suspended for his brutal hit Sunday against Boston's Marc Savard, just like Mike Richards got away scot-free early in the year for his head-hatchet on Florida's David Booth.
"The unfortunate position the league is in now is there's a process for these rules to take effect," Regier said. "It starts with the general manager, goes to the competition committee and then to ownership, the board of governors. We are in a bit of a tough spot recognizing between now and the end of this season, that if you hit someone with a legal hit you're going to get, unfortunately in this case, the protection of the current rule system."
So doesn't that mean it's open season for head shots if there's no suspensions in the offing?
Said Regier: "If Cooke were to hit someone in a similar manner, because it's currently a legal hit, it presents a real difficult situation for the league."
Regier, by the way, will join Vancouver GM Mike Gillis as the NHL hour tonight at 6 on NHL.com and satellite radio (XM Channel 204 and on SIRIUS Channel 208). The show is normally hosted by commissioner Gary Bettman but tonight's edition will be guest hosted by NHL VP Bill Daly. Fans can call in with questions at 1-877-645-6696.
taggedNHL | Sabres front office