Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The NHLPA's very good reasons for stalling on the headshot rule

Terrible goaltender
Oh, get up, you're head
is still mostly attached.
The NHL announced tonight that the Board of Governors has approved the new rule on blindside headshots. But wait -- the NHLPA hasn't had a chance to vote on the rule yet, and they say they need more time to consider the proposal. The NHLPA says that means the rule can't go through. The NHL says it can. Confusion reigns.

Meanwhile, the NHLPA is taking all sorts of heat for not moving quickly on the issue. More than a few observers have pointed out that it's the players who are getting their brains scrambled on these hits, and it should be the players who are leading the charge to outlaw them.

Instead, they seem to prefer what Jason Spezza has referred to as "a band-aid fix". Since, as we all know, bandaids are an appropriate way to deal with catastrophic head wounds.

Everyone's so busy attacking the NHLPA that nobody has asked for their side of the story. Well I did. And it turns out the association has plenty of very good reasons for taking its time on this issue. They were even kind enough to send me the full list:
  • Our younger players were convinced to reconsider the need for a rule change after hearing a persuasive presentation from veteran players entitled "Hey, we've been taking headshots our whole career and you don't see us banana toolbox salamander".

  • We're all big fans of Swingers, and are hesitant to do anything that would prevent us from making each other's heads bleed.

  • We've been subjected to a relentless lobbying campaign from the nation's powerful stretcher industry.

  • Many of us are good friends with the media who cover us, and we'd hate to resolve this and force them to actually come up with something else to write about.

  • Players could protect themselves from headshots if they'd just take a few simple precautions. For example, Zdeno Chara suggested that we all try being 6'9".

  • We're still seeking confirmation from the league that a ban on headshots won't impact on our ability to pwn each other in Call of Duty.

  • We're trying to get feedback from every player, but no, lazy guys like Marc Savard would apparently rather just lay around in bed all day.

  • It's taking us several days to explain to Jason Spezza what a "bodycheck" is.

  • American players finally have nationalized health care -- it's only fair that they all get a chance to use it.

  • We're pretty sure that if we can draw this out just a few more days, Mike Milbury will end up physically attacking Pierre McGuire. And then we all win.

  • We're not really into that whole "taking decisive action" scene; that's more of an NFL thing.

  • We're still studying several detailed proposals from Chris Chelios, who for some reason seems really interested in protecting the player's brains. Their tasty, tasty brains.

  • Hey, excuse us if it takes us a little longer than normal to think this stuff through. If you hadn't noticed, we've all been getting elbowed in the head since October.

  • We keep leaving voicemail for our senior leadership asking for their advice, but for some reason nobody ever calls us back.


  1. The Chris Chelios point was my favorite. Brilliant!

  2. I don't know if I liked the Chelios one or the Milbury/McGuire one more, but way to find the humor in a situation that doesn't have much.

  3. All around win. Sadly, unlike the Leafs tonight.

  4. Milbury/McGuire definitely was my favourite followed closely by the Chelios one. I also enjoyed explaining to Spezza what body checking is.

    Great job :)

  5. Another great post DGB. "Tasty Brains " LOL

  6. "Banana toolbox salamander": The "purple monkey dishwasher" of the new millennium.

  7. Another priceless post - though I'd actually love to see Milbury and McGuire throw down.

  8. Gretzky and his little legs love this new rule; Roenick, not so much.

  9. DGB: Thank god you're back in form. The last couple of postings you, errr, posted made me wonder if you had run into Matt Cooke last week.

    Welcome back.

  10. i had to stifle laughter lest i interupt my web design class at bannana toolbox salamander....

  11. Number 1 was most definitely my favourite. I laughed out loud like a friggin maniac. thankfully I'm alone here. Nice work.

  12. I was having a really crappy morning today - thanks for lightening the mood.

  13. Good stuff.

    Question: if it takes several days to explain what a bodycheck is to Spezza, how many years will it take Phil Kessel to get the hang of it? :P

  14. What if Chara becomes a zombie like Chelios? That would be really scary.

  15. Just to let you know, if someone in our family home isn't making any sense either my wife or i will utter the phrase "banana toolbox salamander" to communicate that no one understands what the 'f they're talking about..........

  16. @take dead aim ...

    That's fantastic. I may have to try that myself.