The NHL's Board of Governor's approved wording changes to rule 41 (Boarding) and Rule 48 (Illegal Checks to the Head), You can read the release to review the new rule wordings.
Originally, Rule 48.1 read as, "Illegal Check to the Head – A lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact is not permitted."
Today's rewording adds strong emphasis to both rules, focusing on the officials ability to determine whether or not the receiver of said hit(s) put himself in a vulnerable position.
48.1 is now followed by, "However, in determining whether such a hit should have been permitted, the circumstances of the hit, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit or the head contact on an otherwise legal body check was unavoidable, can be considered."
Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's Sr. VP of Player Safety and Hockey Operations put it plain and simple, target the head and you get two minutes. "Anywhere on the ice, coming from any direction, you target the head and make it a principle point of contact, you'll be subject to a two-minute penalty on the ice for Rule 48," he said. "You'll also be -- as with all two-minute penalties or non-calls -- subject to supplementary discipline."
Curious though as to why they nixed major penalties and game misconducts on head shots as well, especially considering one could have more serious injury implications that the next one.
I'll leave it to you guys to debate, but it seems like the league was looking for back doors to protect their big name players in these situations, yet again.
A few links after the jump.
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