By Ellen Chlumecky
February 16, 2015
I have said it once and I will say it again, hockey players don’t understand how to hit people without permanently injuring other players. There is a difference between a clean hit and a cheap shot. Hockey players start to practice hitting other players as soon as they are out of squirts and pee wees. Hitting is a part of the game, there is no way to get rid of hitting in the game of hockey. There also seems to be no way of convincing bull-headed players to stop making these kinds of moves.
This cheap shot placed Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars on injured reserve on Friday night. On Saturday the 14th, Coach Lindy Ruff stated that Seguin had a knee injury and could miss two to four weeks. The Stars officially announced on Sunday, February 15th that Seguin has a lower-body injury and now could miss up to three to six weeks.
Seguin was hit by Dmitry Kulikov of the Florida Panthers and had to be helped off the ice. As you can see in the video, Kulikov went low and hit Seguin on his right knee right after he made a pass. Kulikov was ejected from the game. While it’s not official, it looks like Kulikov will be suspended indefinitely pending the hearing but could be suspended for more than five games.
Coach Ruff and players were irate with the whole situation. Teammate Vernon Fiddler described the play as “gutless.” Coach Ruff said it’s a play that “I don’t like” and, “It’s a dirty low play that the league doesn’t like, and I want to see the league deal with it.” I completely agree.
I don’t know how many times a player has to get injured the way Seguin currently is before players get it through their heads that they can’t keep making hits like this. Hitting is one of the entertainment factors for many fans of hockey. I would never say to remove hitting from the game. I would enjoy seeing players hitting people smarter than they currently are hitting fellow players.
The NHL Department of Player Safety needs to review these tapes further in-depth, consider the injury and the length of the time the injured player with be out. Then they need to assess the injury accordingly. Clipping is a type of hitting that could permanently end a player’s career. It is not something they should take lightly. Players need to be smarter about hitting or abstain from it if they can’t learn the correct way to do it.