According to the latest Canadian Press/Harris Decima poll, most Canadians are less than impressed with the National Hockey League’s rules over headshots.
The poll suggests that most Canadians think that headshots are done “on purpose” and that the punishments dished out are far too lenient. 72 percent of Canadians told Harris Decima that the NHL’s rules regarding hits to the head are “not strong enough.” According to TSN, the poll was a “telephone survey of 1,000 Canadians (and) was conducted from March 10-13 and is considered accurate plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.”
The poll also revealed that most Canadians feel that fighting should remain in the game, with 58 percent of respondents indicating that they “like fighting.”
“Canadian hockey fans want a tough game and oppose the idea of banning fighting, but they are the ones most convinced that the NHL should get tough on hits to the head,” said Doug Anderson, senior vice-president at Harris Decima. “It may seem like a contradictory set of views, but it suggests that the violence of fighting is not seen to be quite as detrimental to the quality of the game as head hits.”
The results are hardly surprising, especially given the rash of recent concussions that have led superstars like Sidney Crosby to spend extended amounts of time on the sidelines.
According to TSN, about 80 players have been out with concussions to date this season.
The league says that 26 percent of those injuries have been results of inadvertent or accidental contact. 17 percent were as the result of an illegal hit.
So what do you think? Is the National Hockey League too lenient on headshots? We’ll be including a new poll on the site that will put out that question, so be sure to vote.