For many athletes, there’s no thrill quite like representing their country in the Olympics. Granted, it usually helps when they’re good and/or have a shot at success. But by and large, Olympics = teh good.
(Fools, all of you!)
To that end, the NHLPA’s collective bargaining agreement protects players’ contracts during Olympic play. Seems standard. Oh, but there’s more to the Olympics than actually participating in the games themselves - specifically, there’s a summer orientation camp for hockey players, and you’d think that was covered too.
Yes, you’d think that.
The NHLPA’s primary job, after making as much money as possible, is to protect the safety of its players. So it’s no surprise that after an amateur hockey player died from head injuries suffered during a fight, they’d go to the mat for their members’ health. Hence today’s proposed rule change on hits to the head. Go ahead. Click the link. I’ll wait. Notice anything wrong?
A rule designed to protect players from blows to the head doesn’t apply to fighting. And no one sees any inherent contradictions here? You know the one time when opponents are specifically trying to deliver blows to the head? The time when they often don’t have helmets on to protect them? This rule’s not going to change any of that. But at least it’ll stop enforcers from getting concussions BEFORE it’s time to drop the gloves.