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SBD/April 23, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
As On-Ice Violence Dominates Playoffs, NHLPA Acknowledges Duty To Change Game Culture
Published April 23, 2012
TAKING A BEATING: In N.Y., Klein & Hackel note the NHL "may finally have found the will to curb the on-ice chaos that marked the start" of the playoffs. A string of statements "by top league officials indicated that the NHL front office was concerned about the parade of brawls, head shots, sucker punches, ambushes, slew footing and boarding." The "lingering image of the playoffs' first week was not that it was the best hockey of the year, but the most brutal" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/22). In West Palm Beach, Hal Habib wrote, "It's difficult to tell what's taking more of a beating: players dominating nightly highlights with their fists and hits, or the league for failing to stop it" (PALM BEACH POST, 4/21). However, in Ottawa, Mark Sutcliffe wrote, "There really is nothing new about the violence in this year's NHL playoffs. ... Violence, brawling, attempts to injure and cheap shots have always been front and centre in hockey" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 4/22).