Dustin Brown = Headhunter?

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 21: Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings warms up before the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on October 21, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Yea… not so much. Anyone who saw the hit (in replay anyway) can clearly tell it wasn’t a headshot, and I would be seriously surprised to see any supplemental discipline coming his way. Regardless, it made for a tense situation when the Kings had to (and succeeded) kill a 5 minute major penalty in their game against Minnesota. It was a fairly difficult call to make from the referees perspective, but that’s precisely the problem.

My take is that if the referees can’t definitively say that it was a head shot, there should not be a penalty. If you’d like to have a board, or supervisor looking over hits to determine if a head shot was taken, and issue penalties (in the form of fines and suspensions) after the fact, go for it. In my scenario the referees would be calling less of the penalties at the time, and thus there would be fewer significant penalties called on erroneous information. In this case, it cost the Kings a 5 minute power play, as well as their captain for the rest of the game. That’s a big penalty, and an “oops, refereeing is hard” isn’t really enough to cover that. Sure the Kings still won, so it’s tough to get too bent out of shape, but if it had gone another way, it could be ugly.

Anyway, that’s just a quick take from my perspective. What did you think about the hit?

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