The aftershocks of Colin Campbell’s ruling yesterday on not suspending Pittsburgh Penguins’ Matt Cooke is still trembling the streets of Boston.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli held a 33 minute conference call yesterday after the third-and-final day of the NHL’s general managers’ meetings in Boca Raton, Florida. The number one topic discussed amongst the teams’ GMs was recommending a rule change on blindside hits to the head.
This topic would grant the referees to call a minor, or major, penalty to the violator contacting another player where the primary point of impact is to the head. The rule recommendation, voted unanimously, will now be presented to the competition committee for their review over the NHL Finals. If all goes well throughout the chains of command, the rule could be enforced for the 2010-11 NHL season.
Day one of the meetings took place on Monday: the day after Cooke knocked-out Bruins’ top center, Marc Savard, with an open-ice, blindside hit to to the head. Savard was diagnosed with a Grade 2 concussion, and is still “sensitive to light, sleeping, throbbing headaches.” Although the new rule could take place as early as next year, the damage has already been done in Boston.
“There’s a chance that Mark may be out for the year. He’s one of our best players. It’s devastating to us.” said Chiarelli this morning from Philadelphia’s Wachovia Center. “The league made it clear, Colin made it clear that he knows this players [Cooke] is a multiple, repeat offender.
“He knows how bad Marc is hurt” added Chiarelli “He couldn’t make that connection to levy a suspension. You know, it’s devastating to us.”
The timing couldn’t be any worse for the Bruins, as they lose their No. 1 center for the home-stretch of the season. Sitting in eighth-place in the log-jam of the Eastern Conference, the B’s will have to rally together as a team to make that last-minute playoff push.
There has been some scrutiny — to say the least — surrounding Campbell and his somewhat biased decisions surrounding the Bruins, and the Penguins.