Horton Hit Puts Bruins Fans, And Hockey, On Notice

Published June 8, 2011

Bruins fans are outraged over the illegal hit that knocked B’s forward Nathan Horton out of the playoffs. But remember when Bruins captain Zdeno Chara brutally ran a Canadiens player into the boards?

Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome was suspended yesterday for four games — certainly the rest of the Stanley Cup finals — because his hit on Horton was dangerous, unnecessary and against the rules. That’s fair. But the problem isn’t with Rome, it’s with hockey.

Big hits are part of what makes hockey appealing to many NHL fans. The league sells them as part of the excitement. In essence, the NHL encourages hits like the one that felled Horton.

Canucks fans: what if Chara laid the same hit on one of the Sedin twins and you had to watch Daniel Sedin carted off on a stretcher? Make no mistake, a concussion is a brain injury. And partisan bickering aside, no one supports brain injuries.

Fortunately, the rough side of hockey reared its ugly head in the midst of the game’s biggest week, forcing all hockey fans to examine their conscience — and appreciate their consciousness.

If hockey hits like Rome’s are part of the game, then watching your favorite player’s brain turn into mush is too.