October 04, 2009
Nashville Predators Coach Barry Trotz told The Tennessean that he expects winger J.P. Dumont(notes) to be OK, which is pleasantly surprising news after this brutal check near the defensive boards by Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas(notes) in the Preds' 3-2 shootout road win on Saturday (video via Kukla).
Trotz said Dumont had "a couple of cuts on his chin and cheekbone, but [we] think he'll be alright."
Robidas's hit is just another example for why this "hits to the head" legislative debate is so muddled. It's completely a hockey play, and Dumont put himself in a prone position after delivering a pass. Yet after several replays, it appears that Robidas led with this arm up and may have made contact with Dumont's head before the Predators' winger crashed into the boards and remained on the ice for a bit.
For some, this is probably a reckless hit.
As we've said before, it's hard to imagine that the NHL will ever adopt a zero-tolerance policy on checks that make contact with an opponent's head because it's going to affect what are basic hockey plays, like the one above. So while the debate rages over what head-shots should be should not receive extra punishment, this hit is another example for why there may never be a clear-cut answer in a sport with such velocity and ferocity.