Look out: Seabrook wants head hits punished

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Look out: Seabrook wants head hits punished

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011
Posted: 5:37 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com Blackhawks InsiderFollow @TraMyersCSN
Brent Seabrook has read the stories: former athletes, including hockey players, still suffering the ramifications of concussions and head shots taken during their careers.

We all want to have families and live our life after hockey, said Seabrook, who suffered concussions the past two seasons. If you break a leg or tear a knee, you can still live a life. But when youre struggling with some of the stuff you see some struggling with, related to heads, its sad.

Head shots, concussions and their long-term affects arent new. But the NHL is currently without its biggest star, Sidney Crosby, because of them. Hes speaking out against them. And because of that, Seabrook said, maybe the league will finally start doing more about them.

With Sid being hurt its definitely a bigger issue, he said. Its been blown up and thats the best thing for the game is making everyone more aware.

Its sad that it has to come to this.

Crosby, whos been out since January, is doing better but is still on no timeline to return. The NHL wasnt so popular coming out of the lockout at least in America. But along with Alex Ovechkin, Crosby was the poster child that brought fans back to the game. Now they need to help him and the rest of their players by figuring out how to cut down on these concussions.

It gets scary, said Dave Bolland, who missed a month with a concussion, courtesy of an elbow to his head. Sidney Crosby is still out. Its scary how long some of those things can take.

Indeed, the issue has everyones attention. Now what to do about it? Crosby recognized that fine line when he talked last week: you dont want to penalize a guy who just made an honest mistake. Seabrook agreed.

You cant protect yourselves all the time. Sometimes youre put in bad situations and bad spots, Seabrook said. The guy trying to do it is not necessarily trying to hurt you or knock your head off, hes just trying to make a hard play. The game happens to quick. Its just one of those things.
"We all want to have families and live our life after hockey.-- Brent Seabrook.
Still, there are possibilities. Do something immediately to the guys who take runs at players and throw elbows high, especially away from the play.

And penalize consistently. Remember the 2011 postseason? Several bad hits yielded little to nothing in suspension time.

There cant be different sets of rules in the playoffs or in the first 10 games, Seabrook said. There has to be a hard stance.

The NHL can start with the blatant shots: penalize, fine, suspend. And not just one game or that measly 2,500 fine that most players can find in the cushions of their couch. Make offenders accountable and make it enough that they stop.

There are enough sad stories out there. Give current players a chance at a happier ending.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: What's next for Blackhawks as free agency looms?

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AP

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: What's next for Blackhawks as free agency looms?

On the latest edition of the Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Tracey Myers and Charlie Roumeliotis discuss what's next for the Blackhawks after a trade-filled weekend.

They also weigh in on whether the Blackhawks are done trading, preview free agency, and toy with the idea of a potential Patrick Sharp reunion.

Listen to the latest episode of the Hawks Talk Podcast below:

Blackhawks re-sign defenseman Ville Pokka to one-year deal

Blackhawks re-sign defenseman Ville Pokka to one-year deal

The Blackhawks signed Ville Pokka to a one-year contract on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old Pokka played in all 76 regular-season games for the Rockford IceHogs last season, recording six goals and 24 assists.

The Blackhawks’ defensive depth has already taken a hit this offseason, with Niklas Hjalmarsson traded to Arizona – Connor Murphy came here in the deal – and Trevor van Riemsdyk, selected by the Vegas Golden Knights, then traded to the Carolina Hurricanes. While the Blackhawks will probably explore free-agent options this offseason, Pokka could vie for an opportunity at training camp.