The NHL/Gary Bettman today announced a 5-step 'program' to deal with the serious issue of concussions and overall player safety. I won't go through the laundry list, since it's practically the only thing being talked about today in the hockey universe, with the possible exception of the fact that Cindy returned to the ice and then held court approving any option that would eliminate headshots. As expected certain bloggers and Twitter users waited with baited breath for him to condemn slew-footing - and they're still waiting......
But I digress.
The link to the NHL press release is here: Bettman presents 5-point plan to reduce concussions
Now, to me, this is just more politically correct..... (more after the jump)
....bovine post-digestive material. Typical political speak for "we don't want to make a decision that might upset anyone, so we'll study it some more, then review the studies and recommend another study period with a 'core working group'....blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda.
Are you kidding me ?
If you want to actually DO something - the solution is drop-dead (no pun intended) simple.
Remove the first one or two rows of seats around the entire rink. Get rid of the idiotic "between the benches phone-booth" and make Pierre McGuire sit in the press box like every other journalist - or let him stand in the Zamboni gate.
Leave the boards where they are.
Move the glass - plexiglass or solid/seamless tempered glass - it doesn't matter - BACK 2 rows. (There has to be something to protect the poor spectators from that nasty hard-rubber puck).
Fill the space between the boards and the net with (fill in your choice of soft, cushion-y material). Pillows. Foam. Packing peanuts. Rubber balls. Hell, I don't care - if you can find 'em, fill it with Tribbles.
Simple beyond words. No more nasty turnbuckles for poor little hockey players to bash their skulls on. Tumble over the boards (or get blown out by a check over them) - just stay there and take a nice leisurely nap.
And the number one reason why this would NEVER be considered (even without the dripping sarcasm) - it removes 100 or so of the most expensive seats from every arena - so it directly impacts revenue.
Oh well - at least it was a concrete (oops....no concrete!!! Too hard) suggestion...