Culture change sweeps safer play through boys' hockey

  • Article by: Paul Klauda , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 6, 2013 - 6:40 AM

Shift by shift and game by game, culture change has begun in Minnesota’s most high-profile high school sport.

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basia2186Mar. 6, 13 5:03 AM

I remember the hockey mom's apprehension when our kids were going to be able to " check" for the first time. Dads probably felt the same way, just never out loud. Fortunately for me my son became a goalie when he was a first year squirt. Saw at least a dozen kids taken out on stretchers that fortunately did not result in permanently injury. The changes are a good thing. Off topic: when are private schools going to be in their own class?

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plainyjainieMar. 6, 13 5:22 AM

Wow, you've got to be kidding - what games are these people watching?! Saw several instances where the refs totally ignored hard hits from behind in the playoffs. I am assuming because of pressure from the coaches. Lets not even go into whats happening in Juniors and college where we are allowing our kids to get their brains beat out even worse. I think the coaches are seeing a backlash from parents seeing the light and not allowing kids to play, as is happening in Football also - and they are trying to get some good PR for their sport - again at the expense of the kids. Doubt the kids will be thanking their parents and coaches in their later years when they can't walk or think normally.

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northsportsMar. 6, 1311:37 AM

The late hits, hits from behind, high hits and charging are still too plentiful in the NHL as I watched the "Top 10 hits of the week" just a few days ago and 8 of the 10 hits were outside of the rules. Only 2 of the hits were made with the players hips and shoulders with the stick in position to control the puck. Eight of the 10 were guys running at their opponent in a disrespectful and dangerous way. There are far too many concussions and instances for catastrophic injury at the NHL level yet and it carries over to the other levels big time also. I am glad that the MSHSL has at least taken some steps to curb this dangerous and unsportsmanlike issue. Better late than never ! Hopefully, it won't simply be a knee jerk reaction that is allowed to move back to the dangerous type of play that has been far too common in hockey in recent years. I think Bruce Plante hit the nail on the head when he defined it as "respectful play". Selling your soul as a coach and/or a player is counterproductive to what sports are suppose to be all about. Atheletics are/were meant to be a big part of the academic experience and especially leadership development. They were/are meant to develop character and not characters. Coaches need to make sure they are NOT promototing unsafe play which is borderline as they are teaching our future leaders that is OK to "cheat to win" if they are. Allowing it is the same as promoting it also, coaches. Is that the type of leadership we want in this country ? I think not !! Coaches need to coach "character first" as they are mentoring our kids and molding our future leaders. Cudos to you coaches who are actively teaching proper, effective and safe checking techniques out there. Be not weary in well doing !!!

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