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Aaron Rome Suspended 4 Games, NHL Lacks Consistency

The NHL ruled on the Aaron Rome hit today, giving him a four game suspension. It’s the longest suspension in NHL Stanley Cup Final history and one of the longest in NHL playoff history. I was extremely surprised with the decision, because it lacks precedent. In my mind, it warranted a two game suspension.

In case you haven’t seen the hit, or need a reminder:

My take on the hit is that it was an interference penalty. The hit was late, and it did some damage. But it wasn’t TERRIBLY late. It was late. I have heard in some places that it was two seconds late, which is totally ridiculous. The time that Nathan Horton gives up the puck to the time Aaron Rome hits him, is about one second. Which means that it’s less than a second late.

It’s also not a blind side head shot. It’s straight on, pretty much as straight on as you can get. A reminder to everyone who often forget this, but head shots that aren’t from the blind side are legal in the NHL, as long as it is with your shoulder.

If the NHL wants to rule like this, I’m ok with it, so long as they were consistent from the start of the season. To me, there’s a huge lack of consistency.

What’s interesting is how things feelings have changed with these types of hits in a very short period of time. Remember this hit by Scott Stevens on Paul Kariya in the 2003 Stanley Cup final?

That hit was every bit as late as the Aaron Rome hit, and was much more vicious. It was also on a star player with a history of concussions. At that time there was no discussion that the hit was somehow illegal (which seems mind boggling now). My how times have changed…

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6 Response to Aaron Rome Suspended 4 Games, NHL Lacks Consistency

  1. jaynesbooks on June 7, 2011

    And yet McGinn didn't get suspended for his hit on two Canucks players. Very strange. League is looking bush league again. 2 games would have been sufficient.

  2. Skifton on June 7, 2011

    Actually, it WAS a blind-side hit. Clear cut. Horton didn't have his head turned towards Rome; and Rome hit him with his shoulder in the side of the head. It's clear as day. n nAlso, a "late hit" is a late hit whether it's one second or two seconds or 5 seconds. It's still late. n nAnd, one second is PLENTY of time to lighten up your hit on an opponent. Rome used that one second to ramp up his hit and blindside Horton. n nI'm not a fan of the Bruins, nor do I dislike the Canucks. Keep that in mind. I don't see a reason why people need to be permanently; or near-permanently injured just because some hot-head moron wants to deliver a crushing hit on a defenseless player.

    • Robert Williams on June 7, 2011

      A "blind side hit" is not such just because he's looking to the side. Not as defined by the NHL anyway. Horton is skating towards the blue line and Rome is at the blue line. Mike Murphy even said that it was not a blind side hit. n nA late hit IS late no matter how late it is, you're right and I am not arguing that. But I'm sure you would agree that the hit is MORE serious if it is 5 seconds late than if it is 1 second late. n nOne second is not PLENTY of time… There's time, but "plenty" is a bit generous. The game is played at a very high speed. n nYou're clearly upset that Horton was injured, and that's legitimate. Personally, I would like the NHL to have rules, and apply them consistently. My problem is that this suspension has no precedent.

  3. B.Lam on June 7, 2011

    How can one call this a blind side hit? Horton is going in a North-South direction, directly at Rome. All Rome did was stand him up. n nThat play looked no different than a skier going straight into a tree. Just because the skier looks away and pretends the tree isnt there, it now becomes the trees fault? n n"Common sense isn't so common for some ppl."

  4. The Top Three Stories that Nobody is Talking About Heading into Game 4, Bruins vs Canucks | on June 7, 2011

    [...] all the hoopla surrounding the Aaron Rome hit (and the subsequent suspension) on Nathan Horton, a few stories have been overshadowed. Everyone has [...]

  5. TBen on June 13, 2011

    Why is Rome the poster player for this new rule? The two other BIG hits mentioned that were similar in the article did not even get a one game suspension.


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