NHL re-evaluates concussion prevention

Updated: January 29, 2011, 10:46 PM ET
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sidney Crosby's concussion has re-ignited the debate at the Board of Governors meeting here at All-Star Weekend about whether the NHL is doing enough to prevent head injuries and hits to the head.

The NHL did adopt a new rule this season, Rule 48, which bans blindside hits to the head.

"The blindside hit rule has made a difference in the way the game has been played," St. Louis Blues president John Davidson told ESPN.com after the board meeting. "There's lots of hitting, only it's more intelligent. We're not trying to catch a guy with his head down, sideways, and knock a guy to the moon."

Crosby, who has been out since Jan. 6, has been approved to participate in light workouts, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced on their website Friday night.

But it's clear from the discussion Saturday that owners want their general managers to further discuss the issue and whether the league should take the next step.

"And so they should discuss it," Davidson said.

The essence of that debate at the March GM meetings will be whether to adopt a more all-encompassing, zero-tolerance rule, which already exists in some junior hockey leagues in Canada, as well as U.S. college and international hockey.

"I think the league has been a leader on the concussions. I think other leagues are looking to us on how we diagnosis and treat concussions," Toronto Maple Leafs president and GM Brian Burke said. "I think we're a leader on it. It's a serious issue in our game it's always going to be an issue in our game."

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.

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