The New York Times asked 17 big-name players whether they'd support a full ban on hits to the head. Seven players said yes, four said no and six said they weren't sure. Among those in support of a complete ban on head shots were Steven Stamkos, Patrick Kane, John Tavares, Zach Parise and Martin St. Louis.
"I think it’s at that time where it’s definitely necessary," Kane told the Times. "It might get a little ridiculous at first with a lot of penalties, but as time wears on, it'll definitely help the game, help with injuries and with health. So I think it's something that needs to be done."
Among those opposed to a full ban were Dion Phaneuf, Shane Doan and Brian Campbell, while Ryan Kesler was among those who were undecided.
"How do you do it? You give a two-minute penalty? That's not going to stop head shots," Kesler said. "A five-minute major might, but then you’re maybe penalizing a team for an accident."
Regardless of what the players want, the league has already made giant strides toward change in the past year. Aaron Rome was suspended for the rest of the Stanley Cup Final after knocking out Nathan Horton with a late hit to the forward's head. Similar or worse hits in the past have seen less harsh punishment delivered during the regular season, which is indicative of the movement to protect players.
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