I am sure as we are all aware, the NHL is becoming more strict about eliminating the dangers of hits to the head. While the league is focusing its efforts solely on deterrence by handing out suspensions and fines for such misconduct, it just doesn't seem to be quite enough. The NHL needs to do something more.
I would like to compare head hits in hockey to crimes in society:
In society, we have laws that define acts of crime, such as murder, theft, robbery, corruption, etc. While society gives great effort on a deterrence strategy by handing out fines, prison time, community service, etc. In America, crime rates have been on the decline for many years, incarceration rates are actually higher. This can be attributed to higher prison sentences and defining offenses to include victimless crimes such as drug use, prostitution, etc. This shows that deterrence alone is not a good enough way to deal with crime.
Don't get me wrong, I would hate it if one of our men in teal suffered a concussion as a result of a dirty hit and the offending player got away with it unpunished. But I don't believe that suspensions and fines will not work on its own.
Chances are, many of us had good upbringings and learned many great values and norms, including deviant behavior (what is and isn't acceptable or reasonable). If we do something wrong, perhaps we were taught that it isn't nice to do it to others, perhaps thinking how we would feel if it happened to us.
If we want the sport of hockey to continue as a nice, clean sport where we can support our team knowing they are less likely to get unnecessarily hurt doing something they love, they need to learn how much better off they would be if they played fair, clean, and proud.
Instead of concentrating all effort on deterrence, the NHL should distribute some of its efforts on teaching its athletes the dangers of hits to the head. Make them feel bad about what could happen if they hurt another player or if they got hurt themself.