NHL Changes Rules To Make Hockey Safer

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NHL logoIn the National Hockey League (NHL), many players have gotten concussions this year.

A concussion happens when you accidentally hit your head really hard, like when you’re playing sports or running around.

The rate of head injuries has gone up this season. The NHL’s general managers met with Gary Bettman, the commissioner, recently to talk about how they could make hockey safer for the players. Bettman says he believes that as many as a quarter of all hits in hockey are “illegal hits” – in other words, not allowed in hockey.

Here’s one change the managers decided to make: When a player gets hurt in a game, he must get taken back to the locker room to be checked out by a doctor before he can go out on the ice again.

Currently, injured players are checked out by their trainers on the bench. Players tend to argue with the trainer, telling him, “I’m not hurt. Put me back in the game!” They are less likely to argue with a doctor and that will mean that fewer players are playing injured.

At the meeting, the managers also decided that hockey players who have a history of hurting other players will be punished more severely.

Matt Cooke, a player on the Pittsburgh Penguins, was suspended for all of the remaining games left in the regular season as well as the first round of the playoffs because he elbowed a New York Rangers player.

Cooke’s teammate, Sidney Crosby, hasn’t played hockey since the beginning of the year because he was accidentally hit in the head. Sidney Crosby is one of the league’s best and most popular players. Many fans have been wondering when he will be able to return to playing hockey.

Recently Crosby skated for the first time since he got hurt but he’s still not sure when he will return. He told newspaper reporters that he’s starting to feel better every day. Crosby’s return would make the NHL playoffs much more exciting but many fans are also concerned for Crosby’s health if he returns before he is fully recovered.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The question about whether hockey is too violent has been going on for years.  Some people say that hitting and fighting should be allowed because it makes hockey more exciting to watch; other people think that hockey has become too dangerous because people like Sidney Crosby are getting seriously hurt.  

Make a yes/no list in response to the question: Should the rules of hockey change so there is less hitting and fighting?  Add ideas on both sides of the argument. 

Reading Prompt 
Hockey is a sport that is mostly loved by people living in Canada, America, Russia and some parts of Europe.  Many people living in countries that are warm all year don’t know very much about hockey.  

If someone reads this article and wants to learn more about hockey, how would they do so?  Suggest types of fiction and non-fiction texts (e.x. sports magazines, newspapers etc.) that they could read in order to learn more about this sport.  

Primary and Junior
read a variety of texts from diverse cultures including literary texts, graphic texts and informational texts (OME, Reading: 1.1).

Grammar Feature: Present and Past Tenses
When we write about something that is happening now, we write in the present tense.  For example: “I am eating toast with peanut butter.”

When we write about something that happened in the past, we write in the past tense.
For example: “I ate toast with peanut butter for breakfast.”

Circle all of the sentences in the article that are written in the present tense, and underline all of the sentences in the article in the past tense.