Monday, June 6, 2011

Video: Nathan Horton Stretchered Off Following Late Hit By Aaron Rome

Hockey is a violent and sometimes brutal sport, but the sight of Nathan Horton laying prone on the ice was a scary one early in the first period of Game 3 tonight. Mike Murphy will have another decision to make in this series concerning supplemental discipline, but this one should result in a suspension.

At 5:07 of the first period Bruins' forward Nathan Horton was laid out by a late hit to the head by Canucks' defender Aaron Rome.  The NHL installed Rule 48 last offseason to protect players from blindside hits to the head when they are defenseless. 
A lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact is not permitted.
Tonight was a prime example of what the rule was looking to remove from the game.  After moving the puck just outside the Vancouver Canucks’ blueline Horton was leveled by Rome who left his feet, made first contact to the head of Horton while he was defenseless.  

For those who want to claim that Horton was at fault for watching his pass there is the issue of just how late the hit was.  The standard for a late hit is .5 seconds, while this one was nearly 1 full second late. 
TSNRyanRishaug: According to TSN newsroom aces, release of puck to hit was 28 frames, 30 is a full second, so substantially late as NHL standard half second
Aaron Rome was assessed a five minute major for interference and a game misconduct for the hit.  I would expect the combination of the hit itself and the lateness of it will result in a significant suspension for Rome that could last into next season.

Horton laid prone on the ice for several minutes before eventually being taken off on a stretcher.

Update from Bruins: Update on Nathan Horton: he has been transported to Mass Gen Hosp and is moving all his extremities. No further update at this time ^BB