Watching the blatantly purposeful elbow on Datsyuk's face had me thinking. Why shouldn't the players be held legally responsible for actions that are deemed purposeful intent to injure? Now, before you all get your panties in a bunch and say hockey is a rough sport etc etc...I'm not talking every headshot or big questionable hit. I'm talking CLEAR CUT intent to injure another player through physical means.
Hitting and rough stuff is part of hockey, true. But the NHL has stated several times that it wants to make players safer by eliminating head shots etc. Well, I'm pretty sure that if players knew they'd have to actually legally answer for their malicious attacks on opposing players, they'd definitely think twice about doing it. As it is now they "MIGHT" get a suspension and/or fine. That's not enough. These guys make millions a year. If I was a millionaire and wanted to hurt someone knowing that I wouldn't go to jail, I'd gladly pay 10 grand to sucker punch a guy I hate.
Furthermore, when I played hockey a guy on an opposing team broke his stick slashing a teammates wrist so hard that he fractured it in 3 places. Not only was he kicked from the league, but the police were waiting with bracelets for him to get out of the dressing room. He was charged with assault and battery. Just because NHL players are pro athletes shouldn't make them exempt from certain parts of the law. There are legal hits in the game, and non legal hits. But if a non legal hit borders physical assault on another human being, I'm sorry but they should be forced to pay for their actions.
Now some would say "but then they wouldn't be allowed to fight". Wrong, usually a fight takes place between two WILLING players who know what they're getting into. Cheap shots usually happen when one player can't control his emotions and takes a cheap run at an UNSUSPECTING player.
In each of these there is clear intent to injure. Now, say I'm playing in a local league game and decide to swing my stick at another players head, busting his head open and concussing him. More than likely I could be charged with assault with a deadly weapon. So why is it ok to do just because you're a professional athlete?
I'm not here to argue, I just want to hear everyone's theories on why this is allowed in sports and why the law could/couldn't be involved.