Canada's physicians have dropped the gloves with NHL owners saying the league is too accepting of hockey violence.
Two-thirds of delegates at a Canadian Medical Association meeting in Calgary Wednesday voted to "condemn the complacency of the NHL in regards to violence in hockey."
The motion was brought forward by Dr. Pierre Harvey, a physician from Riviere-du-Loup, Que.
He said he was motivated by a devastating 2011 hit on Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty that sent the player to hospital with a concussion and a fractured neck.
"I wanted my motion to be specific to the NHL because that's where it happens," said Harvey.
"If the NHL stops doing that or makes a significant move to reduce those concussion rates, I'm sure the whole hockey industry and minor league hockey will follow. We deplore it because it has a significant impact on our players health and those players are major role models for teenagers and kids," he said.
"They learn that's the way we play hockey and I think it's not acceptable to hit the head of someone."
Harvey acknowledges that hockey is a rough game, but said more can be done to reduce blows to the head and hits from behind.
Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara was not suspended for the hit that sent Pacioretty headfirst into the glass between the benches.
The league ruled the hit a "hockey play" and said if found no evidence that Chara delivered the check in any manner that could be deemed dangerous.
"When I saw that picture I thought, well, he could have been dead. He was unconscious on the ice and I thought well naturally they will punish this guy," Harvey said.
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