COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The NHLPA's Executive Board gave its thumbs up Thursday for the new rule prohibiting "a lateral, back-pressure or blind-side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted
and/or the principal point of contact."
The NHL's Board of Governors unanimously approved the new rule late Tuesday as a recent rash of violent hits -- which included James Wisnieswki's check on Brent Seabrook in Anaheim -- forced the league to speed up the enactment process.
The NHL/NHLPA Competition Committee, which the Hawks' Brian Campbell is a part of, endorsed it Wednesday and the NHLPA's Executive Board signed off on it Thursday.
The new rule will allow the league to hand out supplementary discipline for such hits. It will be implemented immediately, starting with Thursday night's games.
"We believe this is the right thing to do for the game and for the safety of our players," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in statement. "The elimination of these types of hits should significantly reduce the number of injuries, including concussions, without adversely affecting the level of physicality in the game."