"It’s a better skill to teach while kids are all relatively the same size and skill level – and when they are too small to hurt each other – than to open it up in their early teens when size varies and aggression is considered funny. If you teach hitting from the beginning, by the time the kids turn 12, 13, 14, bodychecking isn’t something awkward or new and ‘Johnny 6-foot-2’ doesn’t have something to prove."
Interesting piece by Rory Boylen at THN. I've wondered about this before, as I think players arrive as adolescents and adults with wildly different definitions of what a clean check is. But god knows it's a tough sell to make things more dangerous for the children -- even if that's just a misperception.
Trotz's quote (below) relates to what I've been mulling over: Players don't know how to check, and the league isn't good at giving guidance. Am I wrong?
"I think years ago the line was a lot clearer," Predators head coach Barry Trotz told Vancouver's Team 1040 on Wednesday. "You look at the old vintage games on the hockey channel and if you crossed the line, you knew you crossed the line. I think the line has moved more and more, there's bigger hits, there's guys wearing shields and helmets, and all that protective gear and people are coming at each other. I don't think people in junior know where the line is, I don't think people in the AHL know where the line is, and it's starting to get gray in the NHL."