There is nothing I dislike more about hockey than dirty players playing the game with the sole intent of injuring another player, particularly when targeting the opponent's head. I've previously talked about the lengths I would go to in order to get rid of those plays and players.
Defenders often step up and blame the victim, "head on a swivel" being a common refrain, but the more often players target an opponent's head, the weaker and meeker the defenses become.
Having said that, I wonder how our general audience would treat Ryan Garbutt in the wake of his unpenalized hit on Dustin Penner Sunday night. The NHL has offered an in-person hearing on the headshot:
Dallas Stars left wing Ryan Garbutt has been offered an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety for an incident against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night at Honda Center. Garbutt was offered the opportunity for an in-person hearing as required by provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for any suspension that can exceed five games.
I see a player leave the penalty box, skate straight to the puck-handler, make no attempt to gain possession of the puck, leap into Penner and deliver a shoulder to the head. This is as blatant as a headshot can be and for that I'd suspend Garbutt 20 games.