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Hockey Canada announces summit on head injuries

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Winnipeg's Jonathan Toews scored on the very first shot of the game Tuesday night as the Chicago Blakchawks handed the dreadful Edmonton Oilers their 11th straight loss by a score of 4-2.

Toews quick marker was his 18th of the year in what is shaping up to be a career season for the talented wunderkid.

With 25 assists, Toews is just shy of a point-a-game pace through 47 games and is showing no lingering effects from a devestating hit by Willie Mitchell of the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 21 that cost Toews six games with a concussion.

And speaking of concussions, the news today that Hockey Canada is convening a summit on head injuries is long overdue.

The summit, which could take place as early as next month, comes in the wake of a seemingly endless string of high profile incidents like the one involving Toews.

And the call also comes, perhaps not coincidentally, as two politicians in Ottawa have voiced their concerns about the plethora of head injuries in hockey.

Finance minister Jim Flaherty, who played college hockey at Princeton, is quoted in today's Globe and Mail: "When I go to Leafs games or Oshawa Generals games, I see a fair number of high hits.

"It just has to become part of the culture of hockey, at all levels... that high hits are not acceptable."

Liberal MP -- and hall of famer -- Ken Dryden went a step further, saying he'd like to see the NHL put a reverse onus on all hits to the head, requiring offending players to prove there wasn't an intent to injure or face more serious penalties.

Change is in the air. And none too soon.

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