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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: The purge continues

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Brief and to the Point …

>> My Friday column applauds the Steelers’ cuts and gets greedy for more.

>> Point of discussion: Would you be in favor of cutting Casey Hampton, given the $5 million that can be saved?

>> Kris Letang has another concussion, and the NHL has another player getting off scot-free for it.

As I wrote last night, Eric Nystrom should not have been suspended, fined or even penalized for his hit, based on the current rules. But it’s the current rules that are the problem. A head shot should be a head shot should be a head shot. I don’t care about initial point of contact. I don’t care about anything other than taking head shots out of the game.

Let me spell this out again: In the NHL, a player is responsible for his stick. If his stick comes up and clips an opponent, even by pure accident, he gets a minor. If there’s blood, it’s a double-minor. No gray areas. The player is responsible for his stick.

Apply this to head shots.

This isn’t complicated!

>> Interesting stuff from former ref Kerry Fraser on the same hit.

>> Not sure how A.J. Burnett breaking his orbital bone on a foul bunt became a referendum on Clint Hurdle’s propensity for bunting, but it sure is silly. Burnett’s a pitcher. With men on base, it’s almost always a good move to have the pitcher bunt.

Not sure if there are even a handful of pitchers you’d let swing away: Carlos Zambrano, Dontrelle Willis, Brooks Kieshnick … anyone else?

You have to teach pitchers to bunt. Spring training is where you do that.

>> If Burnett can’t start the season, I still can’t see it affecting the opening-day nod. Hurdle and Neal Huntington both prefer to make that choice based on matchups, not prestige.

With the Phillies up first, you’ve got to go with the lefty, Erik Bedard.

>> This was yesterday’s chat transcript. Thanks to all, as always.

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