Below are the penalties that should be enacted by the NHL against any player that takes a shot/hit to an opponent's head:
First Offense - Offending player should receive a 10-game suspension. The penalty should include the loss of the player's salary for the amount of games the player is suspended, plus a $50,000 fine.
Second Offense - Offending player should receive a one-year suspension. The penalty should include the loss of the player's salary for that year, plus an additional $100,000.
Third Offense - The offending player should receive a lifetime ban from the NHL. The ban should include being prohibited from coaching, management, etc.
I believe that these penalties will help the NHL prevent serious head injuries and help protect the integrity of the game. The NHL lost its biggest star, Sidney Crosby, for 99 out of his last 162 games due to head injuries. Though he is back playing now, the NHL can't afford to lose any more of their biggest stars like him and for that long.
Right now, the NHL is doing a terrible job at reacting to serious infractions like this. Do they have to wait until a player dies on the ice in order to take action? I sure hope not.