Monday, January 7, 2008

Concussions? Bah! Never heard of em!

It really amazes me the lengths NHL teams will go to avoid diagnosing their players with concussions. James Mirtle has a great article on it today at his blog.

Maybe it's the fear of attaching the stigma to a player? We all saw (and made) the jokes about jello head Eric Lindros after his concussion problems. Maybe teams are afraid goons will go headhunting if they know a particular player is toughing out a concussion.

Either way, it's not to hard to figure out who is hurting from one.

Exhibit A: Carolina's Matt Cullen gets truck sticked by Colton Orr of the Rangers.

That's probably the ugliest concussion I've seen since Paul Kariya got laminated a few years back in the playoffs, while still with Anaheim. Nonetheless, the Hurricanes are keeping quiet about it. While there's no harm in trying to keep your player safe by saying nothing, it still makes me believe that the NHL is turning a blind eye on concussions. Mirtle points out a few other examples of players who have phantom injuries, unrelated to obvious concussions.

*fade out to dream sequence... setting is corporate headquarters of a radio manufacturer in the 1920s*

Boss Guy1: Oh, I do say! We are making quite the pretty pennies with these amazing little boxes.

Boss Guy2: Huzzah! Yes! I just bought us all a case of the finest scotch with my share and a beautiful diamond necklace for my wife.

Boss Guy3: Our sales are, dare I say, better than that of the finest bootlegger around!

All Three: (conceited) BAHAHAHAHA!!

Intern (runs into the room): Excuse me, misters.

Boss Guy2: What is it boy?

Intern: I think you guys need to see this article in the paper. There's a new invention called the television. You can see AND hear broadcasts. It could be the next big thing.

Boss Guy3: What do you take us for, a bunch of yellow bellied scoundrels??

(all three chuckle)

Boss Guy1: Harumph! That's horse feathers! We're talking about the radio, boy. Everyone in America has one. Dry up! Get lost!

Intern: But...

Boss Guy1: I said run along! We don't need any on your nonsensical talking pictures!


  1. It's hard to say, because to my knowledge the leagues concussion policy is not public, but these seem like instances of teams avoiding the C-word so they won't be mandated to shut the players down for an extended period of time.

    The Star had a feature on Concussions in the NHL just a few weeks back.

  2. Good post: great to see more people looking at this very serious issue. The best thing from that Star story was Colin Campbell saying he felt a lot of players were faking concussions, showing just how far the league's head is buried in the sand.

  3. Speaking from personal experience, concussions (for lack of a better term) suck big sweaty balls. Mine was just from falling, unlike these guys who are getting hit by another huge guy skateing as fast as he can. One aspect that some people are neglecting gets brought up by "concussed beer leaguer" who said: "I've had several,[head injuries/concussions]including post-concussion syndrome, which still lingers 2 years later. Most of the time I had no idea until well after the event, although in retrospect it was pretty clear. I wasn't trying to cover it up, but I assure you, the concussed player is the last person to know s/he's concussed - the brain is fuzzy and typically unable to realize it.[...]until there is objective testing, it will always be under-reported by even the most vigilant people."

    Like I said, it sucks.