Today, for the first time in quite some time, Sidney Crosby took the ice after suffering a concussion in January that has had him sidelined, and the Pittsburgh Penguins seriously missing their captain. Today, behind closed doors, there was also a General Managers meeting targeting safety in the NHL. A meeting that many say is extremely necessary and a little overdue.
Currently the following players are out with concussions (coutesy cbssports.com:
Taylor Ellington – Vancouver Canucks
David Perron and Paul Kariya – St Louis Blues
Sidney Crosby, Eric Tangradi and Arron Ashan – Pittsburgh Penguins
Ian Laperriere – Philadelphia Flyers
Derek Boogaard – NY Rangers
Bryce Salvador – NJ Devils
Francis Bouillon and Matthew Lombardi - Nashville Predators
Max Pacioretty – Montreal Canadians
Scott Timmins – Florida Panthers
Theo Peckham – Edmonton Oilers
Peter Mueller – Colorado Avalanche
Kim Johnnson and Dave Bolland – Chicago Blackhawks
Raitis Ivanans – Calgary Flames
Steve Kampfer and Marc Savard – Boston Bruins
Jim Slater – Atlanta Thrashers
Jonas Hiller – Anahaim Ducks
This does’t include the players listed with “head injury”, “lower body injury” etc.
Currently suspended from play:
Pavel Kubina (TBL) for hit on David Bolland
Trevor Gillies (NYI) for hit on Cal Clutterbuck with Minnesota Wild
This has been a huge topic of discussion as of late and, just in concussions, the list of players unable to play is ridiculous. It is not an easy task, figuring out which hits are suspendable, which hits are part of the game. As I mentioned before, this is a rough sport. It is admirable that the time has been taken to attempt to address the issues, and, below is the “plan of action” taken from NHL.com
Here is the action plan NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman laid out at the start of Monday first session of the General Managers Meetings:
– Brendan Shanahan has been directed to focus on equipment, in conjunction with the Players’ Association, in an effort to reduce the size of the equipment without reducing its protectiveness but also without compromising the safety of an opponent who is contacted by that equipment.
– The NHL Protocol for Concussion Evaluation and Management has been revised in three areas: 1) Mandatory removal from play if a player reports any listed symptoms or shows any listed signs (loss of consciousness … Motor incoordination/balance problems … Slow to get up following a hit to the head … blank or vacant look … Disorientation (unsure where he is) … Clutching the head after a hit … Visible facial injury in coombination with any of the above). 2) Examination by the team physician (as opposed to the athletic trainer) in a quiet place free from distraction. 3) Team physician is to use ‘an acute evaluation tool’ such as the NHL SCAT 2 [SCAT stands for Sports Concussion Assessment Tool] as opposed to a quick rinkside assessment.
– The Board will be approached to elevate the standard in which a Club and its Coach can be held accountable if it has a number of ‘repeat offenders’ with regard to Supplementary Discipline.
– In the continuing pursuit of the ultimate in player safety with regard to the rink environment, a safety engineering firm will be used to evaluate all 30 arenas and determine what changes, if any, can and should be made to to enhance the safety of the environment. For the 2011-12 season, the teams that have seamless glass behind the nets, on the sides, or surrounding the entire rink will be directed to change to plexiglass.
– A ‘blue-ribbon’ committee of Brendan Shanahan, Rob Blake, Steve Yzerman and Joe Nieuwendyk — all players who competed under the standard of rules enforcement that has been in place since 2005 — to examine topics relevant to the issue.
Please go to A Wining Habit – the Montreal Canadians site for an amazing story of a life lost too soon and how he affected a child’s life .
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