A look at the rise of concussions in the NHL and the lack of discipline for offenders
By Alex Giubelli
Are you tired of seeing one of your best players getting injured? Are you tired of hearing that he’ll be out for the rest of the season due to a concussion? Are you tired of watch Colin Campbell telling you that after review the “innocent” player won’t be suspended? Well, if that’s the case, you’re not alone my friend.
Since the season started, a mere14 days ago, 17 players are already dealing with concussion or post-concussion symptoms. Okay so there’s Pavalec who wasn’t hit by anyone, but fainted, and Yann Sauve who was hit by a car in downtown Vancouver. So let’s say 15 players. Still, it’s about one concussion a day.
What is wrong with the NHL? What are they waiting for to finally do something? Does Matt Cooke have to kill someone with his next headshot?
Some of you will raise your hand and shout back at me rule 48, (for those of you who don’t know what it is; it’s any illegal check targeting the head from a lateral and blind side hit, and any violator will be assigned a major, a game misconduct and the commissioner will decide if they need further investigation). Oh yeah.
Congratulations NHL for coming up with that.
What it really means, is while you just knock out a player for maybe the rest of the season, you sit for five minutes in the box and get a slap on the wrist from Gary Bettman. Way to go. That will show those bums who’s the boss…
Some reporters will scream that in the good ol’ days, players had more respect for each other, unlike today, and that is why there are more concussions. Okay… If you’re telling me that when Marty McSorley swung his stick at Donald Brashear’s head it was out of respect, we seriously have a problem here.
More recently, many of you will recall the brutal hit Randy Jones laid on Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron from behind, making him miss 72 games and igniting uncertainties as to if he would ever be able to play again. How long was Jones gone for? Two games. He was suspended two fucking games. It was intentional, it was to the head, and it was from behind. Can somebody explain to me how the NHL comes to these decisions?
Oh, I also forgot to mention that the league and the National Academy of Neuropsychology joined forces to create a 12-minute educational video for the players titled: “Concussions in Hockey: Signs, symptoms and playing safe,” featuring Eric Lindros, Pat Lafontaine and Mike Modano. What were they thinking? Players are not elementary students that you show a little video on how to have a safe Halloween. Who really thought that a player would watch this and really apply that? Can we please fire him?
I’m not saying we should ban hitting and fighting from the game, please no, if I wanted to watch something boring, I would watch baseball. I’m only saying that I’m tired of watching players get injured, and to see the idiots who injured them getting away with nothing more than a little warning.
Can we please have somebody who will stop being a coward and make some real and fair decisions? Can we please have someone that will grow a pair, and tell headshotters that they need to clean up their act or else?
I’m asking for consistency, NHL. Is it too hard to make a decision and stick to it?
Thank you for making our national sport a joke Mr. Bettman and Mr. Campbell, it’s much appreciated.