Imagine for a minute you own an NHL team. It’s a fun thing to imagine, because then you’d be rich and travel everywhere by helicopter.
Now imagine it’s July 1, 2013, and Sidney Crosby is an unrestricted free agent. His agent calls and says Crosby wants to play for your team. You’re excited because Crosby is coming off a career season. All those injury problems feel like they happened ages ago.
Now imagine your insurance provider says it won’t insure Crosby because he has a history of concussions.
Would you still sign him?
As reported by CTVNews.ca, it’s possible this very scenario plays out in the future. And not just with Crosby; with any player with a history of concussions. Just one concussion even.
Teams would be on the hook for injured players’ multimillion-dollar contracts without any compensation from insurance companies.
“First and foremost it is potentially devastating,” Howard Bloom of Sports Business News told CTV’s Canada AM. “Its implications are really very, very terrifying for the National Hockey League and the sport of hockey.
The Penguins have managed to sidestep the huge payout for Crosby’s $9-million a year contract as the team has an insurance policy, which covers the superstar’s absence if he is injured and out of the lineup for more than 30 games.
The NHL, meanwhile, has downplayed the notion that insurance concerns could bring the league to its knees.
“It’s not a major concern to the league or to the clubs at this point in time,” said deputy commissioner Bill Daly. “We have not seen it really affect our business in a material way.”
Tim Gleason has likely played his last NHL game. The 32-year-old defenseman has informed the Carolina Hurricanes that he no longer wishes to continue his professional tryout.
“Tim informed us today he wasn’t going to continue to pursue his tryout,” said GM Ron Francis, per the club’s website. “He looked and felt good physically, but didn’t feel up to the grind of the NHL mentally.”
“We got outcompeted in the second period, badly,” Mark Letestu told the team’s website. “Whether it was little puck battles or even just executing on systems. It played right into their game. When you get behind a team like this that’s so dominant in the circle it’s tough to generate chances to come back. We didn’t deserve to win this one at all.”
As if things weren’t bad enough, the Oilers also lost Nail Yakupovto injury after a linesman (yes, a linesman) fell on top of him.
After the game, head coach Todd McLellan didn’t hold back:
"That's a really disappointing effort from our hockey club… We weren't a very determined team." McLellan on the #Oilers defeat