Tag: concussion issues

Michael Sauer

Michael Sauer still isn’t over his concussion symptoms

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Michael Sauer was put out of commission with a concussion this past season in December thanks to a big hit from Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf. Sauer missed the remainder of the season with the head injury.

The bad news? He’s still feeling the effects of it now as Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports. Brooks says the Rangers aren’t optimistic about Sauer being ready for the season whether it starts on time or not.

If Sauer, said to be feeling better than he was before returning home to Minnesota for the summer but is not believed symptom-free, cannot play, he would be placed on the long-term injury list.

The good news is he’s feeling better, so that’s a start. The bad news is he’s still feeling the effects of that monster hit from nine months ago.

Sauer’s brother Kurt, formerly of the Phoenix Coyotes, has also struggled with concussion issues for the past few years. Brooks mentions their brother Craig is a former NFL player who had his career end because of, you guessed it, concussion problems. Coincidence or not that’s pretty freaky.

Nathan Horton will miss entire 2012 playoffs with concussion

Nathan Horton

The news was already grim for Bruins forward Nathan Horton when it came to whether or not he’d play in the postseason as early inclinations said he’d be a “long shot” to find his way into any games.

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli ended all the speculation and announced Horton will not play at all during the 2012 playoffs. Horton has been out since late January with a concussion suffered against the Flyers when Tom Sestito caught him in the head with a hit. Sestito was not punished for the play.

Horton’s concussion history has been high-profile in Boston as the hit he suffered at the hands of Vancouver’s Aaron Rome during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals knocked him out for the rest of the series. After seeing Horton return to action at the start of this season, many wondered if Horton was fully recovered as the hit from Rome was a crushing blow.

The Bruins have been doing well without Horton of late but keeping that going through the postseason and trying to repeat as Cup champions is going to be a lot harder to do without him as Horton was one of Boston’s more clutch performers last season.

Peter Mueller’s recovery from concussion issues remains a mystery

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Immediately after Peter Mueller was traded from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Colorado Avalanche for Wojtek Wolski, it seemed like the change of scenery would create a happy ending for everyone involved.

Mueller finally showed why he was the eighth overall pick of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by scoring 20 points in his 15 games with the Avs, helping them make a surprising run to the playoffs in 2010. Wolski was impressive in his own right, scoring 18 points in 18 games to help the Coyotes clinch a postseason berth in 2009-10 as well.

Sadly enough, it seems like rushing to a positive judgment proved to be hasty in both cases. Wolski’s problems seem a bit more self-inflicted; he quickly wore out his welcome with Phoenix until he was shipped to the New York Rangers, a team that already seems tired of him.

Mueller’s issues seem like they’re tinged with a bit more bad luck. A hard check by Rob Blake ended his breakthrough run before the 2009-10 season and another concussion late in the 2010-11 preseason kept him from playing a single game last season. The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater reports that September will mark a sad anniversary for Mueller and the Avs as the last time a media member had a chance to speak with the talented but injury-troubled forward.

Right now, the company line continues to be that Mueller is expected to be ready for training camp in September.

So, can I or anyone else in the hockey media talk to Mueller then, assuming he’s healthy? Well, no, is the answer still. Does that mean, then, that Mueller still has concussion problems and hasn’t been medically cleared yet? The Avs don’t really have an answer for that right now. All they’ll say is “He’ll be at camp” and “things are looking good.”

Yes, we could phone Mueller anytime and ask how he’s doing. But keep one thing in mind: players on the Avs do not want to upset the people who sign their big paychecks, and one thing that really makes the Avs upset is when players, under orders not to talk to the media until they’ve been medically cleared, talk to the media before then. Most injured players are scared to even make eye contact with a reporter because of that team rule.

So, essentially we just have to keep waiting for when the team says Mueller is fully good to go again. But, again, they are on record as saying they think he’ll be at camp in uniform.

Let’s hope that Mueller’s path resembles that of Patrice Bergeron or Pierre-Marc Bouchard (two players who suffered from recurring problems but ultimately got their careers back on track) rather than someone like Marc Savard. His all-too-brief resurgence with Colorado was a great story. Seeing him do it again – and this time, for multiple seasons rather than several games – would generate an even better narrative.

(H/T to Puck Daddy.)