Tag: concussions

Screenshot from Sportsnet telecast

Not good: Brad Marchand suffered a concussion


Tough news for a Boston Bruins team dealing with a tough start: Brad Marchand has a concussion.

That’s the word from head coach Claude Julien, so it’s a sure thing.

Now, there was no word about how severe the issue may be, but it’s officially a concussion. It’s not the ideal scenario even if it’s a “minor concussion,” which feels like a contradictory idea in itself.

Here’s the Dale Weise hit from last night’s eventual 4-2 win by the Montreal Canadiens:

It’s not official like Marchand’s concussion, but there may be a bit of good news. Maybe.

Matt Irwin was placed on waivers Sunday, which may indicate that Zdeno Chara is ready to play again.

That would be a much-needed boost.

CSNNE.com has more.

NHL ordered to turn over concussion data as part of lawsuit

Beyond Sport United 2015

U.S. Federal Court judge Susan Nelson ordered the NHL to turn over “reams of data about injuries and concussions” as part of an ongoing lawsuit, TSN’s Rick Westhead reports.

Approximately 80 former players are involved in the legal matter.

Here’s what Nelson wrote in her ruling, via Westhead:

“The Court finds that the (NHL’s) blanket application of the physician-patient privilege – protecting all medical data from disclosure – is inapplicable here,” Nelson wrote.

“The clubs are ordered to produce any internal reports, studies, analyses and databases in their possession (whether initiated by the U.S. clubs, NHL, or retained researchers) for the purpose of studying concussions in de-identified form. The U.S. clubs shall produce any responsive correspondence and/or emails between themselves, themselves and the NHL, or with any research or other professional about the study of concussions.”

Players names will not be shared in this process. The NHL reportedly estimates that producing such reams of data could cost about $13.5 million. Commissioner Gary Bettman was deposed for eight hours on Friday regarding the lawsuit, although his testimony is “under seal for now.”

For more, read the full report from Westhead at TSN.

Primeau, Shanahan appear in “Head Games” documentary about concussions

Brendan Shanahan
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Concussions and controversial hits have faded into the background thanks to the lockout, but head injuries are still a major concern and storyline in modern sports.

Filmmaker Steve James (of “Hoop Dreams” fame) decided to tackle the issue of concussions in his 2011 documentary “Head Games,” which includes prominent appearances from Brendan Shanahan and Keith Primeau.*

The documentary leans heaviest toward the NFL and football in general, but the NHL’s issues – and measures to make changes – also surface frequently. Some of the clips and photos might bring back some tough memories, as the movie shows memorable checks such as Zdeno Chara’s hit on Max Pacioretty and also discusses the deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Bob Probert.

Yet even though James’ documentary brings up some difficult questions for hockey and sports in general, James told NHL.com that the league has been progressive in many areas.

“I do think all the sports have a ways to go in terms of how they handle rules and discussions around concussions, but the NHL has certainly been more forward-thinking on this issue than football,” James said.

” … I think the fact that Brendan Shanahan has taken that role and taken it very seriously is a very positive thing. Daly was obvious and candid about the League’s view [in the film]. He basically said there is going to be brain injuries, no way around it. I think it was great he was willing to state it.”

You can read a little more about it – including Primeau’s emotional presence in the film – in NHL.com’s article or check out the movie via various outlets. (It’s on Netflix Instant Queue, for instance.)

* -You might not be as excited to see Bill Daly thanks to his prominence in the CBA discussions, but he makes a cameo, too.

Study finds there is “significant underreporting” of concussions in hockey

Sidney Crosby

A year-long report released on Friday that centered around men’s and women’s college hockey teams in Canada and the United States says coaches would rather have players with possible head injuries to keep playing rather than get them out of the game and checked out.

Alan Maki of The Globe And Mail hears from the lead scientist on the study, Dr. Paul Echlin, about the results they’ve seen through testing Canadian university players. 

“We did a previous study [one year ago] with the CIS without observers,” Echlin said. “We didn’t do MRI imaging and there was only one reported concussion for that season. This past season, we were full on with multiple physicians at games, home and away, and we did imaging. It really demonstrates the underreporting of medical concussions.”

We’ve seen it happen numerous times in the past where a player gets hit hard and appears to suffer issues with staying cognizant only to continue playing in the game. While the NHL has new concussion protocols, the study finds coaches at lower levels aren’t taking the same kind of care.

One coach quoted in Jeff Z. Klein’s piece on this for the New York Times saying, “Unless something is broken, I want them back out playing.”

If this kind of thinking is going to change to help players stay healthy, it’s going to take a lot of change to how people perceive concussions.

Update: NCAA denies rumors of change from cages to visors

2012 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championship

Hours after ACHA Insider reported that the NCAA would announce a transition from full cages to half-shields, NCAA hockey denied that rumor via its official Twitter page. The NCAA simply responded “Sorry, but this is not true. More info to come Friday.”

Naturally, we’ll know more about what exactly the NCAA has planned tomorrow. In the mean time, it seems reasonable to discuss the merits of making such a change.

The minus is that a half-shield would present less facial protection than a full cage (which is on display in this post’s main image). On the other hand, one could argue that it would be that much easier to transition from the NCAA to pro hockey by playing with similar gear.

Which direction would you go in, then?