One of the most widely debated suspensions of the 2010-11 season came after San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton leveled St. Louis Blues forward David Perron right as Thornton was leaving the penalty box. Thornton received a two game suspension for the hit, with many parties wondering if he really deserved it.
Well, if you base your suspension logic largely on how much time the victim of a hit misses, then maybe a two game suspension was reasonably fair. (For the record, I think it’s silly to set punishment based on injury term since that’s a matter of blind luck, but that’s a whole other can of worms.)
Perron has been out of action since that November 4th game with concussion symptoms. He’s missed 12 games during that recovery period already, and while he isn’t ready to return to NHL action yet, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that he is making some progress. (Albeit slow progress.)
It’s not the progress Perron was hoping to see 23 days after he was hit by San Jose’s Joe Thornton, leveling him to the ice, but the left winger says it’s progress. Two weeks after the hit, he experienced headaches by simply driving a car. Video games, too, made him dizzy.
But Perron said Saturday that he’s “close” to being symptom-free. When he is, he’ll undergo testing and then resume light skating until he feels OK to return to practice.
“It’s getting better,” said Perron, who had five goals and two assists in 10 games before the injury. “A little headache, not much of it, but we’re looking to be symptom-free. The last four or five days, it’s been staying the same in terms of the headache, but everything in terms of dizziness, I haven’t felt anything lately.
“It’s been kind of frustrating and disappointing that it’s been this slow. But at the same time, I’m still positive and getting my rest and I hope to come back soon. The good thing is, it’s getting better.”
So as with most recent bouts with post-concussion syndrome, the Blues and Perron are being careful about monitoring his progress. It’s still a mysterious injury to deal with, but sports teams have come a long way from coaches telling players to “rub some dirt on it” after they “got their bell rung.”
If you want to take another look at that hit to see if Thornton really deserved a penalty, here is video footage of that check.