Insuring concussed players could “alter hockey industry”

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Learning more about concussions is fantastic from a preventive standpoint, but as history shows, progress often comes with some headaches.

Rick Westhead offers the latest troubling wrinkle to the issue: insurance companies might just balk at covering players with histories of concussion problems in the future.

Insurance companies specializing in sports say the Penguins and other NHL teams will increasingly have to adopt the risk of million-dollar contracts alone as the number of players sidelined with concussions swells. The prospect threatens to alter the hockey industry.

… If more players continue to be sidelined with concussions, insurers may stop insuring players with brain injuries altogether.

For some of you, insurance is an eyes-glazing-over issue. That’s understandable, but it could come at a brutal cost for teams and/or players. Things could get especially interesting/horrible if this issue would have a big impact on Sidney Crosby’s next contract negotiations since his second deal runs out after the 2012-13 season.

(Then again, perhaps a new CBA will alleviate that problem – if it doesn’t bring about a hockey apocalypse in the process.)

Look, it’s fantastic that the sports world is becoming more educated about concussions – or at least afraid enough to handle these situations with less haste – but there are times when the problems almost feel crippling. It’s wrong to say that ignorance is bliss, but there are some undeniable growing pains that come with increased knowledge, too.