The NHL has no plans to change its concussion protocol, even after Connor McDavid expressed shock at being removed from last night’s game in Edmonton.
“We have no intention of changing the standards that are employed based on the situation in the game or season,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN.ca today.
McDavid was pulled from yesterday’s Oilers-Wild game with just over six minutes left in the second period. At the time, the game was tied at one and the Oilers were on the power play, seconds away from enjoying a brief 5-on-3 man advantage.
It was an NHL spotter who made the call to have McDavid pulled from the game, much to the 19-year-old’s chagrin.
“I hit my mouth on the ice,” McDavid said afterwards. “You reach up and grab your mouth when you get hit in the mouth. I think that’s a pretty normal thing. Obviously the spotter knew how I was feeling.
“Sh***y time of the game, too, I guess. It’s a little bit of a partial five-on-three and a power play late in the second period where if you capitalize, it could change the game.”
McDavid eventually returned and played 20:38 on the night, but the Oilers lost, 2-1, in overtime.
Though Daly conceded the NHL’s concussion rules remain “a work in progress,” he said the league is “comfortable with how the new protocol is working” and that it’s “always better to err on the side of caution.”