Torts questions concussion protocol after Detroit incident

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On Tuesday night in Detroit, Columbus forward Josh Anderson took a high hit from Wings d-man Brendan Smith.

The NHL’s concussion spotter removed Anderson from the game and, after being examined by Detroit’s team physician — the Jackets don’t travel with one — the decision was made to keep the 22-year-old out for the remainder of the contest.

On Wednesday, Columbus physicians examined Anderson, and concluded there were no signs of a concussion. All of which made for a state of confusion for head coach John Tortorella.

“That was the protocol – which makes no sense to me. Some doctor just pulls him out and says, ‘You’re concussed’ and then we come back here and he isn’t,” Tortorella said, per the Columbus Dispatch. “It makes zero sense. And I lose a pretty important player.

“(Anderson) was checked the following morning by our doctor. The spotter pulled him out, out of the game, and called down and said, ‘he’s not playing.’ We have diagnosed him not being concussed. Who diagnosed it (Tuesday night)? Was it their team doctor? I don’t know how it all works. It doesn’t make a whole helluva a lot of sense to me.”

Anderson said he did “a couple physical things in the room,” with the Red Wings doctor, adding that everything went well. He said he told the physician he wanted to return to play, but was held out for precautionary reasons.

The NHL implemented independent concussion spotters in arenas this season, along with an additional crew that watches games from league offices. All of them have the authority to remove players exhibiting signs of a potential concussion.

As for the second step, league rules state that if the visiting team isn’t traveling with a physician, the home team physician will be in charge of examining players removed from the game.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

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TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.