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.