Crosby couldn’t have been removed by concussion spotters

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Even though he looked shaken up, and even though he was just diagnosed with a concussion, Sidney Crosby was not eligible to be removed from the game by concussion spotters after he went crashing into the boards last night in Pittsburgh.

From USA Today:

Crosby was slow to get off the ice after he became entangled with Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and defenseman John Carlson in the first period of a 5-2 loss to the Caps in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinal. Under the current concussion policy, the league’s central concussion spotter only would have been able to force Crosby out had his head hit the ice or another player.

“Depending on the mechanism of injury, ‘slow to get up’ does not trigger mandatory removal,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told USA TODAY Sports. “The protocol has to be interpreted literally to mandate a removal. ‘Ice’ as compared to ‘boards’ is in there for a reason. It’s the result of a study on our actual experiences over a number of years. ‘Ice’ has been found to be a predictor of concussions — ‘boards’ has not been.”

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan confirmed after the game that Crosby was not evaluated for a concussion, while Crosby said he just got the wind knocked out of him.

Irrespective of the league’s study, it seems bizarre that concussion spotters were powerless to do anything last night simply because Crosby went crashing into the boards, as opposed to hitting his head on the ice.

Boards are pretty hard, too.