Each week we (TCB & @nhlconcussions)scour the web to find concussions in the National Hockey League. We will keep a running tally on that information as the season progresses. However, it is not easy as the NHL has decided that listing injuries as “upper body” or “undisclosed” is a good indicator of actual injuries occurred. Our list is believed to be as accurate as possible, even including injuries that have vague listings but through reports and video analysis should be classified as concussions. We will also be using “Fink’s Rule” to include concussions in the listing.
At the NHL All-Star Break we reported that there was a 60% increase in concussions over the previous year. To which the NHL stated that they only have noted a 10% increase. Yes, we use Fink’s Rule but that only comprises of four players, hardly a number that would provide a 50% difference in the numbers. We have found that there are AT LEAST nine players listed as “upper body injury” that have either been found to have a concussion or the video/reporting of the injury holds clear evidence of a head injury.
Speaking of UBI and undisclosed; I know I am beating a dead horse, but why the need to hide the injury? Why misinform the public and even the players about injuries that are inherent to hockey? Haven’t we learned from Chris Pronger, Colby Armstrong, even Sidney Crosby? I am not good enough to write an open letter or even where to send it, but Mr. Bettman there are some very small changes you can make before you should eliminate all head contact and take on the fighting issue in hockey:
- Do not allow your teams to hide the concussion/brain injury. You want to know what the real problem is, and stop placing your head in the sand, start there!
So, we have found 14 injuries that could have possibly been missed by the NHL or refused, rather refused to count as brain injury, that number still does not make up for the difference.
All of that being said there has been a slight trend down in concussions since January; there have been only eight discovered concussions since our last posting. Some of it may be due to better and cleaner play, maybe fewer fights (anyone want to look that up), perhaps more respect, maybe even more non-obstruction calls (slowing the game down). What is disturbing to this veteran concussion researcher is that the NHL has had a massive spike in the “upper body injury” and “undisclosed” injuries post All-Star Game. As of today there is a 40% increase in concussions versus last year. The total number of 98 is the exact total of the entire regular season last year.
Here are our current statistics, we will be using 60 games as the “game nights” at this time;
- 0.051 Head/Concussion per Game (0.056)
- 1.63 Head/Concussion per “Game Night” (1.80)
- 14.20% of the original active NHL roster has been affected (13.04)
- Team Breakdown:
- NYI – 7
- MIN, PHI, PIT – 6
- BUF, CAR, CHI, COL, OTW – 5
- BOS, CLB, FLA, NAS, STL – 4
- NYR, PHX, TOR – 3
- CAL, DAL, DET, EDM, SJ, TB, VAN, WAS – 2
- LA, NJ, WIN – 1
- ANA, MTL – 0
Still no concussions for two teams, seems very unlikely considering the incidence of concussions in the sport. There are some reports that Montreal has a concussion or two on their hands but has not revealed them. Even if it is true, no concussions, those teams should be in contact with the league to help all the other teams…