Last night the Tampa Bay Lightning took a one game to none lead over the number one seed Washington Capitals. However in that game two players for the Lightning were removed with head injuries. The most publicized and dramatic of the injuries was Simon Gagne as seen in the video below;
Gagne has had a concussion history beginning in 2002, but was pretty clear until 2007 when with the Flyers he missed 26 games; only to miss another 44 the following year with more concussion issues. After Gagne’s head bounced off the ice like a basketball and he was clearly unconscious it would be easy to assume he sustained yet another concussion.
As if losing one of their wingers was not enough, Pavel Kubina was taken to the boards by Jason Chimera in a hit that should be and would be outlawed if contact to the head was eliminated. Chimera was assessed with a boarding minor when his elbow made clear contact to Kubina’s head. Kubina tried to return (not a good idea) only to be removed from the game after one shift following the hit.
I do want to make it clear that the Lightning have not “officially” announced either player sustained a concussion or head injury for that fact. What a freaking SHAM, coming on the heels of the Ryan Miller announcement you would think that maybe being honest and up front with the fans should be a priority. There have been multiple tweets and emails from die-hard fans to the TCB inbox expressing frustration for the lack of transparency with concussions. I have merely echoed their sentiments here; Gary Bettman we implore you to do two things. One, take all contact to the head out of the game of hockey and two, complete transparency from the beginning to the end of the injury. The later will allow for better understanding and research into head injuries in hockey, allowing for fans and those wanting to play the sport to make informed decisions.