Hockey Concussions; A Sleeping Giant?

With the sport of hockey getting a primetime start in a game outdoors, taking a quick look at how concussions may effect the sport is in order.  There is more professional hockey than the NHL in North America; in the United States (also including Canadian NHL teams) there are 114 professional hockey teams.  With an average of 21 players per team, that would be 2,394 players in lower North America.  This figure does not include the scores of Canadian hockey leagues and teams.

A recent study found that nearly 1 in 10 players suffered a concussion while playing hockey, leaving a stunning 239 players getting a concussion in a given year.  An article from the Calgary Herald, written by Alan Cameron examined just this.

“I remember driving home with my dad and he’d have to pull over because I had to throw up,” recalled Drader. “He’d say, ‘What’s wrong?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know. I can’t remember the game.’ But I’d be in the next game three days later. Nobody really knew what was going on until later.

“I’ve had doctors tell me that I shouldn’t be playing, but, obviously, with my love of the game, I didn’t listen to them. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, and it’s not a message I’d want to send to the kids.”

Tyler Drader is a current coach and former player, and he also Continue reading