“The thing that I worry about,” Kariya said in an interview, “is that you’ll get a guy who is playing with a concussion, and he gets hit, and he dies at centre ice. Can you imagine what would happen to the league if a guy dies at centre ice?”
Paul Kariya was a super-star of his time, after sitting out the last year due to post-concussive events he has decided that 989 points in 989 games was good enough to call it a career. In a VERY candid way by calling out the NHL for what he sees as a major issue with the sport, article from Mail and Globe and Eric Duhatscheck;
Kariya believes that because there are no visible outward symptoms of concussion, NHL teams tend to play them down to their players. He contrasted it to the treatment levels accorded to a player who suffered a major knee injury. Continue reading
The Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest in Toronto has worked a deal with the National Hockey League Alumni Association to investigate for a link to long-term brain damage. The Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle took a quick look at what this could mean;
Did their playing careers cause long-term damage? Are they more at risk of developing symptoms such as dementia because of the blows to the head they suffered on the ice?
Using neurocognitive testing and advanced imaging techniques the hope is to discover a link (if it exists) to repeated head trauma and early dementia and other issues such as CTE;
“There are certainly some of our members that have early onset [of the disease]. Whether that’s just the typical aging process or they’re one of the population that this struck, we really don’t know.”
The alumni association hopes the study can help current and future players as well by letting the league know exactly what the risks involved are.
“If it does come out that it’s concussions [causing health issues] then I think the NHL would definitely act on it,” Napier said. “But we don’t know. Let’s just find out first and then you can take steps later.”