NHL Making Mockery of Concussions in Playoffs

You know how I feel about hockey, I love it; and playoff hockey is even more exciting.  The best sporting event I have ever attended was Game 6 of the Detroit/Colorado Series in 1997, there is just something about playoff hockey.  There is also one thing that is becoming more evident about playoff hockey; complete lack of consistency regarding player safety, in particular concussions.

On Friday Ryan Lambert wrote a very poignant article about the “concussion culture” and why it “sucks”.  He basically took to task the NHL and their scaling back of awareness and proper management of the concussion;

We take concussions very seriously,” says the National Hockey League.

“Oh really? That’s great,” says the sports fan. “How?”

“Umm well you see…” replies the NHL, trailing off and looking at the tops of its feet. Continue reading

NHL Post Season Concussion Report #4 UPDATE

Throughout the year we have been chronicling concussions in the National Hockey League and now the sport is in the post season.  We will be noting any concussion we can find; that are both ACTUALLY listed and suspected.

UPDATE: Thanks to @ewheeler1976 Patrice Bergeron was a concussion actually listed, well it wasn’t until today that it changed from a “upper body injury” to “mild concussion”.  Have I mentioned what I think about “mild” concussions?  This brings the post season total to 11 known and a couple that are questionable.

There have been no “concussions” in the past week, not really surprising.  While searching for injury information and finding videos of players during the game while they were hurt I noticed something.  Any lower body injury and upper body injury not including the head was easy to find; even on NHL.com.  However, when looking for head injuries or suspected head injuries they were very difficult to find; usually need someone independent putting it on YouTube.  I just thought I would throw that out there…

This week there have been two suspicious listings first is Adam McQuaid with a “sprained neck”, Continue reading

Lightning Get Struck Twice

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 Continue reading

NHL Post Season Concussion Report #2

Throughout the year we have been chronicling concussions in the National Hockey League and now the sport is in the post season.  We will be noting any concussion we can find; that are both ACTUALLY listed and suspected.

There seemed to be a slow down on concussion is the playoffs over the past week.  That was not without trying from players, as Raffi Torres was just one amongst a lot of players that “laid the wood” this past week.  Now I must say that like Gary Bettman, I love the big hit, but I love the CLEAN big hit.  I am not, nor will I ever be a fan of a hit that deliberately targets the head, or is so vicious/blind sided that it causes a head injury.

A prime example is the picture above (via Puck Daddy at Yahoo! Sports) that Greg Wyshynski wrote about; Continue reading

NHL Post Season Concussion Report #1

Throughout the year we have been chronicling concussions in the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League and now both sports are in the post season.  Obviously there have been more concussions in the NHL than the NBA but this time of year will lend itself to more “exposure” to the injuries sustained on the court or ice.  We will be noting those injuries that are both ACTUALLY listed and suspected.

The NHL on the other hand had 98 incidences of concussions or “concussion like symptoms”, so the chances of seeing these in the playoffs are pretty good.  In fact, based on the league stats we can expect to see one every game night (between all those playing).  However with the M.O. of the NHL finding all the concussions will be difficult; case-in-point Shaone Morrisonn of the Buffalo Sabres, I give you Exhibit 1;

The Sabres called up Persson from Portland on an emergency basis because Shaone Morrisonn has an upper-body injury. The Sabres are saying he is day to day but the injury is believed to be concussion-related after Morrisonn was crunched by Braydon Coburn during the third period of Game One.

Morrisonn was listed back in December with a concussion, this would be his second. Continue reading

NHL Concussion Report: End of Regular Season (98)

Each week we 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.

This week has been extremely difficult to mine out any injury let alone a concussion.  Sixteen of the 30 teams will be playing more games, high intensity games, winner moves on games; letting an opponent know about an injury would weaken them.  Meh!  That is ridiculous, how about the NHL players start respecting one another out there, it is 2011 not 1975.

Add to that, not listing head injuries is doing a disservice to the league, the players and its fans; knowing the extent of the concussion issue should be a priority.  Without a beginning how will anyone know if there is improvement?

Now with that rant out-of-the-way we can present to you 98 listed or very suspicious listings dealing with the head/concussion.  There are about 5 others that remain a mystery from earlier in the season and plenty of “undisclosed” injuries appearing this week as well.

The new additions to the list this week are; Continue reading

NHL Concussion Report 4.4.11

Each week we 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.

As suspected the actual listing of any injury, let alone a concussion, is becoming more and more shrouded in secrecy.  As the playoffs near not one team wants to give and advantage to an opponent.  And apparently they don’t want us to know the “real” numbers with concussions.

Never-the-less, the National Hockey League has now reached the number; 93 in terms of head/concussion injuries.  Why is this number significant?  It was the previous high for reported concussions set last season, prior to that each season was averaging low 70’s.  With generally three games remaining until post season there is a pretty good chance that number will climb.

Here are the new additions to the list; Continue reading

NHL Concussion Report 3.28.11 (UPDATED)

Each week we 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.

As we get nearer the playoffs there will be MANY more “undisclosed” or “upper body” injuries that will encompass the head.  The general reasoning is the “old school” method of not letting the opponent know where to target.  However, with rules in place to protect the head and hits that effect the head than listings like these are archaic in this authors mind.  Granted that some reporters do not know about or want to speculate about injuries sustained, there are some obvious indications that, to me, get overlooked.

The biggest case recently has been the Johan Franzen case, where after a game he told reporters that he has sustained a concussion, but now is listed as a groin injury.  Never the less we have added four players to the list, bringing the total to 89 90; Continue reading

NHL Concussion Report 3.21.11

Each week we 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 are down to only one NHL team that has not had a reported concussion.  As of last week there were three; Carolina, Ottawa and San Jose.  Carolina is the only team this season to not have a player concussed, and with generally 10 games remaining the Hurricanes have escaped thus far.

Today we can present there have been 84 listings (will be updated through Monday if needed), some of which we have gone “CSI” on and read reports-watched video and took the liberty of classifying them as concussions/head due to mechanism of injury and listed symptoms.  Regardless we feel that this list is very comprehensive and accurate.  Some statistics that we have for you this week; Continue reading

NHL Concussion Report 3.14.11 (UPDATE)

Each week we 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.

As the general managers meet in Florida, perhaps they would like to know this number…  78 79.  That is the current number of players that have been listed as “concussion”, “head”, or some other ailment that with further investigation resulted in those players having what was believed to be a concussion.  I don’t know if I have mentioned this but “upper body” and “disclosed” are poor listings and should be readdressed.  New to this week I have included some statistics, but first the added players since last report; Continue reading

NHL Concussion Report 3.7.11

Each week we 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.

After a week with no reports of concussions this week we have found and added two more players to the list;

  • Steven Kampfer – Boston
  • Theo Peckham – Edmonton

This brings the total concussions to 72 a number near where the NHL stated the league average was; until last year when there were a reported 92.  We will see how the last month-plus will go for the league.

NHL Concussion Report 2.28.11

Each week we 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.

This week has been very quiet on the concussion front.  Other than some “undisclosed” and “upper body” injuries that are very suspect there is nothing to add this week.  The total remains at 70 for the season thus far, making this season on pace for the most reported.  With the NHL Superstar Sidney Crosby continued to be sidelined by concussion symptoms, the NHL must grasp this issue to its fullest. Continue reading

NHL Concussion Report 2.21.11 (UPDATED: 70)

Each week we 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.

The list has grown, but Grabovski is not on there, however some players have been reclassified to concussion or head injury.  New additions this week;

  • Jonas Hiller – Anaheim (was initially “fatigue”)
  • Brad Richards – Dallas
  • Marian Gaborik – New York Rangers
  • David Schlemko – Phoenix (2nd different concussion listing)
  • Aaron Asham – Pittsburgh (from undisclosed to concussion after injury on 2/2)

This makes our running total of concussion listings at 69…  I will note that as of late more and more head injuries are being classified on the injury report.  I hope this is due to the need for more awareness and not due to the fact of actual increased injuries.  I happen to think it is the former.

UPDATE 2.22.11: It is now being reported the Nick Johnson, out since a fight in Denver has a concussion.  That now brings the total to 70 concussions in the NHL this year.

NHL Concussion Report 2.14.11 (UPDATED)

Each week we 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.

It is Valentine’s Day, time to give some love to the NHL; the league is beginning the monumental effort of taking on the task of concussions in their sport.  Perhaps, this is because football is now in hibernation, or that their biggest star may be out for some time.  Regardless, the list has exploded this week, adding 7 more players (as of late last night, we will update as needed).

The NY Times reported the concussion totals from the NHL the past few seasons;

  • ’06-’07 = 72
  • ’07-’08 = 74
  • ’08-’09 = 73
  • ’09-’10 = 82

As you have read many of times on this blog Continue reading

NHL Concussion Report 2.7.11

Each week we 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.

The Concussion Blog Original of keeping track of NHL concussion is back after a week off due to All-Star action.  The biggest name on the list, Sidney Crosby, continues to be out of action, but more have made the list.

New Additions;

  • Comeau, Blake, NYI
  • Green, Mike, WAS

Total NHL Concussions = 55

As we have ranted about many times; suspicious listings of injuries keep popping up, for example a goalie, Jonas Hiller, has been listed to have “fatigue”, which is very possible, but quotes from him like this give reason to pause;

“(I’m) a little worn down, a little light-headed,” Hiller told the Orange County Register following Saturday’s 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. “It’s weird. I don’t know. It doesn’t seem right.

There are other listings like “inner-ear” and “orbital bone fracture” that may indeed be the case, however those could also be associated with concussive type forces or symptoms.  The NHL is the KING of misinformation regarding injury, and for the most part it has merit (other players will target injury).  However, when it comes to the head nothing should be hidden, as getting a total grasp on the issue at had is paramount.

NHL Concussion Report 1.24.11 (UPDATED)

Each week we 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.

New additions;

  • Alex Hemsky – Edmonton Oilers
  • Colton Orr – Toronto Maple Leafs
  • David Schlemko – Phoenix Coyotes

Total NHL Concussion listings = 52

UPDATE: Marc Savard – Boston Bruins, new total 53

NHL Concussion Report 12/12/10 UPDATED

This is the list of current players on the injured list for concussions or suspected head injuries (^=new);

  • Shaone Morrisonn, BUF
  • Raitis Ivanans, CAL
  • Viktor Stalberg, CHI^
  • Peter Mueller, COL
  • Kyle Cumiskey, COL
  • Nick Schultz, MIN^
  • Matthew Lombardi, NAS
  • Bryce Salvador, NJ
  • Derek Boogaard, NYR^
  • Ian Laperriere, PHI
  • Kurt Sauer, PHX
  • David Perron, STL
  • Andy McDonald, STL

Two new addition this week that brings the total concussions to 40 thus far.  The addition of Boogaard is based on reports from the New York Post via this blog post.  Again another shining example of how concussions are missed/not reported in the NHL.  Too many “undisclosed” or “upper body” listings.  Maybe the NHL should look at this to uncover the real story?

UPDATE 12/22: Viktor Stalberg was outed in a local media report in Chicago.  Case in point.

NHL Concussion Report 12/6

This is the list of current players on the injured list for concussions or suspected head injuries (^=new);

  • Shaone Morrisonn, BUF^
  • Raitis Ivanans, CAL
  • Peter Mueller, COL
  • Kyle Cumiskey, COL
  • Matthew Lombardi, NAS
  • Bryce Salvador, NJ
  • Ian Laperriere, PHI
  • Kurt Sauer, PHX
  • David Perron, STL

The list of injured is clearing up a bit, that is GREAT news, however….I am starting to get a bit upset at the NHL and their so-called reporting of head injuries.  Take for example injuries like a broken cheek bone.  Don’t you think that a force great enough to break a facial bone would be sufficient to cause a concussion?  All the “undisclosed” and “upper-body” listings make this nearly impossible.

Commissioner Bettman, you must implore your teams and organization to take concussions seriously.  A good first step would be the full disclosure of the injuries and not hiding behind the sublime.  The rest of the hockey world will not take this pressing issue seriously until your league does so.

We have one confirmed new case, bringing the total to 36.  According to a group out of Canada the number is 33, however if we were to include the injuries that may also bring concussion, (i.e. broken jaws, broken facial bones, neck injuries and such), the number may be into the 40’s.

NHL Concussion Report 11/29

This is the list of current players on the injured list for concussions or suspected head injuries (^=new);

  • Matt Beleskey, ANA
  • Kyle Chipchura, ANA
  • Marc Savard, BOS
  • Raitis Ivanans, CAL
  • Peter Mueller, COL
  • Kyle Cumiskey, COL
  • Kyle Quincey, COL
  • David Koci, COL (broken jaw)
  • Pierre-Marc Brouchard, MIN
  • Matthew Lombardi, NAS
  • Bryce Salvador, NJ
  • Jack Hillen, NYI
  • Ian Laperriere, PHI
  • Kurt Sauer, PHX
  • David Perron, STL
  • Simon Gagne, TB

For the first week all season we have not added any new concussions to the list, the count is still 35…

NHL Concussion Report 11/22

This is the list of current players on the injured list for concussions or suspected head injuries (^=new);

  • Matt Beleskey, ANA
  • Kyle Chipchura, ANA
  • Marc Savard, BOS
  • Raitis Ivanans, CAL
  • Peter Mueller, COL
  • Kyle Cumiskey, COL
  • Kyle Quincey, COL
  • David Koci, COL^ (broken jaw)
  • Ladislav Smid, EDM^
  • Pierre-Marc Brouchard, MIN
  • Matthew Lombardi, NAS
  • Bryce Salvador, NJ
  • Jack Hillen, NYI^
  • Ian Laperriere, PHI
  • Kurt Sauer, PHX
  • Carlo Colaiacovo, STL
  • David Perron, STL
  • Simon Gagne, TB
  • Mike Knuble, WAS^ (face)

The count is now 35…

NHL Concussion Report 11/15

This is the list of current players on the injured list for concussions or suspected head injuries (^=new);

  • Matt Beleskey, ANA
  • Kyle Chipchura, ANA
  • Marc Savard, BOS
  • David Krejci, BOS
  • Raitis Ivanans, CAL
  • Peter Mueller, COL
  • Kyle Cumiskey, COL
  • Kyle Quincey, COL
  • Pierre-Marc Brouchard, MIN
  • Matthew Lombardi, NAS
  • Bryce Salvador, NJ
  • Ian Laperriere, PHI
  • Kurt Sauer, PHX
  • Carlo Colaiacovo, STL
  • David Perron, STL
  • Simon Gagne, TB^ (listed as neck)

The count is now 31

NHL Concussion Report 11/1 (UPDATED)

This is the list of current players on the injured list for concussions or suspected head injuries, most teams have played 10 games (1/8 of the season in);

  • Matt Beleskey, ANA^
  • Brian Little, ATL
  • Marc Savard, BOS
  • Jason Pominville, BUF
  • Raitis Ivanans, CAL
  • Peter Mueller, COL
  • Adam Foote, COL
  • Drew Doughty, LAK
  • Pierre-Marc Brouchard, MIN
  • Antti Miettnen, MIN
  • Matthew Lombardi, NAS
  • Bryce Salvador, NJ
  • Ian Laperriere, PHI
  • Andrej Meszaros, PHI^
  • Keith Ballard, VAN
  • Kyle Chipchura, ANA^
  • Carlo Colaiacovo, STL^

With the two new additions (added some last week in the previous listings), the total is now 23…24…25…

NHL Concussion Report 10/25 (updated)

This is the list of current players on the injured list for concussions or suspected head injuries;

  • Ondrej Pavelec, ATL
  • Marc Savard, BOS
  • Jason Pominville, BUF
  • Raitis Ivanans, CAL
  • Peter Mueller, COL
  • Adam Foote, COL^
  • Pierre-Marc Brouchard, MIN
  • Matthew Lombardi, NAS
  • Bryce Salvador, NJ
  • Ian Laperriere, PHI
  • Cam Jansen, STL
  • Keith Ballard, VAN
  • Drew Doughty, LAK^
  • Brian Little, ATL^
  • Antti Miettnen, MIN^

^ = New to list this week.

Also to note that the NHL continues to hide their injuries. Head injuries should not be hidden! Good to see Nashville change the report on Matthew Lombardi. This list is only compiled on this blog on Mondays. There is a possibility that a concussive episode would occur on a Monday night and not be reported next week because of return to play.

TOTAL = 21

NHL Concussion Report 10/18

These players are listed as having a concussion or head injury.

  • Ondrej Pavelec, ATL
  • Marc Savard, BOS
  • Jason Pominville, BUF
  • Raitis Ivanas, CAL
  • Rene Bourque, CAL
  • Peter Mueller, COL
  • Jamie Benn, DAL
  • Johan Franzen, DET
  • Pierre-Marc Bouchard, MIN
  • Marcel Goc, NAS (upper body)
  • Matthew Lombardi, NAS (upper body)
  • Bryce Salvador, NJ
  • Ian Laperriere, PHI
  • Cam Janssen, STL
  • Keith Ballard, VAN

11 concussions last week, 9 still remain from last week, 6 new ones.  TOTAL = 17

Again the NHL has a problem with fully disclosing head injuries (well any injury), the Goc and Lombardi concussions are found via web search about the injuries.  C’mon NHL.

NHL Concussion Report 10/11

These players are listed as out or on injured reserve with concussion/head/symptoms of concussion;

  • Toni Lyndman, Anaheim
  • Ondrej Pravelec, Atlanta
  • Marc Savard, Boston
  • Rene Bourque, Calgary (listed as “upper-body”, you should see the hit he took)
  • Peter Mueller, Colorado
  • Jamie Benn, Dallas
  • Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Minnesota
  • Bryce Salvador, New Jersey
  • John Tavares, New York Islanders
  • Ian Laperriere, Philladelphia
  • Cam Janssen, St. Louis

Some other players are listed as “undisclosed” and “upper-body” that are suspect.  The NHL NEEDS to list concussions, all sports need to list concussions.