Ryan's Rant - Concussions and Accountability

Article Thumbnail

By Terry Ryan

The NHL and all hockey players need to have accountability when it comes to concussions. 


Just a thought, but when are people in the hockey world going to listen up and realize that the more you try and remove fighting from the game, the concussion rate increases?  I have been in over 300 fights in my career (I am counting Senior Hockey and training camps for those of you who refer to internet sources) including 34 in one season in the AHL in 1997-98.  I have had one major concussion (in which post concussion syndrome lasted over a year) and 2 or 3 minor ones (that I know of) which all came from hits to my jaw/head.  In my point of view, players today are less accountable than they have had to be in the past and therefore head injuries are on the rise. 

Combined with newer rules whereby holding up players is now a penalty, the game has picked up speed.  This is good for fans, but bad for players like Dean Macammond of Ottawa a few years back who was hit by Steve Downie for example.  Downie - who would have been held up by another member of the Senators in the "old" system - is reckless anyway and probably would have been in any era, but nonetheless there is no denying the major increase in head trauma in professional hockey recently and in my opinion it directly correlates with the slow elimination of fighting from the game and the free-wheeling style of the "new" rules.  We can look at example after example. Most recently, Daniel Briere of Philly took matters into his own hands with Frans Nielson of NYI with a swift stick to the head and was suspended 3 games.  This is just one of many instances recently giving the NHL (and hockey itself) a bad name.  In my opinion, in any given past hockey era there would be more hesitancy on Briere's part to use a stick so recklessly.

Open ice hits?  Well they have always been a part of the game (See: Scott Stevens) but nowadays they are much more frequent given the obstruction penalties.

On top of all this, each new, formulaic, money-generating, luxury booth filled arena has glass as hard as concrete so players heads have nowhere to absrob the blows they take on a nightly basis.  Something has got to give, and I think it already has.  I say go back to the old playbook.  After all, it seemed to work for guys like Lemieux and Gretzky and fans were certainly entertained.


Check Back Every Week For 'Ryan's Rant', By Terry Ryan.


Also Watch For Terry Ryan's book, 'Tales Of A First Round Nothing'.



blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Odds

Pick Archive




View all pro picks

Subscribe Here To Receive News, Updates
and Picks Sent Directly To Your Inbox
I agree to the .

Connect with BetOnHockey.com