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Are NHL Teams Still Not Taking Concussions Seriously?

Chris Pronger, Jeff Skinner, James Reimer and Sidney Crosby.  The link?  All have had periods of injury this season where their clubs have veiled the severity of the injury either by masking it or under-reporting it.

Pronger was diagnosed with a “virus” before it finally came out that he was suffering from post-concussion syndrome, and had knee surgery at the same time.  Skinner was hit by Andy Sutton last week and was shaky, and missed the next game with what the club was calling “flu-like symptoms”.  Reimer missed significant time early in the season with the Leafs avoiding the use of the term “concussion”, instead using “whiplash symptoms”.  Finally, this week Crosby was held out of two games for “precautionary reasons”, and now it has been revealed he is having more symptoms from the concussion he suffered in January. 

Is it possible that even with the increased scrutiny, that NHL teams are still playing games with players heads (literally)?  Is it not more beneficial to the safety of the players involved to be more outright and straight-forward when these issues are present.  If they are doing this to avoid the new protocols that have been instilled into how head injuries are to be handled, then they are doing the league, its players and its fans a huge dis-service.

As someone who has experienced a concussion first-hand, they are scary and no fun at all.  Yet some teams and players seem to want to brush it off and minimize the impact it has on them.  All for the sake of being able to return sooner, or not to have it count towards their “record” of confirmed concussions.

Its time for the league and its teams to start calling a spade a spade when it comes to head injuries.  Upper-body and lower-body are fine when it comes to shoulder or groin injuries, but transparency needs to be there when the melon is involved.

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Tags: Chris Pronger Concussions James Reimer Jeff Skinner Sidney Crosby

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