What started in an increase last year, with Bryce Salvador from the New Jersey Devils and Sidney Crosby from the Pittsburgh Penguins, the 2011-2012 season has had a number of players out indefinitely due to concussions, with several other players out from concussion and then coming back – let’s see how long that lasts.
After a short return by Sidney Crosby for only 8 games from the lingering effects of his concussion in January 2011, Crosby played 8 games before being ruled out the remainder of the 2011-2012 NHL season, a blow to the Penguins, even if they are surviving ok so far.
The Philidelphia Flyers had a massive scare with two of their players getting concussed, with Chris Pronger, their Captain and number 1 defenseman, out indefinitely for the remainder of the season and Claude Giroux, their number 1 points leader out for several games from a concussion but has now returned. Obviously the question with this is how long will he last, as we have seen Crosby and other players sidelined. Ottawa’s Milan Michalek is additionally out from concussion, and is looking to return some time after Christmas.
As previously mentioned, New Jersey Devil’s Bryce Salvador was sidelined for almost the whole 2010-2012 season, however has made a return for the 2011-2012 season, and appears to be surviving ok so far without any ongoing effects.
As the season goes on, it will be interesting to see just how the remainder of the league goes in regards to concussions, if new cases appear, and if any returning players suffer from Post Concussion Syndrome to sideline them again. Whilst the NHL and Brendan Shanahan (Director of Player Discipline) are tightening the rules in regards to illegal and bad hits, as well as changing the rules each season to protect the players, injuries are still a part of the game. With physical injuries able to heal or be fixed, concussions can severely impact a person for the rest of their lives due to the damage to the brain and skull.
With Christmas just around the corner, we do wish everyone happy holidays and safe travels, and that NHL players remain safe and that concussions appear as little as possible, and any player injured makes a full recovery.
Have a joyous start to the new year, and that 2012 brings the Stanley Cup to your team (not really, here’s hoping the New Jersey Devils!)