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SBD/December 19, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Outbreak Of Players Suffering Concussions A Problem For NHL
Published December 19, 2011
SOMETHING MUST BE DONE: In N.Y., Pat Leonard wrote it is "difficult to avoid calling it an epidemic." NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "defended the league on his weekly radio show Thursday, reminding listeners that the NHL is fully aware of how serious the concussion issue is." Bettman: "We’re doing our best to be very proactive in terms of diagnosis and treatment." He cited the softer Plexiglass boards, concussion treatment protocols and stricter rules governing hits to the head. Bettman added, "It’s important, and people are working on it every day." But Leonard wrote Bettman is "missing the point." No one is "saying the NHL is doing nothing, and if they are, it's not true." What is "clear, however, is that the league's current measures to prevent concussions are not good enough" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/18). In DC, Tarik El-Bashir noted when "so many stars are sidelined simultaneously" -- including Penguins C Sidney Crosby, Senators LW Milan Michalek and Flyers D Chris Pronger -- the issues "need to be reexamined and serious questions must be considered" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/16). ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "This is a huge problem they seem to be dragging their feet on in the NHL." ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser said, “In hockey, the speed at which you are hit is amazing at this point. As Ken Dryden suggested today in Grantland, you can’t wait for the science on this. Your eyes should tell you that there is a real problem.” Wilbon: “You have to treat this like an emergency and it doesn’t seem like the league is” (“PTI,” ESPN, 12/16). The WATERLOO RECORD editorial stated hockey "can't be played without some risk." Professional players "understand that." But Crosby's concussion, its "lasting effects and the head injuries that continue to be suffered must prompt a more careful review of the game" (WATERLOO RECORD, 12/15). In Pittsburgh, Dejan Kovacevic lists his remedies for concussions in sports (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 12/19).