USA TODAY's Kevin Allen indicated that "71 NHL players have lost a total of more than 850 games as of Sunday because of concussions." Maple Leafs President & GM Brian Burke said, "I don't think there is an epidemic. We are diagnosing them properly and the man-game losses are up because we are treating them properly." NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said that the concussion issue is "a difficult one and said the NHL is working to raise 'the level of awareness on the issue among our clubs, coaching and training staffs, team physicians, fans and, most importantly, our players'" (USA TODAY, 1/24).
CLEARING HIS NAME? Radio show host Dan Patrick citing a source yesterday "painted the rosiest of outcomes for Brewers leftfielder Ryan Braun, who reportedly has tested positive for a banned substance, made his appeal to an arbitration panel and is awaiting a decision." In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley noted Braun's appeal concluded Friday in N.Y. Patrick yesterday on his show said that he "learned the potential outcome of Braun's ordeal on Sunday." Patrick: "There was a lot of information -- there were stories, there were whispers -- that this was a personal issue, medical issue, that he was taking something ... that may have spiked his test. I since found out that that is not the case, from somebody involved in the process. Ryan Braun may be exonerated here. He may be found innocent. And judging from all the information I was told, there's a good chance that he should be" (JSONLINE.com, 1/23).
VOTE OF CONFIDENCE: FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said that UEFA President Michel Platini "is 'ready' to succeed him as the head of FIFA -- and that the Frenchman will make a good president of the game's world governing body." The PA reported Platini has "so far refused to confirm whether he will stand when Blatter steps down in 2015, but the current FIFA supremo is convinced that he wants the job" (PA, 1/23).