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Bettman introduces measures to curb concussions

Posted on: March 14, 2011 3:12 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2011 6:01 pm
 


NHL commissioner Gary Bettman introduced a five-step plan to reduce concussions on the first day of the league’s general managers meetings on Monday. 

"There's no one single thing that is causing concussions," Bettman said. "In fact, the trend as to why concussions happen is different than a lot of people are suggesting or speculating."

Here’s the proposal Bettman laid out in Boca Raton, Fla., to stem the league's vexing concussion problem: 
  • Brendan Shanahan, the former NHL player who now serves as NHL vice-president of hockey and business development, will work with manufacturers to improve equipment. One thought, Bettman said, is to make player equipment smaller.
  • The NHL, the first major North American sports with a concussion protocol, will revise its guidelines. If a player is thought to have a concussion, he must be removed from the bench and put in a quiet area where he’ll be assessed by a doctor, not just an athletic trainer. He will then be required to undergo the most recent Sport Concussion Assessment Tool. Here's a look at the SCAT2 protocol.
  • Coaches and the team will be penalized for players deemed to repeat offenders to rules that prohibit hits to the head. Call it the Trevor Gillies Rule. This will have to be approved by the Board of Governors, so it won't be in place until next season.
  • Safety engineers will conduct an inspection of each of the league’s 30 rinks to make sure they conform to new safety standards. This comes days after some experts pointed to the lack of sufficient padding on the divider Montreal’s Max Pacioretty collided with after a check form Boston’s Zdeno Chara.  The league will look at banning seamless glass currently in use at six rinks. 
  • The league will assemble a “blue ribbon panel” to continue studying concussions. The panel will include former NHL defenseman Rob Blake, Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman and Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk and will work with the competition committee to suggest new rules to protect players.


"We welcome these steps and look forward to discussing these and other issues with the NHL to provide a safer working environment for the players," National Hockey League Players’ AssociationExecutive Director Don Fehr said in a statement.

The general managers were shown a video breakdown of almost every concussion over the last two seasons along with statistical data, which revealed accidental concussions have nearly doubled from a season ago.

Bettman said 70 percent of concussions this season had accidental causes, like legal hits, teammates running into one another or players taking a puck off the head. Illegal hits accounted for 17 percent -- down nine percent from 2009-10 -- and fighting resulted in eight percent of concussions. The cause of the reaming concussions could not be determined. 

"This notion that the players have no respect for each other and they're going around hitting each other on the head on a regular basis and that's what's causing all the concussions just isn't accurate," Bettman said.

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images

Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 9:50 pm
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Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: March 15, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Bettman introduces measures to curb concussions

Personally, I wouldn't think that makes much of a difference then, because if you're being hit into any board, it's going to leave an impact.  There is a difference I'm sure, but imo it would be neglible.  Hitting a board is hitting a board is hitting a board.

Blitzylvania, you'd be surprised how much of a hit is absorbed by the additional movement in the glass. It does make a difference. It's been a cause of injuries snice it was introduced. Announcers commented on its rigidness several times, and gald to see them finally discussing it.



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2011 3:49 pm
 

Bettman introduces measures to curb concussions

The seamless glass is the glass that doesn't use the long stanchions to hold it in place, and just has the clip at the top. It's a touch thicker, I believe, and the boards are designed with less give to limit movement, making it more of a wall, and less of a barrier.
Ahhh. 

Than the Wells Fargo Center is one of those 6 rinks I believe. 

Flyers-Habs about a month back, saw a shot crack the glass behind the net (and it was funny, a second slap hit the spot again, and it spider-webbed even more).  Right after the play stopped, arena workers came out and quickly replaced it.  Clips came off, board came down, new board went up, clips went on.  Very quick and impressive.

Personally, I wouldn't think that makes much of a difference then, because if you're being hit into any board, it's going to leave an impact.  There is a difference I'm sure, but imo it would be neglible.  Hitting a board is hitting a board is hitting a board.



Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: March 15, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Bettman introduces measures to curb concussions

For illegal (dirty) hits, I like the idea of punishing the player and team. I've read some of the suggestions, how about this to add to the debate:

- Clean hit that results in an injury- No suspension or fine
- Player gets injured as a result of a minor penalty, like tripping or interference (Chara incident, in my view)- Nothing for first offense, fine for second, suspensions in multiples of 3 to follow.
- Dirty hit / first offense- 10 games w/ fine
- Dirty hit by repeat offender for 2nd offense- 20 games w/ fine, plus the team gets fine as well.
- Dirty hit by repeat offender for 3rd offense- 30 games w/ fine, the team gets fine as well, plus they cannot fill his spot on the roster during his suspension.
- 4th offense- Gone for season, playoffs included. Team is fined, can't fill spot for remainder of season, plus loses 1st round draft pick. If incident occurs with less than 40 games remaining in season, suspension carries over to next season. Playoff game don't count.
- 5th offense- Career over. Team is fined, loses first round pick, and has to operate next 2 seasons under a $3 million cap hit.

*** All money collected from fines will go to the NHL's favorite charities (Hockey Fights Cancer, Hockey for Huggies, Phoenix Coyotes). Cheap shot, I know. But, it made me chuckle.




Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: March 15, 2011 3:09 pm
 

Bettman introduces measures to curb concussions

If anyone remembers the padding that Shanahan wore, I think he was the last to wear the flimsy padding from the prior generations. I know Sher-Wood starting making them again. Or you pad them even more, to the point where they look like the fat skaters from Nintendo's Ice Hockey game.

Seriously, though, the game is just too fast to come up with solutions in some of the realms they are looking. I'll bet that you'd see a drop off in numbers of head injuries if the 2-line pass were reinstated. Automatic icing, too. Another thing I'd like to see is the regulation for, and not sure if they have a rule for it, the vertical curve of the stick. If I remember correctly, they loosened the rule of the regular stick curve, which used to be, by rule of thumb, when laying the stick flat, if you could slide a dime underneath the curve, it was illegal. But, the curve, or angle I should say, I'm talking about is at the toe of the blade, where the top of the blade is set back from the bottom, opening up the blade to allow more lift to the shot (Euro curve). Too many pucks to the face.



Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: March 15, 2011 2:48 pm
 

Bettman introduces measures to curb concussions

The seamless glass is the glass that doesn't use the long stanchions to hold it in place, and just has the clip at the top. It's a touch thicker, I believe, and the boards are designed with less give to limit movement, making it more of a wall, and less of a barrier.



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2011 2:10 pm
 

Bettman introduces measures to curb concussions

What is this "seamless glass" that is in use at 6 rinks?  Is it that the glass is all one solid piece all the way around or what?



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2011 1:55 pm
 

Bettman introduces measures to curb concussions

i've stated before Chara was no more culpable for what happened to Pacioretty than countless other "hits" we see night after night.You see only two possible scenarios in your "humble opinion" yet with a pronounced lack of humility you disdainfully brush aside any other viewpoint.I don't deny Chara went after Pacioretty but malicious,premeditated intent,i don't think so and as for "willfully reckless" i'm not sure i understand what that means but it seems to be a catch all phrase that can be directed at any incident with brings about an occurrence you are unhappy with.Pacioretty himself may therefore have been "willfully reckless"when he slammed his forearm into the back of Mark Eatons neck forcing his head onto the glass.But in my humble opinion the Pacioretty hit on Eaton was clearly done with malicious and premeditated intent.



Since: Aug 10, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 9:37 am
 

Bettman introduces measures to curb concussions

Or you could let them fight again.  Don't remember this being a problem before fighting was scaled back to make it  more agreeable to the people who don't watch Hockey.
Hate to make it sound as if I'm defending Bettman here, but when fighting was scaled back, concussions weren't looked at as closely as they are now.  Dollars to donuts there were every bit as many concussions in the 70's, 80's and 90's as there are now.  Maybe more.



Since: Apr 10, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 7:57 am
 

Bettman introduces measures to curb concussions

Or you could let them fight again.  Don't remember this being a problem before fighting was scaled back to make it  more agreeable to the people who don't watch Hockey.


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