It really is becoming unbelievable the amount of concussions we're seeing the NHL these days. What's more, it seems they keep striking the best players in the league.
Now you can put arguably the NHL's top defenseman, Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators, on that list. The Predators made the announcement on Tuesday that Weber, who missed Nashville's game on Monday night vs. the Red Wings, is out with a concussion and there is no timetable for his return.
The folks at Kukla's Korner found the play where it appears Weber would have suffered the concussion, either on the hit itself or on the ensuing hit with the ice. Take a look.
Weber takes a brutal shot on the play and to me it sure looks like it's an elbow from Mark Fistric right to Weber's head. The announcers describe it as Fistric "falling into Weber" but I don't see that, particularly on the last replay. The hit somehow went under the radar -- surprising since it's a star like Weber -- and Fistric wasn't handed any supplemental discipline from the league.
A request was sent to the NHL from CBSSports.com seeking an explanation as to why Fistric's hit didn't warrant a hearing. So far, there has been no response from the league.
Remember, Fistric was already suspended three games earlier this season for charging.
But back to the issue at hand. The Predators -- and hockey fans -- are going to be out the team's best player for who knows how long. It could be a short time, it could be long. Coach Barry Trotz makes it sound like it won't be long.
"He's recovering pretty well, I would say," Trotz said. "There's a chance [Weber could play] Friday."
The good news at least is that as far as we know, Weber hasn't had any concussions in the past.
There is never a good time for injuries like this, and this one comes at about as bad a time as it can for the Preds. They have ben struggling to stop teams of late, an odd occurrence under Trotz. In the last four games, opponents have scored 19 goals on them for an average of 4.75 per game.
Not to mention he has a big source of offense for a team that doesn't have a whole lot of it. So far this season, Weber leads the team in points with 29 and his eight goals are just two behind David Legwand for the team lead. That's an awful lot of slack to pick up.
The announcement comes on the same day that two other teams saw players go down with concussions. Simon Gagne of the Kings and John-Michael Liles of the Maple Leafs will be sidelined for the same reason.
There is no doubt in my mind this concussion issue -- not an "epidemic" according to the league -- will be discussed heavily this offseason and in CBA talks.