New York Rangers forward Rick Nash returned to the lineup Tuesday night against the Boston Bruins after missing six weeks with a head injury caused by a Brad Stuart elbow. The concussion was Nash’s second suffered over the last eight months. The entire ordeal has altered Number 61’s thinking about the dangers of playing hockey in the NHL and potentially attaining severe quality-of-life reducing injury from too many blows to the head. Ultimately, Nash admits that it’s on the players to prevent concussions. He told the New York Post:
“I understand that we don’t want to have huge suspensions for plays that are spontaneous and I’m OK with that, but the players as a group and the union have to take more responsibility for stopping these kinds of hits. It’s up to the guys to have more respect for each other and our careers.”
Quote, and many more very candid quotes from Rangers Rick Nash courtesy of the New York Post. Read full article here.
TSN have several great features at the dot com level. One of these highly informative web pages is a team-by-team injury report. According to TSN’s tracking, there are currently 7 NHL players listed with head or concussion injuries, not including Marc Savard and Chris Pronger. The report also reveals several players listed with “upper body injuries,” some of which could be concussion related. View full NHL team injury list here.
Good for Nash. Rule changes can only account for some prevention. The NHL game is lightning fast and brutally physical, at times. No one wants to see hitting removed from the product’s unique offering. However, if head-hitting remains an epidemic, the league may not have any choice but to take drastic measures. However, if every player simply takes the Nash approach, and makes a conscious effort to avoid perpetrating dangerous hits to an opponent’s head, concussions may become less prevalent.