Sports department for the student run radio station 90.3 WRST at UW-Oshkosh
The NFL is not the only major sports league that is trying to cut down on concussions. The NHL has really been making strides towards getting rid of a growing trend of concussion related injuries and have been handing out hefty penalties to those who deliver blows to the head.
The NHL updated it’s concussion protocol on March 16, 2011. When there is a player suspected of having a concussion, they are removed from the game and sent to a quiet so they can be examined by the on-site team physician. In the past when a player was thought to have suffered a concussion, he would be evaluated by the team doctor in the bench area and then taken to a quiet place if the player failed the concussion test.
This change came after star Pittsburgh Penguin Sidney Crosby suffered a concussion from a hit to the head by Victor Hedman. Crosby suffered the blow on January 5 of 2011 and he didn’t play his next NHL game until the following season on November 21. Crosby’s symptoms would return in December and wouldn’t return until March 15 of 2012 and has been relatively problem free ever sicne.
The NHL did not want a star player to go through what Crosby endured and have started making players pay massive prices for hits to the head. The NHL for most hits to the head have been giving a five game suspension to first time offenders, 10-games to second time offenders, and then up to 25-games for those that continue their violent ways. These suspentions do vary based on the severity and brutality of the hit, but these guidelines have been the norm the past couple of season in professional hockey.
Just recently Patrick Kaleta was suspended by former NHL Left Winger current chief player disciplinarian of the NHL Brendan Shannahan. Kaleta received a 10-game suspension for his hit to the temple of Columbus Blue Jackets defensemen Jack Johnson on October 10th. He was a second time offender and was wacked with a five game ban on New York Rangers center Brad Richards last season, costing him $72,000.
What’s interesting is the fact that Kaleta could have further appealed this suspention thanks to the new collective bargaining, but decided not to. The suspension will cause him to lose $152,439 which shows that players are accepting responsibility for their actions and making a conscious effort to make the game safer.
While Sidney Crosby’s injury may have deflated the NHL in the short term, the long term effects may pay dividends for the league. Both players and executives are looking out for the safety of the brave warriors that compete on the ice and that will keep both the stars and benchwarmers of the game in better healthy. Hockey’s popularity has been growing recently and it’s concussion crackdown is both rational for business and player healthy.
Wide World of Sports:
Representatives of the Oneida Indian Nation and Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder had a 90-minute meeting to discuss the Redskins masot. The Onieda representatives called the use of the team name as a promotion of “a dictionary-defined racial slur.” Many different news agencies and talk shows have turn the Washington organization to shreds the past few years for use of the Redskins name. Snyder told the press before the season that the Redskins would “NEVER change their name,” he even wanted the word never in all caps. An interesting note by Michael A. Freidman is that the name Redskins has been changed by 28 different high schools in the past 25 years. How long the name Redskins will be associate with the Washington football franchise is very much coming under attack right now.