The NHL’s New Concussion Protocol

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(Antti Raanta was pulled during a Nov. 8th game with the Vancouver Canucks, and a cold Henrik Lundqvist went in.)

 

Concussions are the major issue in sports at the moment. The NFL will be dealing with former players and their struggles for at least another decade, and their history of how they approached the issue will not be in their favor. This has led other leagues to jump on defining their own protocol. The NHL, being a contact sport as well, has stepped up their approach, but its insane.

First of all they use “spotters” in the crowd to determine if a person on the ice has a concussion. This is pretty absurd. The game is extremely fast, with action happening at all areas on the ice, so much so even both referees miss things. Second, and the most absurd, what about goalies? Well luckily this past Tuesday a goalie was taken off the ice and like most NHL rule changes, it was a mess.

Antti Raanta was in net for the New York Rangers against the Vancouver Canucks when a collision caused him to be pushed into the net. It was determined he needed more evaluation and was pulled. Enter Henrik Lundqvist, one of the best goalies in the league…with zero time to warm up. How much sense does that make?! What genius came up with that idea?! Lundqvist was not happy about it, and nor should he be, its absurd, and I am not a Rangers fan by any means.

I applauded the want to come up with a concussion protocol, but who decided a goalie has to come into the game with no time to warm up? Hell, if a goalie has a knee injury the backup gets time to warm up, so why are concussions treated any differently? This is just another poorly thought out and executed change by a Gary Bettman led NHL. Once again the method of “Let’s just try it and see if it works,” has hurt the quality of the product.

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