Monday, August 29, 2011

Dr. Robert Cantu has explained, perhaps clearer than anything else I have read, the relationship between young athletes and concussions.
In his weekly hockey notes, Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe leads with hockey and concussions.
As Shinzawa writes, Dr. Cantu, a co-director of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, says that younger brains are not as myelinated, meaning they have less insulation than brains of adults. Also, boys’ necks are weaker than those of adults. Their heads are disproportionately large for their bodies.
“That sets up a younger person to have injuries to the brain that are greater than those sustained at a later age from the same force,’’ Dr. Cantu said. “It takes more force later on to produce the same injury.
“It’s important not to have a head injury at any age. It’s particularly important not to have it at a young age. Fighting is certainly to be discouraged, especially at young ages, for those reasons.’’
This really is serious stuff, and don’t think for a moment that signs are pointing away from fighting as being problematic.
“Presumably,” Dr. Cantu told Shinzawa, “those people were asymptomatic when they died. Presumably, had they lived into adulthood, the early-onset CTE would have progressed. At some point in life, they would have been symptomatic.
“For those with CTE early in life that can cause symptoms later in life, we have no idea of the prevalence of that right now. It’s beginning to be studied.’’
Dr. Cantu pulled no punches in stating that “no head trauma is good head trauma.”
“Avoid all head trauma that you can avoid,” he added. “If that means practising less, practise less. Don’t go out seeking fights. It’s not good to get hit in the head.
“Secondly, if you’re going to play a sport that’s at high risk for head injury like the collision sports — hockey, football, lacrosse — you better have a passion for that sport. Or I would recommend you not play it.’’
Shinzawa’s complete notebook is right here.
A big story in Canada today will deal with the Canadian Paediatric Society and American Academy of Pediatrics recommending that children and teenagers not be allowed to take part in boxing.
While today’s story centres on boxing, Dr. Claire LeBlanc, one of the authors of a statement that will get considerable play today, says that the CPS “will be making a statement” on youth hockey in the future.
For more, check out this story right here.
F Wacey Rabbit (Saskatoon, Vancouver, 2001-07) was released by Jesenice (Slovenia, Austria Erste Bank Liga).
JUST NOTES: The Tri-City Americans have signed F Justin Gutierrez. The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder will turn 16 in December. He is from Anchorage, Alaska, and is the younger brother of Moises Gutierrez (Kamloops, Everett, 2002-07). . . . The Swift Current Broncos released G Derek Tendler, 19, on Sunday. The Regina native had brief stints with the Regina Pats and Vancouver Giants, as well as the Broncos. Swift Current dealt a 2011 sixth-round bantam draft pick to Vancouver for Tendler in October 2010. Since 2008, he has appeared in only 22 WHL games. . . . According to Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald, F Manraj Hayer, 19, of the Everett Silvertips has a broken fibula so will be out for a couple of months. He had 12 points in 61 games as a freshman last season. . . .
The Spokane Chiefs had 2,787 fans watch their intrasquad game Sunday, with Team Red beating Team White, 4-3. . . . Spokane head coach Don Nachbaur told Dave Trimmer of the Spokane Spokesman-Review that sophomore F Darren Kramer is “having a hell of a camp.” Kramer, who led the WHL in fights last season, was selected by the Ottawa Senators in the NHL’s 2011 draft. “He’s played hard since the start of camp,” Nachbaur continued. “His passion shows every time he steps on the ice. He scored five goals in one game. I think he scored in every scrimmage. . . . He came in great shape with a great attitude and he portrayed that every time he stepped on the ice. That’s not to say the other guys didn’t but he stood out, he stood out like a sore thumb.”
The Red Deer Rebels are hoping that Czech G Patrik Bartosak, who was selected in the 2011 CHL import draft, will be their starter this season. The 18-year-old Bartosak hopes so, too.
“The WHL is very good league and in Czech Republic there was no future,” Bartosak told Greg Meachem, the Red Deer Advocate’s sports editor, on Sunday.
Despite being passed over in the NHL’s 2011 draft, Bartosak has his sights set on an NHL career.
“The NHL is my dream from the start. I want to be picked in the NHL draft,” he told Meachem.
And what does he think of the hockey he witnessed early in the Rebels’ camp?
“The hockey is really fast, faster than in Czech Republic,” he said. “The rink is smaller so everything is fast and the players shoot from every angle.”
Check out the Advocate’s Rebels Central page right here.
G Tyler Bunz of the Medicine Hat Tigers is blogging, at least through training camp, and it's worth a look. You are able to follow him right here.
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