Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dean Blais, the head coach of the U.S. national junior team, is expected to name a final roster today. . . . D Seth Jones, from the U.S. U-18 national team, won’t be on the roster. Jones, a first-round selection by the Everett Silvertips in the 2009 bantam draft, suffered an undisclosed injury in a Tuesday pre-tournament game against Russia. . . . Jones is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones.
Good on the CHL for signing on with Respect Group Inc.
Respect Group Inc., which was co-founded by Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil, operates the Respect in Sport on-line training program that already has partnered with an impressive list of sports organizations. Check it out right here.
The Respect in Sport program all is done on-line. It deals with educating people on how to recognize signs of abuse, bullying and harassment, also how to deal with it and how to prevent it.
The CHL will begin its program in January, with all 59 of its member teams — in the WHL, QMJHL and OHL — involved.
According to a CHL press release:
“All CHL member club hockey personnel will be required to take the 2.5-hour on-line training course which covers a wide spectrum of topics including recognizing the signs and symptoms of bullying, harassment and abuse as well as using positive power to create the desired environment for athletes to excel.”
While this is a positive move by the CHL, you really have to wonder what took so long. After all, Kennedy was sexually abused by a WHL coach while playing in the WHL, and Respect in Sport, which has been available for a number of years now, is one of the things that has developed out of that experience.
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From Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal:
Nashville Predators associate coach Brent Peterson, who once played centre for the Edmonton Oil Kings and Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, got an early Christmas gift as he continues his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease.
This week, doctors implanted electrodes into his brain, ran a wire down his neck and hooked the wire up to a pacemaker-like box inside his chest. They activated the battery-operated stimulator at the Vanderbilt University Medical facility and Peterson was able to function much better than he has over the past several years.
His walking is better, rather than being a shuffle, and his right hand, which was locked tightly to his right side, has opened up. He actually worked out on a treadmill at the team’s practice facility on Wednesday.
“I feel like I’ve come out of the dead zone. This is a lifesaver for me,” Peterson told a Nashville television station.
D Willie Mitchell of the Los Angeles Kings suffered a concussion in 2010 and it cost him a good chunk of the 2009-10 NHL season.
He described what he went through to NBC-TV:
"I missed eight months of hockey. Eight months of my life was gone, right? (That's) the reality of it, eight months of your life is gone. You're living in pain every day, you have a headache, headache is pain. Whether it's small, medium, or large headache, it's pain. You live with that.
“It's tough. You can't do anything. You can't read, you can't drive your car — it hurts. Living in pain, it's almost like, I always say, a snippet into a terminal illness so to speak. It gives you a little snippet, because not only (does it) physically bother you, but it's the emotional aspect of it as well. You wake up every day and you don't feel better and that can take its toll. And stress in life, what does it do? It gives you a headache. Well, that's one thing you're trying to get away from is a headache."
OHL commissioner David Branch is looking in an alleged racial slur from a game Friday night in London, Ont. John Matisz of the London Community News has more right here.
F Colby Armstrong of the Toronto Maple Leafs is on the injured list with a concussion. He was injured Saturday against the visiting Vancouver Canucks, but tried to hide it from the Maple Leafs’ training staff. That last until Monday when he threw up after riding an exercise bike.
Unfortunately, hiding — to trying to hide — concussions is a lot more common in hockey than you might think. And, yes, that applies to major junior hockey as well.
Dave Shoalts of The Globe and Mail has the Armstrong story, and more, right here.
Earlier this season, I talked with Kamloops Blazers F Chase Souto about the concussions he has had during his brief WHL career. Souto, 17, suffered one in September and admits trying to hide it from Kamloops trainer Colin (Toledo) Robinson.
If you care to revisit that story, it’s right here.
It’s unfortunate that these athletes are so concerned about losing their roster spots and have such a burning desire to play — they feel they are letting down teammates, friends, family and fans if they don’t — that they will try to keep all kinds of injuries, including concussions, from a team’s medical staff.
As we are learning, nothing good can come of hiding a concussion and playing in that condition. Medical tests have proven that a person with a concussion is really, really susceptible to another one if their brain is the subject of any more trauma during the healing process.
This definitely isn’t the time to be thinking about short-term pain for long-term gain.


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