Tuesday, January 15, 2013

By my calculations, the WHL will finish this season with players having experienced at least 100 concussions.
If you are wondering why those in control of the WHL have to do more than they are doing to get concussions out of their game, including the banning of headshots and fighting, think about what follows.
I recently received a letter from the parent of a player who has skated in the WHL. That player has had more than one concussion; he knows the pain and bewilderment of these brain injuries. The parent knows the pain of watching a son go through this experience.
Some excerpts from the letter . . .
“(My son) is still experiencing severe headaches, nausea, and memory loss, especially after exertion of any kind.
“Something must be done to stop this epidemic of concussions and lack of respect between players. The league will do nothing because there is always a fresh surplus of new ‘meat’ or rookies to replace the fallen gladiators.”
The parent also mentioned having spoken with a WHL player who, because of post-concussion syndrome, was unable to attend school.
“He could not read, concentrate or study because of the resulting headaches,” the parent writes. “He had to withdraw from his classes. What will the long-term effects of his concussion be? I can’t even imagine the long-term damage he will face.”
He also writes: “How can we get the WHL to report concussions? How can we get the WHL to take headshots out of the WHL? The evidence that is coming from concussion studies in hockey as well as other sports like soccer and football is overwhelming. It is almost like the denial that the tobacco industry used for years.”
I will remind you again . . . if you haven’t seen the documentary Head Games, make a point of viewing it.
A lot was written last week on former NFL linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest. One theory is that he wanted to preserve his brain so that medical people could examine it.
Whether that is what was intended will never be known, but the examination of his brain has been completed and it was found to contain CTE.
If you haven’t read anything about this, you may want to start with this piece right here from the Los Angeles Times.
In his daily posting, The Sports Curmudgeon takes a look at the NFL and concussions, and makes some interesting points. Included are a couple of interesting takes from a couple of prominent American sports writers.
That piece is right here.
Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post has the story of former pro quarterback Bernie Kosar and the treatment he has been receiving to help him deal with what was left over from his career. And, yes, there is controversy brewing. Kosar says the treatment has worked, but the scientific community, or at least part of it, scoffs.
That piece is right here.
A hip injury will keep G Eric Comrie of the Tri-City Americans out of Wednesday’s Top Prospects Game in Halifax. . . . “He is devastated,” Tri-City general manager Bob Tory told Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald. “He is struggling with a small muscle strain. He felt it in Kamloops (Wednesday) and again in practice in Kelowna (Thursday). This game was a big thing for him, but his season is more important.” . . . NHL Central Scouting will release its midseason rankings today. Comrie was the top-ranked WHL goaltender in Central Scouting’s last rankings. . . . Comrie, who likely will be out for two weeks, has been replaced by G Philippe Desrosiers of the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic. . . . With Comrie on the shelf, Luke Lee-Knight takes over as the Americans’ starter. . . . G Troy Trembley, 18, will come in from the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires to back up Lee-Knight.
Fowler’s complete story is right here.
Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald also reports that the Americans may be short a couple of players tonight, other than G Eric Comrie, when they meet the Silvertips in Everett. . . . F Beau McCue (ankle) and F Connor Rankin (thigh bruise) were injured in Sunday’s 5-3 victory over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds.
F Jessey Astles of the Saskatoon Blades is back on skates for the first time since suffering a badly cut wrist on Nov. 9. Astles continues to rehab what was a gruesome injury and one that could have turned out a whole lot worse.
Daniel Nugent-Bowman has that story right here.

From veteran WHL scout Mike Fraser (@MikeFraser29): “Oh right . . . it’s Monday, so that means all hockey people have to give us Twitter play-by-play of The Bachelor. @Sad”

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