Tag Archives: concussions

A Sure-Fire Way to Get Fighting Out of Hockey

By Jason Menard

When I was younger, I loved fighting in hockey. When I played, we’d mock throw down, dropping the gloves, trying to pull each others’ jerseys over our heads. As I got older, I became indifferent towards fighting. I could appreciate a good throw down as much as the next person, but, in general, I could take it or leave fighting.

Over recent years, I’ve seen less and less of a need for fighting in the game. The best hockey I’ve had the pleasure of watching was in the Canada Cup, the Olympics, and in the NHL playoffs — forums in which fighting was infrequent at best, non-existent for the most part.

Last night was the first time I actively wished a fight wouldn’t have happened. George Parros, early in the first period, squared off against Patrick Bordeleau of the Colorado Avalanche. It wasn’t a great tilt at all, but when Parros and Bordeleau hit the ice, I felt something in the pit of my stomach.

Fortunately, Parros was fine. But I shouldn’t have to worry about watching a player turned into a vegetable for a non-essential part of the game. Continue reading

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NHL Player-Safety Words Ring Hollow In Light of NFL Bounty Punishment

By Jason Menard

Hey NHL! Your current commissioner was plucked from one of the other Big Four sports, so in the interest of protecting your players, is there any chance of history repeating itself and maybe importing the NFL’s Roger Goodell?

The reason? Instead of merely paying lip service to protecting players, Goodell’s words carry even more weight in light of the unprecedented penalties levied against the New Orleans Saints for its actions in creating – or inaction in preventing – a bounty program. Continue reading

How Crosby’s Retirement, or Worse, Could Bring Out Best in NHL

By Jason Menard

For true fans of the game of hockey, the second-best thing in the world would be that Sidney Crosby is forced to retire at the age of 24 due to continuing concussion complications.

The only thing better? Crosby’s death.

Now, please, please, please realize that when I talk about what it would take to make things better, I’m doing so in true Swiftian, “A Modest Proposal” fashion. Continue reading

Scapegoat or No, Torres Should Be Put Out to Pasture

By Jason Menard

It takes a lot to besmirch the name Raffi. The Vancouver Canucks’ version is not only managing to do that, but he’s also shown that he may not even be as smart as the original Raffi’s target audience.

Raffi Number One is a global troubadour! The Egyptian-born Canadian has had a career out of entertaining children, mixing in social and environmental messaging and world music. Raffi Number Two, Canucks’ winger Raffi Torres, is also a Canadian. But that’s where the similarities end. Continue reading

Head Shots Knocking the Fun Out of the Game

By Jason Menard

It’s getting harder and harder to be a fan of the NHL these days. And with the league’s commissioner adding similar hubris to his Napoleonic resemblance, it’s hard to see how the league is going to change for the better of its own volition before it’s compelled to by sending one of its players to the morgue.

I never thought I’d be cheering an airline, but I have to applaud Air Canada for its stand against the league’s continuing to turn if not a blind eye, certainly an exceptionally myopic on, on the issue of head injuries. Following the league’s inaction in the aftermath of the ax Pacioretty hit, Air Canada’s director of marketing/communication Denis Vandal, sent a letter to the league demanding immediate and serious actions on this issue. Continue reading

NHL Must Smarten Up on Hits to Head

By Jason Menard

If losing the league’s top player for an extended period of time due to a couple of hits to the head knocking him loopy won’t change the game, will anything knock some sense into the powers that be?

The coolest NHL all-star game in years is fast approaching. We’ve all heard about (and discussed) the intriguing twist of players picking their own sides for this overblown game of shinny. Unfortunately, the league’s top player – and likely one of the team captains – Sidney Crosby probably won’t be on hand to be the centrepiece of this showcase event. Continue reading