Lord of the Rinks: Return of the King

Crosby during warm up on Jan. 5, 2011 - his last game in the NHL. (Courtesy NHL.com)

January 1st, 2011 was the last time Sidney Crosby played with a clear head. That was the day of the NHL’s Winter Classic – a contest between Washington and Pittsburgh which took place at Heinz Field, home of NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. With over 60,000 fans on hand, and millions watching on television, Dave Steckel’s blindside hit left Crosby reeling. (Link: Steckel hits Crosby) Though it’s now clear that he was concussed on the play, Crosby actually stayed in the game. Here’s what was written in the NHL’s post-game recap: Continue reading

Suspensions in the NHL: Curbing the Concussion Epidemic

(Aftermath of the hit that may end Marc Savard’s career)

What is the purpose of handing out suspensions? Some believe that introducing punishment ensures fairness – if a player has been injured, it’s only right that the offending party sit out for some period of time as well. (Some even go so far as to say that a player should be suspended for the entire duration of the other party’s  injury). However, I believe that the main reason to suspend a player is for the sake of prevention. When determining suspensions, what factors should newly hired head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan take into consideration? Here are some criteria to consider: Continue reading